I have been actively employed full time in the automobile business since 1961 and self employed since 1968.
I wanted a new car store from the first day that I got into the business and through an unusual series of fortunate events, I did buy a small town new car store in 1972; however, I would have been happy to sell it after about three years. I did not like factory dictates, I knew nothing about the factory being able to charge whatever they wanted to, to the parts statement nor did I know anything about collecting warranties and how the factory could clean your clock on warrranty claims. At that time, prior to in store computers, all claims were submitted by mail and if you submitted a claim and you had not been paid within 90 days and failed to make an inquirey on it, the manafacture no longer owed it to you; this was inspite of whether the claim was properly executed or not. That resulted in a loss from warranty claims of about $58,000.00.
I had a great financial statement within about three years; however, when I took my kids to McDonald's for a burger, Ronald McDonald was not impressed with my financial statement; he wanted a buck in cash for his burger.
By the time that I really "got the hang of it of a new car store" the lack of a further challenge allowed my attention to drift: however, I did know what a gift it was as a method to merchandise used retail vehicles that carried, at that time, a perceived, better reputatin than the vehicles that were setting on an independent used vehicle lot regardless of the fact that over 50% of my used retail vehicle sales had the auto auctions as my point of acquisation.
I did sell it in 1984, after bring together the F-L-M and C-P-D franchizes, all. in the same town.
I have a great deal of experience in retail used cars and trucks, but at this is point in time, it is not current experience; as I have run a successful wholesale operation since 1985, while trying to help a few worthwhile people get into the business for themselves.
I also have experence as a BH/PH dealer, which, I don't brag about; in fact I don't even care to think about it. Quite frankly the BH/PH business was not one of my better ideas. I have been told by several individuals that to have exited the BH-PH business with a $75,000.00 loss in less than a year was doing pretty good for some one that really was not a good collector and did not know how to hire good collectors. I really got of a spanking as I found that it was much easier to put money on the road than it was to get it back.
I am now semi-retired, but I am, at this time, I am helping a good man who is trying to get a start. This was an unfortunate time to jump in, but if you have the moxy and can hold in there and there there will be a lot of money to be made in the future. Clay Co. Automotive Management Corporation (our real name) enjoys a good reputation at every auction where it has ever done busines (from New Hampshire to California) and with every dealer that it has ever dealt with.
In the retail business, if we have a customer that is dissatified for a legitimate reason and we feel that we will be unable to satisfy him with reasonable measures, we will simply write him a check for the vehicle that he purchased and unwind the deal. When I started out on my own, almost 50 years ago, I would have gotten down on the floor and fought with a customer over a dollar; however, after almost 50 successful years, a few dollars more just is not worth what a lot of people think that it is worth.
I have found it much more to my liking to be an independent dealer as it allows you to shift gears as the economy does. You are not in the position of having to eat a lot of unfavorable vehicles just because the manafacture had a schedule that resulted in over production and they were going to shove that production down your throat and let you worry as to how to move it on to the retail sector of the market.
1. I learned little from my successes, but my failures were memorable teachers.
2. Where I come from there are three ways people learn; some learn by observation; some learn by reading; and some have to pee on the electric fence. Unfortunately, I seemed to generally gravitate toward the latter, but I did learn a lot and it certainly stayed with me.
3. Even Super Man did not leap every tall building in a single bound; some times he stubbed his toe and had to get back up, brush himself off, and get ready to fly again.
Activities Away From Work
Traveling, going to the gym, ministering to the homeless, and trying to set an example to newer dealers, that as an automobile person of honesty, integrity, a high standard of ethics and high moral values and by using these standards and showing your employees that you believe in them and use theem daily, makes it much easier to make attatin true success than it is by lieing, cheating, and taking an unfair advantages in a deal. Using these guidelines, you will, at the end of a successful day, week, or month, you have a real sense of satisfaction, success, and every blessing that is attendent to those very positive factors.
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I would like to talk with you about websites and inventory hosting, i to have been in the business for over 20 years most of them as a Dealer. I owned a Saab franchise in Kansas City for about 10 years and an independent store for about 8. Give me a call and let me tell you how we might be able to help.
816 985 2516
David Please contact me at 800 810 2202 ext 1227. I am with Automotive Credit Corp and we do business in your neck of the woods. We are a sub prime lender that does the kind of paper that you seem to be getting. Jeff Carress