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

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