Central Sales & Leasing is part of an organization with both a fascinating as well as legendary history which began in 1936 with the Central Chevrolet Company, located in downtown Los Angeles kiddy corner to the Grand Central Produce Market.
Founded by Leonard L. “Pop” Cormier, Sr. (1897-1970), Central was the first automobile dealer in history to use the medium of television to advertise cars and trucks (1948, The Spade Cooley Show) and was the first television sponsor of Liberace as well as the Lawrence Welk Show.
During World War II, Central survived solely on its service and parts business as there was no civilian vehicle production during the wartime period from 1942 to 1945. Their motto was “We Never Sleep” and indeed, the sales, service and parts departments were open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for a remarkable 17 continuous years. During that period (1942-1959) Central was the second largest retail Chevrolet dealership in the USA (only Z Frank Chevrolet in Chicago was larger). Upon the retirement of Pop Cormier, Central was sold in 1960 and the new owners moved the dealership to East Los Angeles and changed the name.
In 1951 the organization purchased J. E. Hoover Chevrolet in Long Beach and named it Cormier Chevrolet. Leonard L. Cormier, Jr. (1918-1991) operated Cormier Chevrolet almost from the beginning, eventually buying out his father and brother. He moved Cormier to a 13-acre site alongside Interstate 405 in 1965. Cormier become the pioneering dealer in the USA to make use of a major metropolitan interstate roadway to market motor vehicles. Upon the retirement of Len Jr. and his son, Len III, the dealership was sold and now operates as WIN Chevrolet.
After beginning his service to the organization in 1958 as a stock boy in the parts department at Central Chevrolet, our company was founded January 7, 1976 by Timothy F. Lewis at the direction of his cousin, mentor and teacher, “Len Jr.” who, that long ago, foresaw the bright future of leasing in the automotive business. Central Sales & Leasing (originally called Cormier Leasing & Sales) realized significant expansion over the years and now has several offices located in both northern and southern California.
While developing Central, Timothy F. Lewis was also active in the founding of the National Vehicle Leasing Association, where he held every major office including service as president in 1985-86. On behalf of the NVLA, he has delivered numerous lectures and conducted many seminars on vehicle leasing throughout the United States, and he appeared in several video programs on behalf of the General Motors Corporation. In 1982, Tim received the industry’s most prestigious recognition, the Clemons-Pender National Lessor of the Year Award.
Central Sales & Leasing is proud to have a multi-talented staff with average company service of more than 30 years, as well as a loyal clientele, some that date back to Central’s beginning in 1976.
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Visit the Pre-Owned Vehicle section to view the list of vehicles we have available today.