Archive for the ‘History’ Category

OBrien Automotive Family Celebrating 80 Years in the Business_small Today is a day for the O’Brien family, their employees, and their loyal customers to celebrate!  It all started on January 12, 1933…a cold winter day in the midst of the Great Depression! What was Thomas J O’Brien thinking? You can check out our complete history by reading the “Dealership History” page; but as a 2-year employee, I have a different story to tell.

Blog_Thomas J O'Brien  Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to meet our founder, Thomas J O’Brien. What I do know is that when he opened the original dealership, he was young, married, and had only been in the automotive business for a couple of years selling cars. To decide to open a dealership in the midst of a depression; he had to have a good work ethic, a strong desire to succeed, but also a vision to start a business that stood for more than a job.  His hard work and core values about building a different kind of place to patronize and to work has paid off.

Blog_J Thomas O'Brien  The “O’Brien” that I hear the most about is his son, J. Thomas O’Brien. In 1962 Tom built on his father’s vision and opened the family’s 2nd store. Slowly, over the course of the next 41 years, Tom grew the dealer group into that we know today.

ChatAvatar_Diane Anderson  From my perspective, I believe his strongest core value in building the business into what it stands for today is all about family. I know this from the stories that his children and grandchildren share with the employees.  Don’t misunderstand what I am saying; when I say family, I mean his extended family (his employees) and how he valued each and every person that worked for him, no matter what position they held. I posted a blog back in December shortly after one of the employee celebrations held at the dealership. Those Christmas celebrations helped me understand why this dealer group is different than most; THE reason why they have been such a success in our market.  One of the things that make us different is the O’Brien “Employee First” Philosophy; this philosophy has been documented in a couple of posts that I wrote (one which celebrated 2 employee’s 40-years of tenure at the Greenwood store / the other celebrating employees with 25+ years of tenure at the Indianapolis location). This “Employee First” philosophy may seem strange in today’s “Customer First” business world, but it is actually the foundation for how we treat our customers. The O’Brien family feels that the only way to ensure that their customers are taken care of properly is to do everything they can to make sure that their employees enjoy working for them and feel like they are an integral part of their success. From an employee’s perspective, there is no unimportant position at the O’Brien Automotive Family group of dealerships – from the lot attendant, to the office clerk, the parts runner, to the service porter – we, as a group, understand that we can’t function without everyone on our team being happy and productive.

So…today is a day for all of us to celebrate! For 80-years the O’Brien family has continued the vision of Thomas J O’Brien; “Let’s build the business by building a family of valued employees. Let’s build a business where every customer; new or repeat, is a valued one.” 4-Generations and counting, the O’Brien family continues to strive to earn your patronage for generations to come ….”We work for you! Since 1933.”


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 ChatAvatar_Diane Anderson The last couple of years have been a struggle for not only the “Big Three”, but the events touched everyone who works close with the industry. Our family of dealerships located in central Indiana, which represent the Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion product lines have approximately 100 people working at each location (5). This staff includes Sales, Service, Parts, Body Shop, General Office and Support Staff; and ,the O’Brien family leadership team – the list of employees goes on and on; people that were touched by the events of the “melt-down”.

This was the third time that I had the opportunity to celebrate the Christmas holiday season with my co-worker’s and the O’Brien family leadership team. For whatever reason, this year’s celebration was an “a-ha” event for me. The moment was subtle; I see the company’s logo daily “Our family works for you. Since 1933.” This year’s celebration was about “family”; our automotive family. The main theme of the celebration was centered on the basic principle of how, and why, it has grown into the business that it is today. Now I understand.

With the principles laid down by the O’Brien leadership, a family has been built to serve not only our customers but the employees as well. Collectively, we are not just a team. Our GM’s – Pat O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Brian Miller, and Tim Miller – serves those he leads by removing obstacles and enabling his direct department leaders to succeed. The best decisions and ideas are made from the bottom up. As a team member; each Manager takes initiative when he notices issues, he then collaborates with his team to address them. Beyond that, we watch out for each other and care for each other. We work together and play together because our bonds go beyond the typical co-worker relationship.

Indy Service Parts Personnel Over the past couple of weeks we have collectively celebrated our 2012 successes and the tenure of some of our employee’s. Tenure unheard of in the dealership world. The most recent celebration was to recognize the Parts / Service Department personnel at the Indianapolis location – 5 of the employee’s have tenure ranging from 25-48 years. As an O’Brien Automotive Family member, I now understand their philosophy “I want you to work here forever. Job-hopping may be a fact of business life, but as an owner it’s a fact I hate. I don’t see you as a disposable part. When you leave, it hurts. A part of me feels like I’ve failed.”

Quietly, without fanfare, the O’Brien family has built a positive team and family spirit. Each of us watch out for each other. Based on my short tenure, and my “a-ha” moment; I came to understand that they realize that there will always be challenges in our industry. But,  no matter what, the O’Brien family will be respectful of everyone. They love to celebrate both individual and team successes, but not in an arrogant way. I think their quiet confidence is a strength that speaks for itself.

From our automotive family to yours….”Happy Holidays”!
“Our family works for you.
Since 1933.”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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The retired Endeavor shuttle arrived in the City of Angels last month atop a NASA Boeing 747 , taking a grand tour of Southern California before setting down at the international airport. Now, it has to be towed through the streets of Los Angeles to get to its permanent home at the California Science Center south of downtown. That’s where Toyota comes in.

Toyota, with its U.S. headquarters nearby in Torrance, Calif., has contributed more than $8 million to the science center since the early 1990s. With that in mind, when they were looking for a way to move the Endeavor to the Science Center, it made sense to approach Toyota with the task. The retired space shuttle Endeavor has been moved by many things, such as rockets, its own engines and thrusters, tank-like transporters, and now…a Toyota Tundra pickup truck! Toyota Motor Sales announced this past Wednesday that the full-size Tundra will tow the Endeavor  the last quarter mile to the California Science Center, where both the space shuttle and truck are to be displayed.

Tested extensively prior to the announcement, the 2012 Tundra is slated to safely tow the 300,000 pound historic artifact down Bill Robertson Lane in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles, on the final leg of its journey. Endeavour will be towed using a stock 2012 Tundra CrewMax 1/2–ton pickup, identical to models currently found in Toyota dealerships, with no additional modifications made to increase towing capacity or generate more power. The Tundra CrewMax is equipped with Toyota’s powerful 5.7L V8 engine, producing a maximum tow capacity of 10,000 pounds. TMS has done extensive testing and worked with The Sarens Group, a heavy lifting and engineered transport company, to develop a dolly specifically for hauling the Endeavour. The mission, check out this video!

So…SAVE the Date – Saturday, October 13! By the way, Social media users are encouraged to share their Endeavour sightings using the hashtags #spottheshuttle and #OV105, Endeavour’s orbiter vehicle designation. Better yet, tweet this phrase and share in Toyota’s quest to raise money for Endeavor’s new home at the California Science Center:  For every tweet (#TundraEndeavor) sent using the “Share with Twitter” button on this page, Toyota will donate $50 to the California Science Center.

Check out more information regarding  Endeavour’s permanent home, a new addition to the Science Center called the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. Please visit this post after the event and post your comments and thoughts regarding joint effort by Toyota. Better yet, how about posting to our Facebook page? We would LOVE to know what you think!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

P.S. By the way, check out our current inventory of the 2012 Toyota Tundra CrewMax!

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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I just saw this short article in our Chrysler Newsletter about the NHRA Nationals Event that was held in Colorado, and realized that our local track, Lucas Oil Raceway in “Indianapolis” would soon be hosting some of the BEST events of the year! What does that mean? Mark your calendars, save the dates – 3 great events are coming up!

I live in Brownsburg or “Nitro Alley”, just a short jaunt ‘down the road’ from the track. Weather permitting, when the windows in our kitchen are open; I can hear the dragsters and the roar of their engines! Call me weird, but even at 60+ years old, this sound is ”music to my ears”. This .686-mile oval hosts several premiere events during the course of the year and welcomes racers that are starting to hone their skills as well as those in some of the top levels of motorsports. Talk about fan traffic!

What are the upcoming events that should be saved to your calendar? Check them out!

Event #1: SpeedFest is “just around the corner” and will take place at the track on July 26-27 and will feature ARCA, USAC Midgets and Silver Crown along with the CRA Super Series.

Event #2: The grand-daddy big event to hit the track is the 58th annual Mac Tools U. S. Nationals held on Aug. 29-Sept. 3.

The Mac Tools U. S. Nationals is the world’s largest and most prestigious drag race and fans from across the globe will make their annual mecca to Lucas Oil Raceway to watch the stars of the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series battle for the most coveted trophy in all of drag racing. We are talking AWESOME
You have GOT to check out this video!

Event #3: The newest and fastest growing event to keep an eye one is the Monster Mopar Weekend which will visit the facility on Sept. 21-23.

Fans of Plymouth Road Runners, Dusters, Chargers and Challengers will able to walk the facility taking in some of the best classic American made cars. Cars and Mopar, what a combination, check out this view from the staging lane!

Shameful, but I HAVE to put a plug in for Brownsburg. I have been there for 15-years this fall, and it has grown to be a great partner for the NHRA racing series. Off of Northfield Drive * located between Hwy 136 and  I74W, there is race shop after race shop. Quite a haven for the enthusiast! Several times a year those shops are open to the public; one of the most attended is John Force’s shop. Check out this recent video during one of these fan favorite events.

NHRA + Mopar equals FUN times! Mark those calendars!

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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Under 35,000 miles, most new cars are still under warranty, so anything that breaks prematurely, such as a leaking brake caliper or a burned out wiper motor, should be fixed at no cost. However, warranties don’t generally cover wear and tear items like brake pads and wiper blades, so it is important to check those regularly and replace as needed for proper function and safety. The dealerships that comprise the O’Brien Automotive Family can make sure your vehicle is safe and all the different parts are working properly. Regular maintenance is important to protect your investment and prevent problems later, after that new-car warranty expires.

First and foremost, when you hit that 35,000-mile mark, it’s probably time for an oil and filter change. Oil change recommendations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and some vehicles have systems that monitor your driving style and conditions, as well as the condition of the oil, and then send a message when it’s time for an oil change. Our world-class service technicians can change your oil quickly (no appointment needed) so that you can get back on the road without the hassle of waiting.

When a vehicle is used in a lot of stop and go driving, a dusty environment or in heavy load conditions like towing a trailer, the system may suggest more frequent oil changes to protect the engine. On the other hand, drivers that do a lot of highway commuting at constant speeds may be able to go longer between changes. Drivers can check the maintenance section of their owner’s manual or call our Service Department and speak with an advisor.

Another part of any car or truck that benefits from regular maintenance is the tires. Like the oil in the engine, tire life will depend a lot on how the vehicle is used, but it also varies depending on the type of tire. High-performance, speed-rated tires often found on sportier cars tend to wear out faster because the soft rubber treads that enhance traction also get shaved off during hard cornering. Our Service Department has various brands of tires available including BF Goodrich, Continental, Dunlop, Firestone, General Goodyear, Hankook, Michelin, Pirelli, Uniroyal, Kumho and many more!

Whether your ride is rolling on summer performance tires, all-season radials or off-road specials, the tire pressures should be checked at least once a month and the treads should be examined while you’re down there at the corners. Tires showing less than the manufacturer-recommended tread depth should be replaced (use the penny test). Always have your tires rotated according to manufacturer recommendations so that they wear evenly and last as long as possible. Call us today to set up an appointment.

While the wheels are off for rotation, it’s a good idea to take a look at the brakes. The brake pads (special offer / rebates), particularly those on the front corners, will probably be substantially thinner by 35,000 miles. Many brake pads will have a visible metal wear indicator clip that will scrape against the rotor and squeal when pads are too thin. If the clip is touching or very close to the surface of the rotor, it’s about time to change them. At the same time, check the surface of the brake rotors where the pads grip. They should look clean and free of deep grooves or discoloration that indicates overheating. If the rotors have grooves or other signs of uneven wear, strange colors or dark areas, the rotors should be either machined or replaced.

Brake line connections, drive-shaft seals and various hoses should be checked for signs of leaks and then corrected. Suspension and steering links should be examined to make sure everything remains tight. If the air filter hasn’t already been replaced by 35,000 miles, it is almost certainly time to put in a clean one so that the engine can breathe properly. Also under the hood, fluid levels for the brakes, power steering, coolant and washer fluid should all be checked and topped off as needed, and accessory drive belts should be inspected for cracks or other signs of wear. In some cases, transmission or differential fluids may also need to be replaced at 35,000 miles.

Drivers should also turn on headlights, turn signals and warning flashers to check for burned out bulbs and replace them as needed. Since different vehicles have varying levels of equipment, drivers should always check their owners manuals to determine what other items might need service such as pollen filters in the ventilation system or filters for vented seats.

These things take less time than you think, and we are always there to help. Considering the tens of thousands of dollars you probably paid for your new car or truck, it’s definitely worth spending a small amount of time to keep it running like new for many years to come. Our Service Department is world-class. Let us show you why we have been in business in the Indianapolis area for over 70 years; we put our customers FIRST. Check out what our customers are saying about us! (Greenwood / Indianapolis)

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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I have never been to a Jeep Jamboree; however, I have attended multiple Camp Jeep Events over the years…talk about FUN!! We are talking a 3-day adventure of off-roading, camaraderie between “Jeepsters”, and events for the entire family! Unfortunately, the type of Camp Jeep’s that I attended are no longer held; however, Jeep and their sponsors are continuing the tradition of Jeep Jamborees.

Here is a clip of a family that has attended the event and their thoughts about being Jeep owners and participating!

Jeep® Jamborees are off-road adventure weekends that bring together the outdoors, down-to-earth people, and their Jeep 4x4s. These treks have been a tradition since 1953 when 4×4 pioneer Mark A. Smith organized the first ever Jeep Jamboree and voyaged across the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the old Rubicon Trail. In 1954, Willys Motors – then manufacturer of Jeeps – became involved and Jeep Jamborees have been an off-road tradition ever since.

Here is the schedule for the rest of the Jamborees scheduled for 2012. Take a close look, as one is held every year during the fall season at French Lick. The next event will be the 32nd for French Lick, and is scheduled for October 4 – 6. Interested in going? Here is a link to register! If the Jamboree’s are anything like a mini-version of Camp Jeep…be prepared to have SO much fun! I would encourage you to take the family along…we are talking an adventure that everyone will enjoy! Click here to Receive a free copy of “Mark A. Smith’s Guide to Safe, Common Sense, Off-Road Driving”

By the way, you can enter to win a trip to a Jeep Jamboree for Two!
The contest is being held to draw attention to the first Jeep Jamboree at the Coal Mountains in Simoken, Pa.; compliments of Superchips (read more about the event). Sign up quick as the contest registration ends June 30th.

Today’s sunshine, and the thought of enjoying the ONLY 4×4 convertible made (Jeep Wrangler’s), brought back memories of Camp Jeep that I attended! If you own one…attending a Jeep Rendezvous is a MUST! Then, you will understand…”It’s a Jeep thing!”

Your friends at O’Brien Automotive Family!
“Our family works for you. Since 1933”
Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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We had such a celebration here at the dealership yesterday afternoon! Both the President of Tom O’Brien Greenwood and our Office Manager (Tom Miller and Judy Thompson) were celebrating 40-years of service with the organization! They look to young to be enjoying such an accomplishment, don’t you agree?

The O’Brien family automotive business started in January 1933 when Thomas J. O’Brien opened Sullivan and O’Brien DeSoto and Plymouth dealership on Virginia Avenue here in Indianapolis. The Tom O’Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram store, located in Greenwood, is the original franchise that was started in 1933. Who would have guessed then that we would have employees who would join the family organization and would remain for almost half of the years they have been in operation? Quite a feat in any business; let alone the automotive retail business that has such a known reputation for high-turnover!

One of the things that make us different is our Employee First Philosophy. This may seem strange in today’s “Customer First” business world, but it is actually the foundation for how we treat our customers. We feel that the only way to ensure that our customers are taken care of properly is to do everything we can to make sure that our employees enjoy working here and feel like they are an integral part of our success. There is no unimportant position at any of the O’Brien Automotive Family dealerhsips – from the lot attendant, to the office clerk, the parts runner, to the service porter – we could not function without everyone on our team being happy and productive.

Congratulations to both Judy and Tom for your service to our organization!

By the way, thought you would enjoy a video made by Thomas J. O’Brien when he opened our current south location. Most of the employees featured in the video are still with us today…speaks volumes about who we are!


O’Brien Automotive Family – “Our family works for you. Since 1933”

Your leading Greenwood, Franklin, Indianapolis, Carmel, Plainfield, Avon, Lawrence, and Noblesville Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram FIAT Toyota and Scion Dealer!

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