A longtime Key West car dealership has new owners.

Warren Henry Auto Group recently bought Niles Sales & Service to expand its Keys Auto Center, which opened in 2017, when the family-owned dealership company bought the old Duncan Ford at 1618 N. Roosevelt Blvd.

Keys Auto Center now includes Niles Sales & Service, a mile or so away at 3500 N. Roosevelt.

“We’re really excited for this to all come together and we’re proud to continue our commitment to customer service and the local community,” said Larry Zinn,  executive general manager of Warren Henry Auto Group, the dealership group his father launched in South Florida more than 40 years ago.

From left, Erik Day, CFO and partner of Warren Henry Auto Group; Larry Zinn, executive general manager of Warren Henry Auto Group
and Warren Zinn, CEO of Warren Henry Auto Group. (Photo courtesy of Warren Henry Auto Group)

The purchase of Niles broadens Keys Auto Center’s product range to include five additional brands — Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Nissan and Cadillac. In total, Keys Auto Center will offer 13 brands to residents of the Lower Keys.

Keys Auto Center will operate for the time being from its two current locations — Key West North is at 3500 N. Roosevelt Blvd. and Niles is now its Key West South location at 1618 N. Roosevelt.

Construction and improvement plans are underway at the Key West North location, which will ultimately offer customers all 13 auto brands under one roof in Key West. An 18-month-long renovation plan includes the construction of a new 15,000-square-foot dealership at 1618 N. Roosevelt. 

“I’ve been impressed by Jack Niles and his operation for a long time,” Larry Zinn said. “It’s an honor to merge this respected dealership with KAC and welcome Jack’s clients and friends to the Warren Henry Family.”

Zinn’s plan is to “keep the entire Niles staff for as long as they want to stay; we inherited a really great team there,” he told the Keys Weekly last week. “I want to reassure people that we’re coming in to improve on things, not to turn everything on its head.”

Lee Holt, general manager of Keys Auto Center, grew up in the Lower Keys community and knows how important family-owned businesses and local relationships are.

“Relationships mean everything in the Keys,” Holt said. “I understand the diverse community we serve and the importance of providing excellent service to all who walk through our doors.”

The Warren Henry Auto Group has received numerous awards and accolades for customer service, which Zinn says sets the company apart from other corporate and online car-shopping entities.

“The big benefit of buying from a family-owned dealership group is that there’s always someone there who’s gonna care,” he said. “The business has a soul. And I truly believe that.”

Larry Zinn’s father, Warren Henry Zinn, launched Warren Henry Auto Group in the Miami area in 1976.

So, what does a third-generation car guy — whose inventory includes Lamborghinis, Bugattis, Jaguars and Land Rovers — choose to drive for himself?

“I’m currently driving a Land Rover, but it changes,” Zinn said, laughing. “But I think my ultimate dream car would be a Lamborghini Miura — a classic Lamborghini that’s widely considered the world’s first supercar.”More information about Keys Auto Center and Warren Henry Auto Group is at 305-690-6006 or warrenhenryauto.com.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.