Growing the Minority-dealer Base

Candid insights from dealers and executives

Key takeaways

  • Minority dealers see increasing diversity in the auto industry and dealership landscape
  • At the same time, new market data shows a steady rise in minority car buyers
  • Despite demographic changes, successful minority dealerships must adhere to a unique set of strategies

A report and webcast from BofA features personal perspectives from five successful minority dealers and Chrysler Minority Dealer Association (CMDA) members. Also featured are CMDA Executive Director Mitch Mitchell and Bank of America Dealer Financial Services Market Executive Derek Comestro.

 

Before the U.S. auto market became more diverse, these minority auto dealers forged a path for others to follow. Growing the Minority-dealer Base offers valuable takeaways for established and aspiring auto dealers and executives.

Growing the Minority-dealer Base

While U.S. auto consumers are more diverse than ever, minority dealers must pursue unique strategies to succeed.

Infographic

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"The car business is feast or famine—and a lot of young people may make good money, then have a bad month or year, and jump to another dealership. The advice I give them is to build a strong foundation: Find a place, a home, and stick there. Over the long haul, you’ll come out better and stronger, rather than going from place to place."

“We don’t have enough good people who want to take advantage of opportunities. We have great opportunities in our own auto group. We’re more than happy to support younger people. But it’s about raising your hand."

"In today’s world, you have to learn how the money works. You have to learn how you control expenses, where money goes and comes on a daily basis. And how to keep growing your cash capital. Utilize every technology or software, and surround yourself with people who can keep up with the information."

"Don’t put the money before the feeling. If someone comes to me talking about how much money they want to make in this business—I know it’s not the right person. If you’re here for the money, it’s too hard. You have to have the desire and the passion for the business in order to succeed."

"I think the most important thing might be to make sure you’re putting your money away. Obviously, you want to gain as much knowledge as you can and take every challenge that’s put in front of you. But you have to have money. For me to get into this, I had to leverage my 401k. There’s opportunities out there, but if you don’t have enough money, it’s not going to happen for you."

"Dealers need to cultivate the next group that’s coming up—as businesspeople. They need to make certain they have minority members in the management team, in important meetings, so they gain an understanding of what it takes to run a business. A lot of our candidates understand how to sell cars, and run a retail auto operation, but don’t understand how to run a business."

"If you do have ownership aspirations, try to create a transition buyout plan with your existing owner. If that is not available, try to partner with a silent investor, or another individual who can help with the capital, but let you run your business. OEMs, lenders and buy-sell brokers can often help identify potential partners who have a desire to grow their current dealer business, or an outside party looking to enter or deploy capital in the industry."