Car Dealer Insider Dec 1, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider Dec 1, 2008

Dealership survival smarts: playing the new buy-sell game

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Dealership survival smarts: playing the new buy-sell game

As automobile dealership profits continue to decline, banks tighten their lending, and the Detroit Three teeter on the brink of bankruptcy, two groups of dealers are rapidly expanding: those who are eager to jump ship and those who are like deer caught in headlights. But before you make any decisions - or passively accept the consequences of indecision - there are several things you must truly understand:

  1. The current state of your business
  2. Your "destination decision" - where you see your dealership a year or more down the road
  3. Today's lackluster buy-sell environment _That's the message shared by three dealership specialists - Conrad Druker, a CPA and financial consultant; Todd Berko, a business broker specializing in dealership sales; and Joseph Aboyoun, an attorney specializing in dealership mergers and acquisitions - at a recent workshop titled "The Next Generation? Charting and Executing the Right Path" at dealership trade association NJ CAR's recent annual meeting.

"I've had too many people come and say they should've gotten out a year ago, they've added a second mortgage, they've lost another million, or they've put up some personnel assets," said Joe, who has handled hundreds of purchas-es and sales of car dealerships over nearly three decades. He is a member of law firm Aboyoun & Heller, LLC (

"We're not suggesting you just throw up your hands and walk away - there may still be ways to make money. You need to look at what you need to do to stay alive - or decide if you can't make that gap," said Joe. "The first thing you've got to figure out is where you are and what you're going to do."

Conrad, managing principal of business consulting and accounting firm Mercadien, P.C. ( and chairman of its Law Firm Services Division, added, "You have to realistically evaluate... (312 of 1248 words)

Also in this Issue:

  • Auto group strives for additional healthcare savings (603 words)
  • Dealers confront pay plans in a down market (300 words)
  • News Ideas (268 words)
  • News You Can Use (180 words)
  • Stronger dealers ditch unnecessary expenses as auto industry unravels (800 words)
  • Trend Spotting (289 words)
  • With reduced staffing levels, what happens to dealership work schedules? (297 words)
  • You Make The Call: The dos and don'ts of genetic information in your workplace (565 words)