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Thursday

April 2014

24

Mukwonago says hello to Lynch auto group

Another chapter is being written in the story of Horter Chevrolet as a new owner is taking over the iconic Mukwonago business.

On Sept. 1, Horter Chevrolet officially became Lynch's Horter Chevrolet after Lynch Auto Group, a longtime investor in the dealership, bought out Tom Horter's half of the business.

For the past 12 years, David Lynch and Tom Horter worked as partners in Horter Chevrolet, Lynch as an investor and Horter as head of operations. Throughout those 12 years, Lynch and Horter worked under the agreement that if either of the men wished to retire or buy out the other's half, they would be able to do so. With his 71st birthday approaching and a push from GM to update the building, "I thought this might be a good time to break away a little bit," said Horter.

He will still be a familiar face around the dealership and will ensure a smooth transition. He will also be there to make sure "that people have a familiar face."

"My main job here is to make the people feel comfortable and to reassure them that they will be treated as well, if not better, than they have the past 33 years," he added.

Selling his share of the dealership ensures that everything will be in place when Horter decides to completely retire, he explained.

The dealership will stay the same, including hours and services available. Most accounting will be shifted to the Lynch location in Burlington.

Horter said Lynch might consider improving the current building or might decide down the road to build a new facility in Mukwonago.

The Lynch owners were out of town and unavailable for comment before press time.

"I thank the Mukwonago community for their past patronage for the past 33 years," Horter said. "I enjoyed my last 33 years in Mukwonago very much."

Horter stressed that "we're still a small-town dealer."

The Lynch Auto Group sells Chevrolet, Buick and GMC out of its Burlington store; Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram out of its East Troy location; and Chevrolet out of their Racine and Mukwonago locations. They also have a truck center in Waterford. For more information go to www.shoplynch.com or www.orderfromhorter.com.

History of Horter

The dealership was started by longtime Mukwonago resident Harold Koeffler's brother Archie, who came to Mukwonago in 1928. Koeffler worked part time at the dealership while in high school and while he attended Carroll College until he bought Koeffler Chevrolet in 1949. Tom Horter purchased the dealership in 1986 along with partner John Wink.

In the late 1990s, Wink decided to retire, and David Lynch bought his portion of Horter Chevrolet.

When the dealership was first built, Highway ES was the main road between Milwaukee and Beloit/Janesville, putting the dealership in a prime location. However, when the Rock Freeway (I-43) was built, the dealership was no longer on the main strip.

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