Successful Exiting for Auto Dealers

Posted on March 5th, 2014 at 4:12 PM

By: Robert L. Moshman, Esq.

There are great planning possibilities for owners of automobile dealerships to maintain control, protect assets from creditors, select domiciles, employ trusts, provide advanced succession planning, and engage in serious opportunity shifting.  

Unfortunately, the stereotypical dealership owner will ignore almost all of this advice and do some last-minute planning
instead. Sadly, this will not be sufficient and will shortchange the heirs, the employees, and the legacy of such owners.

However, the coming years will provide a golden opportunity for better planning. And there is a strong third-party marketplace to purchase dealerships in an industry that is rapidly consolidating.

Here, we look at the historical context of the automobile dealership, the applicable planning techniques that can be employed, and the important exit strategies that modern dealership owners can consider.

A Rich History of Failure

America has had a long love affair with the automobile, but the highway to car fame is lined with wrecked companies that did not make it. There were 564 defunct American motor vehicle manufacturers as of 2009.

For example, the Argonaut Company existed from 1959 to 1963 in Cleveland, Ohio, with the dream of making a stainless-steel luxury car with a super-charged V-12 engine that could seat eight people and reach a top speed of 240 miles per hour. It would have been like a cross between an Escalade and the Batmobile. None appear to have been built. But this is America, where it is okay to dream...

For more, read the full PDF here.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: Robert L. Moshman, Moshman, Estate Analyst

Return to Archive



I want to thank you for your excellent professional representation. It was greatly appreciated.

Michael M.


September 22, 2023
State Regulators Maintain Opposition to FINRA's Remote Supervision Pilot Program

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the Public Investor Advocate Bar Association (PIABA) has consistently opposed the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority's (FINRA) proposal for a voluntary three-year pilot program for remote inspections.

September 21, 2023
SEC Charges Private Equity Firm Over Fee Disclosure Failures to Affiliate

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Prime Group Holdings LLC, a private equity firm specializing in alternative real estate asset investments, with
inadequate disclosure of millions of dollars in real estate brokerage fees paid to a brokerage firm owned by its CEO.

September 20, 2023
SEC Orders Legendary Capital Founder and REIT Advisors to Pay Nearly $5 Million

Corey Maple, co-founder of non-traded REIT sponsor Legendary Capital, has agreed to a $100,000 civil penalty to settle charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).