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Indiana Automotive Equipment Fully Transitions to New Ownership

07/01/2021 | 2021

New ownership remains local while continuing to focus on company growth in key sectors


MAXWELL, IN July 1, 2021 - Indiana Automotive Equipment (IAE), a full-line sales and service company for the light and heavy-duty automotive industry, announced today it has fully transitioned leadership from Shane and Amber Tatom to Christopher Susott, a corporate finance executive who will lead strategic and day-to-day operations.

Shane and Amber Tatom purchased the Hancock County company from Robert and Mary Chastain. Under their nine-year leadership, IAE grew exponentially, increasing from an initial staff of two to 20 employees.

Christopher Susott purchased the company from the Tatoms in September 2020. A plan was established for Susott to spend approximately one year observing, learning and implementing new strategies while Shane Tatom served as general manager. Feeling that a successful foundation for transition has been established, Amber Tatom retired last month, and Shane Tatom will retire in September. IAE currently employs 24 people.

“We are proud of the business we built together, particularly the deep friendships we developed with our customers. Our customers became our friends, and knew they could count on us for more than business-related issues,” said Shane Tatom. “By retiring now, we are leaving our company in good hands, allowing us to move on to the many things we enjoy, like spending time with our family and traveling.”

“We are fortunate we found a partner in Chris,” Tatom continued, “who shares our vision and our commitment to customer service.”

Christopher Susott comes to IAE after spending 20 years in corporate and investment banking. He began exploring possibilities to acquire companies that could become platforms for building a diversified middle-market enterprise in the equipment distribution industry.

“I have always dreamed of acquiring and growing a business, and while I looked at many possibilities over the years, none felt like Indiana Automotive Equipment,” said Christopher Susott, president, Indiana Automotive Equipment. “I knew from my first meetings with Shane and Amber that they had established a foundation that was unique. I’m resolved to honor that legacy while bringing my own passion, expertise and growth strategies to bear.”

Already, Susott has implemented strategies designed to maximize IAE’s niche within the heavy-duty market while also maintaining and growing the core light-duty dealership business in which IAE excels. These strategies include aggressively procuring and stocking inventory as part of an effort to meet customer demand in the current climate of supply chain delays.

“I want to be ready to service all of our clients when they need it.  They count on us to help them make their financial and operational goals, and we want to be able to respond,” Susott said. “We realize that we are an important part of our customer’s operations. They can’t take care of their customers and operations if we don’t take care of them.”

Susott sees this commitment to customers as an extension of the Tatoms’ unrelenting focus on customer service and satisfaction.

“We are absolutely focused on the core values that have been developed over the past nine years – quality, integrity, customer service and partnerships,” Susott continued. “I’m looking forward to building on this solid foundation, serving our customers, and growing a team of exceptional professionals.”

About Indiana Automotive Equipment

Indiana Automotive Equipment is a full line sales and service company for the light and heavy-duty automotive industry, providing quality equipment and service in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and surrounding states. IAE sells and services automotive in-ground and above ground lifts, mobile column lifts, fluid pumps, tanks, and reels, exhaust removal systems, air compressors and refrigerant dryers, waste oil heaters, wheel service and alignment equipment, detail equipment, and also an array of small hydraulic equipment for the service of vehicles. IAE proudly sells high quality brands such as Stertil Koni, Hunter, Challenger, Samson, J.E. Adams, Energy Logic, Norco, American Forge and Foundry, Champion, Bel Aire, Monoxivent, Karcher, Shure, and Lista. IAE employs qualified technicians to complete equipment repairs and also employs certified ALI lift inspectors. We provide new service center design and have professionals on staff to advise and guide the owner though the process of new shop layout and functionality. To learn more visit https://www.iaequip.com.


About Christopher Susott, president, Indiana Automotive Equipment

With more than 20 years experience in corporate finance, Christopher Susott comes to IAE from Key Bank, where he led the launch of a new middle-market investment banking strategy focused on sell-side and buy-side advisory and complex capital raises for companies ranging in size from $200 million to $750 million in revenue. Prior to his work with Key, he was a senior vice president for PNC Bank’s large corporate division, and a corporate banking analyst for Bank of America Corporation. In 2018, he founded Streamline Consulting, which is a private investment practice that focuses on the acquisition of local businesses ranging in size from $5 million to $100 million in revenue. Susott is a graduate of DePauw University.

About Stertil-Koni

Stertil-Koni - proud to be a Buy America company - is the market leader in heavy duty vehicle lifts, notably bus lifts and truck lifts, and proudly serves municipalities, state agencies, school bus fleets, major corporations, the U.S. Military and more. Stertil-Koni's breadth of products meets all ranges of lifting needs and includes portable lifts such as Mobile Column Lifts, 2-post, 4-post, inground piston lifts, platform lifts, and its axle-engaging, inground, scissor lift configuration, ECOLIFT. The company’s innovative, inground telescopic piston DIAMONDLIFT is now available with an optional Continuous Recess system, ideal for low clearance vehicles. Stertil-Koni USA is headquartered in Stevensville, Maryland with production facilities in Europe, The Netherlands, and Streator, IL. 

 Contact: Paul Feldman, Paul.Feldman@Stertil-Koni.com, 410-643-9001

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