Halsey Automotive Imports, Inc.
Asian and European import parts and products; VW and Audi
Halsey Import Parts originally opened in 1963 on NE Halsey across the street from their present location. The business is currently operated by John Good, and in addition to being the third-generation owner, he was literally raised in the shop.
“I’ve been here my whole life… all my memories are from this place. I learned how to do everything here. My sister and I had cribs in the other office for my grandma to watch us during the day because my mom was working here,” says Good, who was given the choice to attend college, but instead started at the parts counter right out of high school and never looked back.
Even his origination was due to Halsey. “My mom was working in the parts department as a delivery driver, and my dad, he was a mechanic in the shop next door, and that’s how they met each other.”
Grandfather Waldemar Schmidt, or “Opa” to Good, bought the land and built the present building in 1971. Good’s uncle technically took over in the early 80s, and Schmidt was supposed to retire, but he never really did, choosing instead to visit the store daily. He’d check the books and roam the store, eventually cruising the parts aisles into his 90s in his power chair, leaving a trail of displaced parts in his wake.
This dedication to his business was ingrained in Good from a young age, that more than hard work, business survives and thrives from being a quality source customers can trust to get good products at a reasonable price, and to get good advice.
“Not many places will guide you through the choices. You can call stores and ask for a part, but they don’t necessarily know much about that part or product. Our guys are all car guys. So they all know.”
Full disclosure, Halsey was one of the first ENEOS dealers in the US, clocking in at an estimated 8 years or longer. Good says, over the years, it’s been one of their dedicated product lines that turns over really well.
“ENEOS is the main Asian line we carry. As an OEM supplier, it’s the best you can get. And it’s easy to sell a product that sells itself, and we like to support and carry OEM companies and suppliers. We get the product (ENEOS) from the company that makes it for the manufacturers, and it sells for a reasonable price.”
“Carrying ENEOS helps us keep our good reputation, which is key with our customers and our business. You know, if you sell lower quality parts, people are not going to be happy. It doesn’t save anybody time or money in the long run. Might as well pay a little bit extra to get the quality right.”
With a staff of eight employees including Good, and even with COVID restrictions keeping in-person customers outside for safety, their spacious location is hopping with a steady stream of calls, shipments, and pickups. The majority of their business is word of mouth, and It’s clear their business model is working.
Waldemar “Opa” Schmidt passed away earlier this year, leaving Good at the helm. Even though this year has been challenging, Good has managed to keep his entire staff on board. This staff loyalty, he explains, allowed them to keep up the pace as business has gradually ramped back up.
Discussing the future, even though Good has already spent a lifetime at Halsey, he figures he’s got a good 20 – 30 years left to go. That’s enough time for the next generation, Good’s 11 month old son, to figure out whether he’ll help keep Halsey running for another 57 years.
“When you love your job, you’re not really working. I look forward to coming to work every day, you know, I always want to be here. And it’s hard to find that in most jobs, you know what I mean? And so, if (my son) can, if he gets the bug, I’m sure there’ll be another generation keeping things going.”
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