Thirlby Automotive Joins Forces with Auto-Wares Group of Companies

Thirlby Automotive Joins Forces with Auto-Wares

While Auto-Wares Group of Companies operates its stores under the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Part Stores names, the Thirlby Automotive name will remain in the market it currently serves. 

Auto-Wares Group of Companies, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Thirlby Automotive in Northern Michigan, officially joined operations on March 28. 

This acquisition provides Thirlby customers with expanded hard parts, heavy-duty, tools, equipment, and battery resources. In addition, frequent route deliveries and improved access to parts online will provide increased parts accessibility to all customers. While Auto-Wares Group of Companies operates its stores under the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Part Stores names, the Thirlby Automotive name will remain in the market it currently serves. 

Todd Leimenstoll, Auto-Wares Group of Companies president and CEO, commented, “We’re going to leave the Thirlby name intact and they will continue to operate as their own entity. Their reputation for quality parts, people and inventory availability is their foundation and we look to build upon that. We are very thankful the Thirlby family has chosen Auto-Wares to build upon their great legacy and tremendous success story.” 

Ed Thirlby, Thirlby Automotive owner, added, “Auto-Wares is a great company. I was 18 when I first started dealing with them. They were very focused on making this work for our people and our customers. They are doing it right and hopefully we’re doing it right with everyone as well.” 

Thirlby Automotive was founded in 1956 by Edwin G. Thirlby, who, at the age of 17, was selling car polish out of the trunk of his car. In 1963. Ed and his wife, Beverly, opened their first store in Traverse City, Michigan. Ed’s son Brandon Thirlby and long-time manager Matt Thiebaut will continue to lead the store teams for Thirlby Automotive. Currently, Thirlby Automotive operates 11 parts store locations and are the largest paint and body supplier and machine shop operator in Northern Michigan. 

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