Investing in Car Dealerships: How to Do It Right
The financial characteristics of the automobile dealership are attractive:
". . . moderate growth and risk and high returns. Franchised new car dealer revenues have grown at a 7.2% annual rate since 1992, about twice the rate of GDP. Moreover, this growth has come with only moderate risk, as the dealer body didn't lose money (on a pretax basis) for a single year in the last twenty - even during the 1989-1991 industry down-cycle. Finally, despite major changes in the auto industry's structure, dealer returns have remained high, with pretax ROE averaging 26.1% over the last twenty years". [MerrillLynch, April 19th, 2004 Report on "Automobile Dealers".]
Athletes from almost every major sport have invested in new car dealerships: Rick Hendrick, Roger Penske, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Evander Holyfield, Arnold Palmer, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Alex Rodriguez to name a few.
The idea isn't new. Johnny Lujack, 1947 Heisman Trophy winner and Chicago Bear Pro-Bower, started a business in 1954 that would eventually expand to 16 franchises; spread over 40 acres, with sales of over 10,000 vehicles and $150 million, per year. Lujack retired from the auto business after almost 50 years as a successful dealer.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME?
"This is the time you have been waiting for", reports Greg Gilmore in the June 2005 issue of Dealer Magazine. Dealer Executive reported that last year (2004) ranked as the 4th best for new unit sales by franchised new-vehicle dealers. Total dealership dollars exceeded $714 billion, up more than 2% from 2003.
The fact is that anytime is the right time. In 1991, in the depths of an automotive depression, John Elway asked me, prior to signing his purchase contract, if "this" (1991) was the right time to buy. I told him that it is how you buy it and how you sell it that count. That year he made a $20 million investment. At the time he had a single Mazda store on Arapahoe Road, in Englewood. I sold the Mazda franchise for him and Nissan gave him its franchise to put in the old Mazda building. Shortly thereafter, I put together another transaction that had John buy the Mazda store on 104th Avenue, in Thornton. John then terminated Suzuki and put the Mazda store with his Oldsmobile and Hyundai franchises. After that he bought one more dealership (a Ford franchise) and then, in 1995, sold the entire package to Republic Industries for $86 million.
A lot of people were afraid to buy a dealership in 1991 and thought that John took a big gamble. But, he didn't "gamble". He structured his purchases and sales correctly, and then capitalized on his investment.
For example, although GM and Ford lost money (as they did in 1991), individual dealers made millions, according to NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) and Automotive News statistics, the average dealers' pretax margin varies between one and two percent of their total sales. Why? The dealers capture a broader business base than the manufacturer. While the manufacturer makes its money on new car sales, the dealers have the additional balance of the parts departments, service departments, used car departments, finance departments, insurance departments and, in some instances, body shops. Consequently, while the manufacturer is dependent upon each year's new car sales, a dealer's success is based more on the total number of vehicles in operation.
DOES THE DEALERSHIP'S HISTORY MATTER?
A little, but don't be intimidated by it. After Jimmy Vasser won the CART racing championship for Target, I put together a transaction for Jimmy to buy a dueled Chevrolet-Toyota franchise, in Napa, that lost money for the previous 10 consecutive years. I put Jimmy together with a dealership manager and Jimmy's dad, who had some previous used car experience, signed-on as used car manager.
Subsequently, after going to dealer school and passing through the chairs, Jimmy's dad took over as General Manager; the store thrived; and Jimmy not only bought the dealership land and facility, but bought the Ford store in the next town, and is currently building a new Toyota store so that his Chevrolet and Toyota franchises can have separate facilities.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Good advice. Good advice is both important and hard to find. In the words of Trace Armstrong, past president of the NFL Players Association: "There's just so much bad advice out there being given to these guys. It's really kind of scary." [Reported by Eric Fisher, March 27, 2000.]
As with the Entertainment and Sports Industries, there is so much money in the car business, that everybody wants to get a piece of it. Consequently, everybody thinks he or she is an expert in analyzing and structuring deals, when in fact they just want to be a broker that gets a commission from the deal.Sidebar: New car dealership revenues reached almost One Trillion Dollars in 2004. The dealerships and dealer related industries account of over 15% of the Gross National Product of the United States.
HOW TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL TEAM?
An investor needs a team. Generally, it's the same team they have, supplemented by an expert in the car business. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security that loyalty is synonymous with the "factory" or "bankers".
For example, Ford made one of its black dealers (a superstar athlete) the point man, brokering meetings with senior executives and acting as a conduit between the company and Jesse Jackson. He mediated disputes between Ford and its dealers, and he promoted the company in public appearances. He even had a close relationship with some Ford family members.
"He had some friends in high places," said John Clissold, a retired Ford Credit executive. "[The head of Ford Credit] was a very strong supporter." But, when trouble came, it didn't matter. Business was business. " . . . one factory executive familiar with the situation summed up the prevailing feeling at corporate headquarters: '[the superstar] was headed for a cliff and we weren't going over with him.'" [Story by Bill Vlasic and Mark Truby / The Detroit News Sunday, May 26, 2002.]
The fact is that the factory and bank employees have a duty to do what is best for the factory or bank, not what is best for your client. It's the law. They have a legal obligation to their shareholders - no matter how nice or how close your client is to them.
Financial statements and an accountant are not enough. Your client needs a member of your team that is a student of the industry. A profitable automotive statement can be certified and comply with every principle of accounting, yet still convey a false impression of success. There are so many nuisances in defining and structuring automotive transactions, that your client needs an expert in the field who can determine both what automotive deal is best for the athlete and what is the best way to get it.
So while your team may consist of accountant, attorneys, agents and managers that are excellent at their jobs, unless a student of the industry is added (someone who does nothing but structure buys and sells everyday), a key ingredient to success will be missing.
Think of it in terms of any sport or business. If a person wants to create a championship team in a particular sport, is it created with people who play the game 50% of the time, 75% of the time, or someone who plays it everyday?
Remember: The nicest thing they ever said about Richard Nixon was: "He looks like a used car salesman."
John Pico holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence, is a vice president of Automotive Advisors of America, Inc. and in the last 33 years has completed over 1,000 dealership transactions. In addition to lecturing about buying and selling automobile dealerships, Mr. Pico has published two books and numerous articles on the subject. For more tips, sources and a list of references and experience, go to http//:http://www.automotiveadvisors.com
© Automotive Advisors of America, Inc.
Brokers Suggest Investing in SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SOFI): Read This Before Placing a Bet - Yahoo Finance
Brokers Suggest Investing in SoFi Technologies, Inc. (SOFI): Read This Before Placing a Bet Yahoo Finance
The Best Investing Books of 2023 Business Insider
Gold investing dos & don'ts to know CBS News
Admitting investing mistakes directly leads to making better decisions and, thus, making more money - The Economic Times
Admitting investing mistakes directly leads to making better decisions and, thus, making more money The Economic Times
Leading Voices: Investing in the Future of Care Yahoo Finance
At What Age Should You No Longer Be Investing in Stocks? GOBankingRates
Investing in Nature Is Both Popular and Sound in Minnesota The Nature Conservancy
6 Steps to Get Started With ESG Investing | Investing | U.S. News U.S News & World Report Money
7 ETFs to Bet on a Banking Sector Rebound U.S News & World Report Money
3 Retirement Investing Moves to Help Get You Back on Track The Motley Fool
Investing in Manhattan real estate using 1031 Exchange strategy castle-avenue.com
16 Best Strong Buy Stocks To Invest In Yahoo Finance
Sullivan: Lessons to learn before investing in rental property Columbia Daily Tribune
Opinion | A Conservative Pushback on Socially Conscious Investing The New York Times
Women aren't investing at the same rate as men. Here's why it mattersâ€”and how the gap can be closed - CNBC
Women aren't investing at the same rate as men. Here's why it mattersâ€”and how the gap can be closed CNBC
Why I never invest in bank shares Financial Times
Why Investing at the Last Moment Can Hurt Your Returns The New York Times
3 of Warren Buffettâ€™s biggest investing mistakesâ€”including the â€˜dumbestâ€™ stock he ever bought - CNBC
3 of Warren Buffettâ€™s biggest investing mistakesâ€”including the â€˜dumbestâ€™ stock he ever bought CNBC
Tips regarding ETFs for senior investors Yahoo Finance
U.S. Banking System Faces Worsening Crisis in Confidence Investing.com
EUR/USD Bulls Want Breakout to the Upside Investing.com
5 things you may have missed in investing this week Yahoo Finance
Investing for Teens: What They Should Know Investopedia
Investing in Black America McKinsey
Gold Prices Set to Skyrocket Investing.com
What Is Market Capitulation? Bankrate.com
Investing in Replicate Andreessen Horowitz
Analysts Warn Investors To Dump 10 Big Stocks Before It's Too Late Investor's Business Daily
Investing in Svix Andreessen Horowitz
How Environmentally Conscious Investing Became a Target of Conservatives The New York Times
Wealthfront Launches 'Spotify For Stocks' Platform: What Investors Need To Know - Lucid Gr (NASDAQ:LCID), - Benzinga
Wealthfront Launches 'Spotify For Stocks' Platform: What Investors Need To Know - Lucid Gr (NASDAQ:LCID), Benzinga
Gold Tests $2000 For the Third Time Investing.com
How to Invest $10,000 for Retirement | Retirement | U.S. News U.S News & World Report Money
Here's a Bear Market Lesson You Can't Forget The Motley Fool
Governors Tout Bold Investments in Workforce Development During ... - National Governors Association
Governors Tout Bold Investments in Workforce Development During ... National Governors Association
Investors shelter in short-term Treasurys, reducing Bitcoinâ€™s chance of rallying to $30K - Cointelegraph
Investors shelter in short-term Treasurys, reducing Bitcoinâ€™s chance of rallying to $30K Cointelegraph
Here's How Much Marjorie Taylor Greene May Have Lost From Investing In The Donald Trump SPAC Deal - Digit - Benzinga
Here's How Much Marjorie Taylor Greene May Have Lost From Investing In The Donald Trump SPAC Deal - Digit Benzinga
The TikTok Investors With the Most to Lose From a U.S. Ban The Information
Three things to consider before investing in mobile robotics Design World Network
The Energy Report: No Confidence Investing.com
Opinion | ESG investing is not delivering on promises The Washington Post
What If You Absolutely Positively Could Not Lose - Would You Play the Stock Market?
Seniors on fixed incomes face a unique problem. Where dothey invest their savings to get maximum return on investment with limited risk? Some of the traditional places like CDs and Treasury Notes are extremely safe, however the yields tend to be very low.
Out-Of-State Investors Check List of Questions
The following lists of questions are suggested questions to ask before you plan to purchase residential real estate outside of your neighborhood.It's probably best to speak with at least three licensed real estate sales professionals and three property managers in the area.
Finding the Perfect Company
The perfect company - it's the holy grail of the investment world. The company that will make its initial investment hundreds of times over.
Quit and Retire Three Years Earlier!
For most people, there is a direct correlation between how worried they are about retirement income, and how much they can actually do about it. This is because the more worried you are, the closer you probably are to retirement, and the less time you have to do anything - like save up.
Effective Advice For A New Generation of Investors
CATCHING A FALLING KNIFEOne of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced investors is trying to "catch a falling knife". This is a habit, common among new investors, of buying stocks that are in "freefall", and it's a bad idea for an investment strategy.
How To Find An Investment Advisor
Do you think you need an Investment Advisor? Hold on before you answer because this is sort of a trick question. Also, I am definitely biased because I am an Investment Advisor.
Investing in Car Dealerships: Doing Your Homework
This article attempts to help give the investor a broader basis upon which to decide whether a dealership merits their time, money and attention.Interviewing Factories and Financial InstitutionsLenders have an affirmative duty not to promiscuously disclose the financial condition of their debtors.
An Economical Retirement Investment Plan
The practice of economy, directed toward a retirement investment plan in the stock market, is in itself a source of great revenue. It is the art of making the most out of every stock market investment, with the definite purpose or goal being to provide a life that is fully independent of monetary concerns.
Use this Simple Trick its to Buy $100 Bills Direct from your Bank for only $97
Most People just don't understand the power of using their home as a Wealth Creation Tool. How many people do you know who have lived in the same house for 10, 15 or more years and have virtually no mortgage, You know the Type 'House Rich Cash Poor'.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
I am sure you have probably read about the power of compound interest. And how if you invested $10,000 at 10% return and let it compound for 50 years you would have a little over 1 million dollars.
Bearish or Bullish?
If you are interested in stock investing and the stock market, you may have plenty of questions. Even if you have already started investing, you may still have many questions about the details of the stock market and your options.
How To Create Wealth In The Stock Market
First and foremost, an opportunistic strategy for creating wealth in the stock market is needed. And the opportunistic strategy for creating wealth in the stock market must have two ingredients, a plan and a goal.
Short Term Savings Products
When you invest, it simply means that you are putting your funds in products, in this case short-term savings vehicles, which will allow you to reap high financial rewards.Here is a list of the more common short term savings products you should consider investing in.
Short Selling for Investors
Shorts. Let's see.
Gold and Silver Maple Leafs Get New Packaging
Gold Maple Leafs and Silver Maple Leafs are receiving packaging makeovers, changes clearly mandated by investor disfavor with packaging that the Royal Canadian Mint has used since the coins were introduced. Gold Maple Leafs debuted in 1979, Silver Maple Leafs in 1988.
Angels, Are They Real?
They're real, but few survive. High risk investing is dangerous to your bank balance.
The High Price of Oil
In less than four years, the price of oil has risen about 300%, or over $50 a barrel. The Light Crude Continuous Contract (of oil futures) hit an all-time high at $67.
Now is the Time to Invest for Your Retirement!
Yes, it's the time we've all been waiting for?tax season! We know you've gotten a jump start and filed early this year, right? Of course not, but rather than dreading this part of the year, we should all look to it as a point for new opportunities. Many readers don't realize that even though the New Year has come, they can invest money as if it were still 2004! That's correct, it's not too late.
Choosing A Financial Advisor
With so many financial advisors trying to woo you with their qualifications and experience, how do find one you can trust your finances with? 'Trust' is the keyword here, as you will depend on him/her for your future financial security. A good financial advisor can help you determine which investments are best suited for you, based on your financial goals.
Five Sure Fire Way to Secure Your Financial Future
"You can be poor when you're young, but you can't be poor when you're old." That was the tag line used some years ago in a financial services television commercial.
|home | site map|