Lifetime Auto, a used car dealership currently operating in Elwood, IL, will be moving into the vacant Dempsey Automobile property at 101 Watters Drive in Dwight opening October 1.

According to Arien Whitehead, owner of Lifetime Auto, the company has outgrown its current location and wants to establish business in a community where they can get connected and grow relationships. Dwight seems to fit the bill.

Whitehead, along with 25 family, friends, and employees, attended the Dwight Village Board of Trustees Meeting on Monday, September 11 to introduce himself and business to the Board.

Lifetime Auto family, friends, and employees.

Whitehead commented, “We want to be in a town where we can participate and get to know people. Even if we don’t sell someone a car, we want to help take care of the community. So even if they buy a car elsewhere, it’s fine. We can even give guidance when they go to other dealers to buy a car”.

Whitehead had previously worked for Tom Dempsey, who currently owns the Watters Drive property, at his car dealership in Plano before venturing into his own used car business in Romeoville, and ultimately, Elwood. That relationship and friendship led Whitehead to the Dwight location.

Arien and Marisa Whitehead and family.

Lifetime Auto will be leasing the Watters Drive property for one year, with plans on purchasing after that.

The Village and Lifetime have entered into a 10-year agreement that will abate sales tax one cent (.01) per Sales Tax- Dollar incurred abatement for years 1-8 and a half cent (.005) per Sales Tax-Dollar incurred abatement for years 9 and 10.

“The deal will allow us to buy the building and do extensive renovation,” said Whitehead. “Other services I would like to offer the community is service, body shop, detail, rentals, and car wash. My goal is to be a one-stop shop for everything vehicle-related. It will also allow us to donate and reinvest part back into the community.”

There are currently around 70 cars in inventory at the lot in Elwood, and come October 1, they will all be relocated to Dwight.

In addition to its current employees, the business will be looking to fill five new positions once in the building.

“I couldn’t be more happy to be coming to Dwight,” added Whitehead. “Everybody that I have worked with has been absolutely phenomenal, from village government, to everyone who has helped me get the property to where it is: Clay Watters did the power-washing, Krug’s did all the landscaping, Tim’s Painting did all the painting for me, so it really makes me happy to see all these people I’m working with, not to feel like people I have hired to do work, but they honestly feel like friends. Crissy Livingston was integral in putting this deal together, as well as Mayor Paul Johnson and Village Trustees.”

“It’s important to me to be in a community that makes you feel like family, because we are a family owned business,” said Whitehead.


Left to right: Tom Dempsey, Village Administrator Crissy Livingston, Lifetime Auto owner Arien Whitehead, and Dwight Village Mayor Paul Johnson.