Shepherds Buys Auburn Dealership
Article by Dave Kurtz | KPC News | May 9, 2019
AUBURN — Expressing excitement about the opportunity, Shepherd’s Family Auto Group became the owner of an Auburn automobile dealership Tuesday.
Shepherd’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Truck will operate on the northwest corner of Grandstaff Drive and 15th Street on Auburn’s west side.
“The opportunity came about for us to come into the Auburn market. This is our first venture outside the General Motors lineup, as well, and we’re excited about this new challenge,” said Tom Shepherd.
Shepherd’s Family Auto Group owns dealerships in three other cities, selling Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles.
Founded 51 years ago by Robert and Robin Shepherd in North Manchester, the group also owns a dealership in Rochester that is marking its 25th anniversary this year. Last year, its Kendallville dealership reached 20 years in business.
“We’re excited about doing in Auburn what we’ve done for Kendallville, where I think we have become a backbone of Kendallville as far as our community support. We plan on doing the same thing here in Auburn,” Tom Shepherd said. “Obviously, it’s one of the fastest-growing towns in northeast Indiana, so that was a big attraction, as well.”
He added, “Our motto is: ‘Shepherd’s Family Auto Group, where you’ll always be treated like family.’ That’s not just lip service.… We have spent a lot of blood, sweat and tears on training our people to
treat customers like family.”
“We want to bring that type of culture to the Auburn location,” said Chadd Cook, marketing director for Shepherd’s. “We’re just excited to be a part of the Auburn community. We just can’t wait to be … a positive force in this community.”
The Auburn location’s general sales manager, Jim Scarbeary, is a veteran of the Kendallville dealership. He leads a team of sales professionals including Eric Hansen, Dacota Yoder and Eric Melchi, along with Ron Walter, who remains from the previous ownership. Bill Miller will be the service manager.
Shepherd said he and four managers coming to Auburn bring more than 140 years of experience in the automotive industry.
Managers for Shepherd’s are expected to become active in a community organization, he said. “Each one of my managers will be involved in something for the betterment of Auburn,” he pledged.
“I’m going to be here every day, and I’m excited about meeting the people in Auburn,” Shepherd added.
Shepherd aims to triple the dealership’s new-car inventory and keep at least 100 used cars on the sales lot at all times.
“The Ram pickup is awesome — actually surpassed Chevrolet Silverado for sales in the first quarter,” he said about the Auburn dealership’s lineup. “The Jeep franchise is a cult-like following, so we’re really excited about that, and the stylish Dodge units, as well, with the muscle cars, Challenger and Charger.”
Shepherd’s Kendallville dealership achieved record sales for March and April, he said, adding, “The sky’s the limit in Auburn.”