Lochmandy Auto Group History

The mission of our entire organization is one of steady growth and improvement with stability in a volatile industry. Our values of honesty and integrity must always be evident to customers and employees alike. It is our expectation that everyone we come in contact with is treated the way we would want to be treated. Our tradition of caring has continued for generations. Decades of effort have earned the Lochmandy Auto Group an enviable reputation. Lochmandy Motors has been serving the automotive needs of Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan since 1954 but the Lochmandy family has been involved in the car business in Michiana for nearly one hundred years.

This legacy began with Michael J Lochmandy who was born in 1915, the eldest son of Hungarian immigrants who settled in South Bend around 1895. Michael developed a childhood interest in automobiles, while his father worked as an inspector for the Studebaker Corporation. In 1934, at the age of nineteen Michael took an entry-level position working as a clerk for General Motors. He was working his way up in the company when, in 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America entered the Second World War. Michael's brothers Victor and Alfred both served in the Army Air Corps. Michael remained at GM where they rushed to create what president Franklin D. Roosevelt called "the arsenal of democracy." When the war ended in 1945, GM had produced 854,000 trucks, 198,000 diesel engines, 206,000 aircraft engines, and 38,000 tanks, as well as an immense number of guns and ammunition. With the challenges of wartime industry behind him, Michael decided to leave the manufacturing sector permanently. In 1946, he took a retail job, selling cars in his hometown.

Michael worked at Yeager Motor Company of South Bend until 1952, when he left to open his own Buick Dealership in Valparaiso Indiana. Michael's philosophy was to treat every customer the way you would want to be treated. This, in addition to a strong post war demand for automobiles, led to early success as a business owner. In 1954 Michael purchased a second Buick franchise eighty miles away, in Elkhart Indiana. Rather than split his time between the two locations; Michael decided to sell his Valparaiso dealership to his brothers Victor and Alfred.

He moved his young family to Elkhart and opened Lochmandy Buick Sales at 426 North Main Street. In 1959, Michael opened a second new car franchise, Lochmandy Rambler Sales at 1230 West Bristol Street. The following year he added a second used car lot on Main Street, followed by a car rental service in 1962. Michael's son, Dennis Lochmandy, shared his love of the car business. Dennis worked as sales manager, and purchased Lochmandy Rambler in 1967. He added the Dodge brand in 1968, GMC truck in 1978. Like his father, Dennis was insistent that values of honesty and integrity be practiced and evident to customers and employees alike.

In 1993, the two companies merged under the name Lochmandy Motors and the dealership passed to a new generation. In 1995, Craig Lochmandy bought the store from his father, Dennis, and built a state of the art facility at 920 North Nappanee Street. Lochmandy Motors' current site is home of one of the largest new car dealerships in Elkhart county, with a staff of over 100 people, selling over 1500 vehicles a year.  Today, a fourth generation of Lochmandy family members work at the to continuing a long "Tradition of Caring," and ensure steady growth and improvement with stability in a volatile business.

Many of our employees have also worked with us for decades, and they are all truly part of our family. Our people make us the best car dealer in Michiana. We work very hard to make sure you not only get what you want, but get what you need. Also, after the sale, our team really shines. If you want a pro, a true professional, who is going to meet your needs and work with you, and who is going to be upfront and honest with you, then you need to come to Lochmandy Auto Group. This is why we are voted the best dealership in Elkhart year after year.

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