Located just northwest of the Detroit metropolitan area, ADESA Flint proudly serves dealers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and beyond. Formerly known as Flint Auto Auction, ADESA Flint was acquired by KAR Auction Services (the parent company of ADESA) in 2016.

I caught up with General Manager Lawrence Cubitt to find out more about this new addition to the ADESA line-up.

What can you tell us about the beginnings and history of ADESA Flint?

ADESA Flint was established in 1952 as Flint Auto Auction by owners Ray Williams, his son Bill Williams, M.D. “Mac” McCollum, and Howard and Ed Lynch.

The first sale was held in 1953 and had a consignment of 120 cars. Within a year, the Lynches had departed, and the auction was owned by Ray Williams, his sons Bill and Jim, and Mac McCollum. In 1983, McCollum sold his stake in the auction to Ray’s sons Bill and Jim Williams.

By the late 1980s, a third generation of the Williams family was running the auction: Jim Williams III, Bill Williams Jr. and John Luce. After Jim left the family business, Bill Jr. and John continued as owners until the sale to KAR.

ADESA Flint is well known for its annual Corvettes & Classics sale. Why is this such an important event sale for Flint?

The Corvettes & Classics sale has been held every spring since the early 2000s. Being so close to Detroit, this auction has close ties to General Motors and Chevrolet Corvettes. Flint Auto Auction opened its doors the same year the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line right here in Flint.

There has always been a close association between General Motors and the auction. We have many General Motors retirees who work here. General Motors celebrated the sale of its 12-millionth remarketed vehicle here in 2007. We have a GM Financial Open/Closed sale every other Wednesday. We’ve always been proud of Flint, the birthplace of General Motors and of the Corvette.

ADESA Flint is known for its annual Corvettes & Classics sale.

What awards has this auction won?

The auction has won many awards over the years, most recently the Chrysler Capital Lease Auction of the Year for 2016. We’ve won the Ally Financial SmartAuction Mid-Stream Auction of the Year multiple times in recent years. We also received the U.S. Bank Director’s Award in 2013.

And, of course, we earned GM Auction of the Year honors in both 2007 and 2008.

How did you get your start at ADESA Flint?

I started at the auction nearly two decades ago. I used to sell cars here, as a remarketing manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Detroit. I got to know Bill and John, and they hired me in 1999. I came in on the ground floor, learning all the different parts of the business.

I started in sales, and I helped open the detail and reconditioning shop. After helping to build that business, in 2005 I transitioned into the general manager role.

How would you describe the culture at ADESA Flint?

We embrace our history, but we’re always looking forward. We’re always looking at the next week, the next sale. History only takes you so far. You have to show up every day and build the business.

But it’s more than just a business to us here. We have dealers coming here today who were brought here as kids by their parents and grandparents. They’ve been coming here all their life. This is an industry of lifelong partners.