Andrew Weinstock, executive vice president of Biener Audi, said he remembers when he saw his first Audi around 8 years old.
“When I was a little kid, my father came home with an Audi, and I looked out in the driveway and asked ‘what is that car?’ He said that’s an Audi,” Weinstock said. “I asked ‘what’s an Audi?’ He said Audi was a great company once before, and they’re going to be a great company again. He said that in 1990 when we were selling one car a month.
“He had a clear vision on where this company could go and he saw further than most.”
Weinstock’s father, Stanley Weinstock, is now the third generation to serve as president and CEO of the Biener family of dealerships, which were founded in 1929 by Andrew’s great-grandfather Jack Biener with a lone service station at 250 Northern Blvd. in Queens.
“My great grandfather had lost all of his money in the crash of the stock market in 1929,” Andrew Weinstock said. “He was retired at the time, and his friend owned a service station on Northern Boulevard that was empty. He asked his friend if he could use the service station. He gave him the keys, and there it began.”
Andrew Weinstock said over time, an executive with General Motors began having his personal car serviced at the Biener station and asked if Biener was interested in selling automobiles as well as servicing them.
Despite the lack of funding, the early vehicles were financed by General Motors Acceptance Corp. and Biener began his first dealership with a Chevrolet franchise.
“They sent him one car, and he sold it,” Andrew Weinstock said. “Then they sent him two cars, and he sold them.”
Soon after Pontiac was founded, Biener picked up the franchise in the late 1930s, which became the family’s mainstay brand for many years before it dropped the company in 1996.
Over the years, the dealership has also held a Nissan franchise before the sole deal with Audi now.
Andrew Weinstock’s grandfather Martin Biener joined the family business after he returned from World War II, continuing to keep the company along Northern Boulevard, now located at 795 Northern Blvd. in Great Neck.
Martin Biener has always been an active community member, Andrew Weinstock said, and is one of the founding members of Temple Sinai of Roslyn, signing the original note for the temple.
“We’re active in the community, and we support a lot of local foundations through donations or hole-in-one prizes in the summer,” Andrew Weinstock said. “If you play in a summer charity golf tournament, you’re bound to see a car from Biener Audi sitting on a tee somewhere.”
Andrew Weinstock said his father, Stanley, officially joined the business in the early 1970s and his mother, Carol Weinstock, serves as vice president of the company, but most members of the family have spent their early years working odd jobs around the dealerships.
“There’s only one way to learn this business — it’s from the ground up,” Andrew Weinstock said. “That’s been the way we’ve all gone through it. When I was younger, I always worked with cleaning cars, moving cars, stocking shelves, shoveling snow, plowing snow — I still shovel and plow snow. That’s one thing we’ve always done as a family.
“We’ve learned the things that it takes to keep this business going, and those are the little things.”
The company recently signed a 30-year lease on the former Union Prime Steak and Sushi location at 661 Northern Blvd, and Andrew Weinstock said the dealership will expand its used car selection to the new Northern Boulevard spot.
“We’ll be able to service more vehicles, park more vehicles and expand our current footprint on Northern Boulevard, which is a challenging thing to do,” Andrew Weinstock said. “We feel this opportunity allows us to take our business to the next level with pre-owned automobiles, which are a big part of the automotive business at this moment.”
Andrew Weinstock said the company has benefited from its employees’ dedication to the business and the droves of repeat customers who often turn in a Biener vehicle for a new one every few years for a lifetime.
“Customer service comes first here,” he said. “Our slogan is real: Our family treats you like family. That’s what makes us sleep well at night, taking care of people.”