The Thin Line: Kahlo Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
Kahlo Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is known for its extensive inventory of new and used cars, plus a well-rated service and parts department. The dealership was started by Pete Kahlo, an immigrant who recently wrote a book titled, “My American Dream”. What may be a surprise to many people is that the dealership is not only a success story, but also employs several individuals who have walked the thin line.
“Founder Pete Kahlo came from Germany,” says Nick Friend, who served in the U.S. Air Force until 2011 and is now one of the dealership’s financial managers. “He started with nothing and built up this company. It has an atmosphere of loyalty where hard work is valued. That seems to attract veterans. It’s a fantastic place to work. It’s got a mom-and-pop vibe, and Mr. Kahlo still comes in every day.”
Kahlo General Manager Tim Groves served in the Navy from 1990 to 1995. He was stationed in Georgia, Washington and Virginia but traveled the underseas worldwide on submarines. Among the boats he served on was a ballistic missile submarine – often called boomers, these boats stay hidden and essentially patrol the world. After his time in the military, Groves did contract work as an operations manager throughout the United States. When his stint at Kahlo came to a close, he was asked to stay on as general manager.
“There are American flags all over the dealership,” Groves says. “It’s not a gimmick. Mr. Kahlo grew up in Germany during World War II. He wants to honor America and what America has given him. Those flags are well taken care of.”
Duane Alexander, maintenance department manager, was in the Navy from 1978 to 1982. For part of that period he was aboard the USS Sacramento, a huge oiler that had the capability to refuel other ships at sea. He was captain of Rig Team 1, which was responsible for overseeing bomb maintenance and arranging the logistics for transporting injured individuals to other ships.
“If you do your job well here, you will be taken care of,” says Steven Cerbone, a veteran of the Marine Corps who works on the Kahlo lot. “When the plumbing went down in my home, I was given an envelope with money collected from other employees to help with the repairs. The kindness was well noted.”
Groves says veterans make good employees because they arrive well trained, accountable and accustomed to structure.
“We are all grateful for everyone’s service, but we are also thankful to their families,” he says. “They have made a sacrifice also. Many times they didn’t see their husband, wife, father or mother for months at a time. So we thank and respect the families of veterans too.”
Kahlo Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram is located at 9900 Pleasant Street in Noblesville. Call 317-565-4256 or visit hellokahlo.com for more info.