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Car dealer returns to his roots

Joe Dunne opens Auto Connectionz Plus on Highway 16

Feb. 4, 2013

City of Oconomowoc - The new owner of Auto Connectionz Plus in Oconomowoc, has returned to the roots of his work history.

"I've come full circle. I was in the car business for 29 ½ years with the Jack Safro organization," said proprietor Joe Dunne. "I left in 1995; in between I had a couple of other businesses," the Hartland resident explained.

Auto Connectionz Plus, N56 W39413 Highway 16, sells used vehicles, offers general repairs and maintenance as well as detailing services.

"It's a full-service automotive repair shop on any make or model. We do everything other than body work," Dunne explained.

"We offer a full range of general repairs and maintenance. Anything from oil changes and transmission service to factory recalls and warranty mandated repairs," he explained.

Dunne also noted that the location is a state-certified emissions testing site.

The new owner said there are plans for gearing up the current number of vehicles in stock.

"We are also a used car dealership. Our inventory will eventually be between 40-50 vehicles when we ramp up, and again, all makes and models," he said.

Auto Connectionz Plus provides easy access to the most current Internet car buying tools, allows customers to view inventory, and do research among other factors.

Dunne said the business will also find a specific vehicles for customers, a trend he's seen in the industry.

"One of the things we'll specialize in is locating vehicles for people. We'll have people who can find them for you," he said.

"Finding cars for people is a neat feature. The Internet is a great tool, but we have very good, experienced people on the road," locating vehicles, he added.

And once you find the perfect vehicle, the business can help you find the best way to pay for it.

"We'll also offer financing, we work with a lot of banks and lending institutions," Dunne said.

After Dunne left the car industry in 1995, he went on to pursue a successful career as an entrepreneur.

"I owned Car Phone Plus, a cellular phone business that was a very successful company I sold it in 2000; it had 12 locations," Dunne said.

"Then I opened a health club in New Berlin and that was extremely successful and I sold that in 2005.

"Since then I haven't been doing a lot until this opportunity came along," he explained.

That might make those who know Dunne laugh, as the man is not one known for his ability to stay put.

In fact, a Lake Country Publications article on Dunne from last year profiled his extensive world travels who has been to more than 100 countries and all 50 states.

Dunne, and business partner, Debby Senglaub are excited about the business.

"We're hoping to do great things. It looks like an exciting, fun, opportunity. Particularly the service end of it and we have a real good staff," he said.

With several successful business careers under his belt, Dunne knows the value of positive word-of-mouth.

"This is a small community; everyone knows everyone," he pointed out.

"We're going to be selling and servicing cars and we know our customers will be our best sales people," Dunne said.

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Weekend Happenings

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ArtWorks: Studio Clearance: 10 a.m. Jan. 24, Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha. Artists clean out their studios, reduce the price and blow out their inventory. Admission is $5 or free with two canned food items for the Food Pantry of Waukesha. www.artworkswisconsin.com

Bill Camplin: 4 p.m. Jan. 25, Hawks Inn Visitor Center, 426 Wells St., Delafield.  Winter Concert Series presented by SummerStage and the Delafield Public Library. $10. Wine, beer and soda available for purchase. Call (262) 337-1560, www.summerstageofdelafield.org

"The Dastardly Ficus": 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23-24; 2 p.m. Jan. 25, Lake Country Playhouse, 221 E. Capitol Drive, Hartland. ’The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery’ is a trip down Insanity Lane with a tale of two sisters, neither of whom is playing with a full deck.  Tickets are available at www.lakecountryplayhouse.net. $15 general seating, $18 reserved seating in first two rows. www.lakecountryplayhouse.net. 

Scat, Tracks, and Signs: 10 a.m. Jan. 24, Vernon Marsh Wildlife Area, , Mukwonago. Learn to distinguish mammal tracks and other wildlife signs, and then go on a hike to find and identify these tracks. Dress for the weather. Free .www.dnr.wi.gov.

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