Members of the Wolfe family (L to R): Cynthia Wolfe, Susan Wolfe, Tony Wolfe, Jeff Wolfe and Dan Wolfe at a National Auto Auction Association Industry Pioneer Award event for Tony Wolfe at the NAAA conference in Dallas on Sept. 9, 2022.  -  Photo: NAAA / TPC Management

Members of the Wolfe family (L to R): Cynthia Wolfe, Susan Wolfe, Tony Wolfe, Jeff Wolfe and Dan Wolfe at a National Auto Auction Association Industry Pioneer Award event for Tony Wolfe at the NAAA conference in Dallas on Sept. 9, 2022.

Photo: NAAA / TPC Management

Wolfe’s South Bend Auto Auction, which bears a deep family legacy and operations dating to 1960, has been acquired by Great Lakes Auto Auction, said Wolfe’s Auto Auctions founder R. Tony Wolfe, in announcing the purchase on Nov. 18. 

Great Lakes Auto Auction is headed by principals Ryan Clark, president, and Chad Anderson, vice president, who are long-time operators of Greater Rockford Auto Auction in Rockford, Illinois.

Founded in 1960, the South Bend facility was bought by the Wolfe family in 2003, which also operates Wolfe’s Evansville and Wolfe’s Terre Haute Auto Auctions in Indiana. Tony Wolfe, the family patriarch and long-time industry leader, served as president of the National Auto Auction Association in 1991 and was named an Industry Pioneer in 2021. Wolfe Auction operations are headed by Tony Wolfe’s sons Jeff and Dan Wolfe, who are joined by 13 members of the Wolfe family representing four generations and are all involved in the auction enterprise.

Earlier in the year, the Wolfe family made a strategic decision to focus on its two southern Indiana locations and engaged TPC Management Company to evaluate options for the South Bend operation.

“We have watched their success at Greater Rockford over their many years there and know that both the auction and its customers are in great and capable hands,” Dan Wolfe said of Clark and Anderson.

Chad Anderson, vice president of Great Lakes Auto Auction and general manager of Greater Rockford Auto Auction, and Ryan Clark, president of Greater Rockford Auto Auction and Great Lakes Auto Auction.  -  Photo: TPC Management

Chad Anderson, vice president of Great Lakes Auto Auction and general manager of Greater Rockford Auto Auction, and Ryan Clark, president of Greater Rockford Auto Auction and Great Lakes Auto Auction.

Photo: TPC Management

Wolfe noted that his family will continue to operate Wolfe’s Evansville and Wolfe’s Terre Haute facilities, as they have for more than 50 years. “The Wolfe family established a legacy of service and integrity that is known throughout the auto auction industry," Clark said. "We look to build on the foundation the Wolfes cultivated in South Bend during their 20-year tenure.” Clark said the South Bend auction will be renamed Great Lakes Auto Auction and will continue holding weekly sales on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. 

All members of the auction staff, led by general manager Brandon Kieffer, will remain and services will continue seamlessly as the auction continues to provide a superior level of service to auto dealers and commercial accounts in the Great Lakes region. 

Like its affiliate Greater Rockford Auto Auction, Great Lakes Auto Auction will become a member of the ServNet auction group. “It is not lost on all of us that corporate and private equity-backed consolidations are common in the auto auction industry today,” said Pierre Pons, president of TPC Management. “Yet, we are delighted to note that this transaction maintains the auction as an Independent, family-run operation. From the start this has been an incredibly smooth transition, and we look forward to the Greater Rockford team continuing a strong presence in this market area.”

 

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