Michael and Adam Lieberman, father and son, are the third and fourth generation owners/operators of August Pohl Auto Parts.
The company buys wrecked cars and trucks, which employees disassemble, and sells the parts. It’s unlike traditional auto “junk yards, where customers remove the parts they need from vehicles parked outside.
August Pohl, not related to the family, started the business in 1921 on Territorial Road, east of Benton Harbor. In 1940, he leased the business to Michael’s grandfather, Morris Lieberman, and uncle, Jules Torry. They bought it in 1949.
Adam Lieberman inside August Pohl Auto Parts new operation inside a former factory in Berrien Springs. (Photo by Michael Eliasohn)
Michael’s father, Mickey, joined after serving in World War II, became a partner with Torry in 1967, after Morris died, and sole owner in 1970, after Torry died. Michael started there in 1971 and started buying the business in 1976, a process that was done over several years.
Michael’s brothers, Dan and Larry, also worked at the family business.
Adam joined the business in 2010.
In 2015, Michael and Adam sold the original location on Territorial Road to an employee. They kept their main location on M-139 in Benton Township, which dates to 1983, and their Berrien Springs branch, which they started in 2014, with all operations inside a 200,000-square-foot former factory.
August Pohl Auto Parts has 21 employees, according to Adam.