Salentine Closes Its Doors

Signs posted on doors have customers shocked at the sudden closing of the longtime family dealership.

Rumors began Tuesday that E.J Salentine had closed its doors, and a visit to the long time car dealership at Janesville Road and Tess Corners Drive confirmed it.

A simple sign posted on the doors, which were locked, stated:

Salentine Buick will be closed as of 2/12/2013. Sorry. Thank you.

An employee at the dealership would not comment on the closing and there has been no statement from the family that runs the business, which has been in operation for about 88 years.

A customer said a visit on Tuesday to the dealership from his home in Franksville provided him with the stunning news. 

"I spoke briefly to one of the owners who, obviously distraught, confirmed the permanent closing of the dealership," said Ronald Vandenboom.

"I was almost part of the family when I was a pre-teen, helping pump gas and wash cars when S.J. had the building on the South side of Highway 24," he recalled. "Later I helped make the move to the Imme building across the street. Later, when I was working as a bodyman, I helped make the move to the present location. It is sad to see the business close and for the family to lose this landmark. I wish them all good luck."

The business's Facebook Page as recently as last week had information on new inventory coming onto the lot. However, it appears the page has now been taken down.

We will update the story as more information becomes available.

Reddit Rocks February 13, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Maybe it's not so much about the inventory or the vehicles they sell as it is the almighty "GENERAL" and the outrageous remodel they shoved down everyones throats to the tune of millions that are inflated by the kick backs they receive from their "pre-approved" contractors. Maybe the Salentines weren't going to be extorted anymore...sorry about the speculation you highness Ms. Konkol
Sharon Subel-Seegert February 13, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Being part of the Salentine "family" for almost all of my life, it makes me very sad to see the end of an era. Up until the time I moved away from Muskego, I have purchased almost all of my vehicles from them and have always had my vehicles serviced by them, even when I lived 5 hours away. I have had nothing but excellent service from both the service department and body shop. EJ was like a second father to me, and the Salentine family will always be a part of my family. As Jill stated above, they have always been extremely generous of their time and resources to not only the TC Fire department, but also to the entire Muskego community. Their Dealership will be deeply missed.
Dennis Gingras February 13, 2013 at 02:04 AM
As one of the employees who found out upon showing up for work today that the doors were closed, I would like to thank the family for the opportunity to work for a caring, family run business. Just as the signs on the doors were simple and straight to the point, that's how the dealership was run. It's sad that in today's hurry up world of entitlement, good old fashioned service can't keep up with the demands placed on a business. Thanks to the family and God bless you.
Hill February 13, 2013 at 04:17 AM
it's difficult in this economic environment to do business with the demands auto manufactures (GM) and Banks (BMO) require. It's constant squeezing of the business, until BMO and GM get what they want. (BMO a foreclosed building, GM a closed point) Good luck to the Salentine family and all Employees.
Deanna Kuhn Knasinski February 13, 2013 at 05:06 AM
LOL Right on Reddit Rocks. I thought I was the only one who noticed they way Ms Konkol responds to people on here! On a side note I hope if they are in financial trouble as so many of us our these days they ask for help here in our community. I know many would be glad to help.
1600penn.ave February 13, 2013 at 05:52 AM
In all the transactions I had with Salentine I was 100% satisfied and I can say they were an asset to Muskego. And EJ was a local legend. Hopefully one of the mega-dealers (Boucher/Wilde/Griffin) will take it over to save jobs and continuing to serve Muskego. I have to agree the moderator here seems to only hear positive comments about anything. Well, if you ask for comments they're not all going to be sugar and spice. Ms. Konkol seems to especially cater to Muskego-Norway schools in defending some of their moves. Regardless, let's hope things work out for the Salentine family and their employees.
KJF February 13, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Our entire family was very sad to hear about this yesterday. I can honestly say that Salentine was one of the few car dealers that I actually liked bringing my cars to for service. Always showing integrity and honesty which was so refreshing compared to the up-selling approach I've received at most other dealers nearby. We'll miss you guys over there. Thanks to all of you for the services you provided and God bless each and every one of the Salentine employees.
Muskego Mike February 13, 2013 at 03:06 PM
As someone that has also occasionally run afoul with the local moderator’s opinion, this is a fun read.
shannon February 13, 2013 at 04:31 PM
I'm sorry Denise that you do not like my comment. I am only stating the facts of the situation. Apparently you skipped over the part that I said they are a great family.and only looked at the negative.as horrible of an experience I had with them, which may be rare, at least I didn't tell my story for the fails sake.my family is friends with there family but is doesn't change what cost me a ton of $.
shannon February 13, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Correction: what I meant to say is I am not telling my story to embarrass or make this a revengeful againstthe salentine family. I do wish them all well. And this is not coming from any speculation, what happened with my vehicle. I guess there is no place for me on,Muskego patch seeing freedom of speech is not part of Mrs. konkols forum.unless you agree with her. Signing off.
Greg Burmeister February 13, 2013 at 09:45 PM
I totally ansd enphatically disagree! My family has been uising them for years and habve found then nothing but top notch. I am sure E.J. is rolling over in his grave and i pray the employees can land on their feet with positions elsewhere.
Beverly Subel February 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Way to go Sharon, I feel the same way as our family has done business with Salentines for almost 40 years. Where am I going to get my oil changes, tires, and repairs and good advice and those wonderful cookies in the waiting room. Bev Subel
Denise Konkol (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 03:19 AM
People disagree with me all the time and I've not censored them. Far from it. Again, what I meant by speculation is the reason for the closing. Generally a rumor starts with 'well, I heard...' or 'someone told me...' and I'm glad to say that hasn't surfaced. I'm sorry to hear you had a negative individual experience.
Beverly Subel February 14, 2013 at 04:31 AM
When I put in my 2 cents, I did not want to sound as if I was blaming the family for closing it's doors. They had no choice when GM took everything away and gave them nothing back what can they do. Blame GM and our government for another small business going under. The family can't say they didn't try to keep their heads above water. They tried damn hard.
Denise Konkol (Editor) February 14, 2013 at 04:59 AM
I have a Trailblazer that's waiting for GM to get a part in (it's under recall) and I would have gladly 'shopped local' at Salentine v. going to a dealership elsewhere. I don't recall the cookies Bev is talking about.
Emissions-guy February 14, 2013 at 06:32 AM
I am the field service tech for the emissions company and was called VERY suddenly on Tuesday morning to pick up the testing equipment. Very sad to see this happen. I knew a few of the excellent employees there and I wish the best for all of them. It was easy to see that they were all like family there. VERY sad to see this happen, especially when poor decisions were made on GM's part that lead to the closing. GM does NOT represent the American way anymore like it used to. Shame on you, General Motors.
KJF February 14, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Here's an idea... Not sure if they read these comments or not, but I sincerely hope they consider reopening as a used car dealer and independent service center.
Former Tess Corners Resident February 14, 2013 at 08:13 PM
What business nowadays will let their employees leave to respond to fire calls and Emergency ambulance calls ? I even think they remained on the clock while they did this. I no longer live in the area, but keep in touch with the Salentines and purchased my latest car from them. I'm not sure how it is lately, but 15-20 years ago, if Ed Salentine and his crew didn't respond to every rescue and fire call, Muskego would have had to hire full time firefighters. For many many years Salentines supported the fire department and the community. They also housed the local food bank fior awhile. Muskego/Tess Corners - you don't know what a good thing you had ! Sue, Debbie, Sandy, Scott, and Mary - Thanks for everything ! Thoughts and Prayers !! JB
Gregory Kluck February 15, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Sorry to see this local icon close it's doors. I bought a used car there and it was a very nice car over the years I kept it. Apart from the Volunteer Fire departmen, Salentine also gave their lot over to the Original GTO car club for their show when Foster's closed in Milwaukee.
Cindy February 16, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Shannon, Shannon, Shannon, Please don't sign off yet!!! Did it ever occur to you that you could be one of the most difficult customers ANYONE has ever dealt with and that nothing anyone could do would make you happy. Those folks went to the ends of the earth to find you a headliner for your piece of crap dirty car so you wouldn't have to wait six months. Then when they receive it after the accident, it looks like you've had ten kids living in it for 6 months. It was filthy! They even went so far as to porter it for "free" and you complained it wasn't clean enough…not once, not twice, but three times. How bad could it have been after they got done with it compared to how you brought it in???? PIG STYE You actually live like that???? Then you DEMAND you get a "free" van to drive. Funny, your insurance even called the Salentine's to warn them what a treat you are to work with. Maybe take a look in the mirror Shannon, I would guess you are the problem, not the Salentine's. You were demanding, pushy and rude. Salentine's didn't close because of customer service, they were Number 1 according to GM CSI scores in the state. That means they gave superior customer service to "normal"people. You are impossible. So take your snotty comments elsewhere and take a good hard look at yourself. You should be ashamed of yourself!
Dennis Gingras February 18, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Wait till the upset customers have to now deal with a traditional dealership now. No drive in without an appointment and wait, no get it for free because you complain the loudest, no warranty repair even though your vehicle ran out of warranty 8 months ago,no parts sold at or near cost, no free complete porter job because you were upset. You have no idea how many free things went out the doors at Salentines. All the years of trying to please customers no matter what it cost. I wonder how much that slow drain on the company hastened their closing. Try complaining at a Toyota or Honda dealer. See how fast they ignore you and say sorry, your warranty expired 2 days ago !
Jill Bierbach February 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM
I am hopeful that some of the Salentine Family, including the "family" of employees will continue in the auto business. My family intends to follow them wherever they end up. I cannot tell you how many times I was given SUPERIOR service! So someone please keep us updated! Again, best wishes and good luck to all on your future endeavors.
shannon February 18, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Cindy let's set things straight here salentines never portored my vehicle cuz the minute I got it back aftera month I had a ton of problems with it, the pig wasn't me it was their greasy boots on my leather seats and that piece of crap got totaled after salentines fixed it, and they had to pick it up and I got $23000 for that piece of crap. U r just a bitter employee that clearly doesn't know the story or they wouldn't ended up putting $15000 into a piece of crap and then the insurance adjuster totaled it cuz of how the work was done. I wouldn't be shooting my mouth off unless u know the story. Sorry to the salentine family I had to say all this but I'm going to defend myself to someone who has no idea what he or she is talking about.
shannon February 18, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Oh and by the way Cindy I never demanded anything from them they offered me a rental van. I would get your facts straight and the insurance company called not to complain about me but to ask what happened with my and it was so messed up after they fixed it and asked them how can they refer them as a provider when they do work like that and I got apoles from salentines, to the Point they were telling me about how rough one of their workers was having with his personal life cuz he was getting a divorce.how unprofessional!
Cindy February 20, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Shannon, Do you reread the mess that is your reply? The only thing you are doing by continuing your rant is prove me right about the kind of person businesses have to deal with, Thank you. Again you are assuming, I was never an employee and any of the employees I have talked to have been anything but disgruntled about the closing, only saddened and supportive. And bright one, if I was a disgruntled employee, I would be bashing them instead of you. You have done nothing here but contradict yourself. Your initial rant was how horrible the Salentine customer service was that's why they are closing, then your next rant goes ON and ON to say how they offered you a rental van, that sounds like pretty generous customer service to me. I think you are just one of those people who like to see their name in print. How can you comment on what the insurance company called to say, you weren't there? Don't flatter yourself into thinking comments weren't made about your bad behavior.
Cindy February 20, 2013 at 06:16 PM
In fact, I talked to two different company's that commented on how difficult you were and they knew who you were just by your original comment on this board. I do know the story, the short version, your car was t-boned and brought to Salentine's to be fixed. The vehicle was thought to be completely fixed and the insurance check was issued and then the damage to the roof was discovered. By that time the insurance deemed it totaled because of the roof damage. The Salentine's felt horrible about the oversight and tried everything possible to make you happy. Obviously to no avail because you are still "shooting your mouth off". And yes they did porter your vehicle, many times! Maybe this will teach you how hurtful comments and assumptions are unnecessary. You certainly didn't like it when I called you out, how do you think the Salentine's would feel if they read your rude and untrue comments. They say there are always two sides to a story and then the truth. I think my side is a little closer to the truth! Now, go take a writing class. I am done with you, be gone!
Bob Allan February 22, 2013 at 03:39 AM
I have known the Salentine family since 1968 when my parents bought their first new Buick. I was only 14 at that time but rember it like it was yesterday. E.J. Himself sold the car to them and was a wonderful person. Since than we never went to any other dealer. My older brother bought his cars from Salentine and I bought my first car from them in 1974, We have always been treated great. The Salentine family has done so much for the city of Muskego and never asked for anything in return. I hope that people know how much that they will be missed.
shannon February 28, 2013 at 05:31 PM
Cindy, you are the one dragging this on and on why don't you shut your big mouth about it already. No one cares what u think. U were not there, were not involved so no u don't know the story. Find something better to do with your life. I have a life unlike u I don't have time to do this all day...so be gone with u big mouth
Trap Shooter March 02, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Bottom line...people are without a job and an income! Stop the madness, it does nothing to help the situation. Best of luck to the employees on their journey through life.
Tom Callen March 04, 2013 at 12:31 AM
I wish the Salentine family and its employees the very best going forward. I am now driving my sixth Buick from Salentine and was looking forward to my seventh. I dealt with Bernie Lemon on the sales side and Don and his crew on the service side. I was always treated fairly and with the utmost respect. I will miss working with them. Tom Callen


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