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Our History

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The Bay City Motor Company has a rich history in both Bay City, Michigan, and the worldwide automotive market.


At 10:30 p.m. Aug. 31 on the second floor of the Republic Hotel, brothers Charles Ambrose and William Benjamin Mitchell signed a contract with the Cadillac Automobile Company. Bruno & Norberts Copper Shop at 1020 N. Saginaw St. in downtown Bay City became their first garage and the first Cadillac independent distributorship and dealership in the country — Bay City Auto Company.


The Bay City Auto Company moved to its second downtown location, 1005-07 Saginaw St., which today is G's Pizzeria.


The Bay City Auto Company was listed for the first time in Polk's Bay City Directory.


The Bay City Auto Company moved to its third Bay City location, Third Street at the northwest corner of Adams. This location was built in 1912 for the Oakland Auto Company, which had gone out of business.



The Bay City Auto Company broke ground on and moved to its fourth location, on the southwest corner of Washington and Second streets in downtown Bay City, which today is the Bus Depot. 




The Bay City Auto Company formed as a corporation, following William B. Mitchell Jr. and Howard F. Mitchell's return from the war.



The Bay City Auto Company became Mitchell Cadillac Inc. in memoriam of founder William Benjamin Mitchell.



Ann Mitchell wed David Cotten, whose father created the first retail finance loan for an automobile. The Cottens went on to partner in and own award-winning import and domestic dealerships in Florida and the St. Louis, Mo., area, before returning to Bay City.


Mitchell Cadillac sold its Cadillac franchise to Bauer-Labadie-Olds Inc. of Bay City. When Mitchell Cadillac closed, it was both the oldest Cadillac dealership in the country and the last independent Cadillac distributorship in the world.


The Mitchell-Cotten family wanted to bring the Bay City Auto Company back to life. With the help of many individuals and partners — and the overwhelming support of the community — The Bay City Motor Company was reborn. It is located at 1124 Water St., blocks away from its previous locations. Although The Bay City Motor Company was built on the legacy of the Bay City Auto Company and over a hundred years of Michigan automotive heritage, it stands today because of the talents and commitment to excellence of so many individuals and partners. Thank you!