Automotive diagnostic tool developer LI expands and relocates to Port Washington
Autel US Inc., a developer and distributor of automotive diagnostic tools, has come a long way since launching at a Huntington home behind a gas station 10 years ago.
The local company, a North American subsidiary of Autel China, was formed in 2011 with only a handful of staff. It has since grown to 75 local employees, 35 remote workers, and is expected to hit $ 170 million in sales this year. For Chloe Hung, CEO of the company and alumnus of Farmingdale State College, the growth has been pleasantly surprising.
“We’re growing really big,” said Hung, 37, of Seaford. The company has grown by 15-30% every year since its launch, she said.
Autel, known for a line of automotive diagnostic products – including engine code scanners, a line of diagnostic tablets, and tire pressure monitoring sensors – sells tools to repair shops, dealers and retailers. retailers like Advance Auto Parts and O’Reilly Auto Parts, across the country. It recently added electric vehicle chargers to its range.
Since its founding, the company’s product lines have had an impact on the auto maintenance industry, said Ed Kizenberger, executive director of the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association, which has about 500 members locally.
“Automotive technology today requires the type of equipment that Autel sells,” said Kizenberger.
“Some cars now have technology that requires a computer science degree to understand what’s going on in an engine’s diagnostic system,” he said. “Autel equipment helps read diagnostics and helps the industry fix these complicated new cars.”
As Altar continues to grow, Hung is now overseeing Altar’s move and expansion from Farmingdale. in a new 50,720 square foot, two-story facility at 36 Harbor Park Drive in Port Washington that will serve as the new corporate headquarters.
The facility – which will house the company’s large team of technical and customer support, marketing, accounting, and warehouse staff – will also require the company to recruit more staff over the coming year. Hung said.
“We need more manpower and we plan to hire 50 more people,” she said.
Despite her long-time role in growing the business, Hung – who moved to the island from Hong Kong 19 years ago – said it was still hard to believe how far things went. had gone.
“I can’t believe it myself either,” she said.
Hung became CEO of the company earlier this year, succeeding company founder Gary DeLuca.
After graduating with a business management degree from Farmingdale in 2006, Hung held a range of office jobs, including a stint at an engineering company. She took time off work to start a family, then took a part-time job as a bank teller.
It was not long after that that his cousin, a teacher at Farmingdale, recommended him a post as secretary speaking both Chinese and English.
“My cousin said, ‘Look, there is a job opportunity where you would be the secretary of this Chinese company,” said Hung.
When she first showed up to meet then-CEO DeLuca, Hung was shocked to find only a gas station with a residence and a garage behind.
“When I went to the gas station, I asked where Autel US was and they said, ‘Go home in the back,’” Hung recalls. A little reluctant, she showed up for the interview, landed the job, and has since helped the startup become one of the most recognized diagnostic equipment dealers in the United States.
“It’s a Bill Gates story,” said DeLuca, 67, who left Autel US earlier this year to run Autel Robotics, the Seattle-based drone sales arm of the Chinese parent company.
DeLuca, who has worked in the auto industry for decades, said the company, started at home, first started as an independent reseller of Autel products in the United States. Its business was bought by the Chinese company and Autel US became the official North American branch of the company. Not long after DeLuca hired Chloe.
“Chloe was more than a secretary, but she ran the office,” he said. Now, with Hung at the helm, DeLuca has said the business and its future is in good hands.
“She is hardworking, very intelligent and can make quick decisions on the go,” he said. “She also knows the industry. She knows what technicians need.”
As the company continues to expand, Hung said she hopes the company maintains its “team momentum” and can take the company to a higher level of brand awareness in the years to come.
“My hope is to make the company public in the United States,” said Hung, who is aiming for an IPO within the next five years.