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NABD 2009 Draws Experienced Dealers, BHPH Newcomers

May 21, 2009

LAS VEGAS — Organizers and more than 1,500 attendees of the National Alliance of Buy Here Pay Here Dealers' NABD 2009 conference took Las Vegas by storm last week, sharing secrets for success in a rapidly expanding segment of auto retail finance.

"Attendees learned about the new BHPH profit opportunities which exist today and those who attended this conference are now prepared to capitalize on them," said CPA and Conference Chairman Ken Shilson. "The BHPH segment is where the money will be made over the next several years in the automotive industry!"

To accommodate dealers who are new to in-house financing, the program included a workshop designed to offer practical advice for setting up a BHPH operation for the first time. Other highlights included sessions focused on finding capital, a cornerstone of the segment, including a question-and-answer session with capital providers, and an inspiration keynote address from former Pittsburgh Steelers star and Vietnam War hero Rocky Bleier — one of 60 featured speakers.

"Dealers need to make money now and that is where BHPH comes in," said Special Finance contributor and trainer Rob Hagen. "At NABD 2009, I got to listen to some extremely successful BHPH dealers talk about some of the best business decisions they have made."

Those dealers included Lawrence Meade, owner of Easton Motors of Wisconsin, Rob Palmer, a tremendously successful J.D. Byrider dealer with stores in three states, and Blake Ingram, owner of Dallas' Auto City.

"Manage by numbers," Palmer told the crowd. "That is the only way you can be successful in BHPH. ... Manage your numbers against historical data and benchmarks."

"We opened a second brand that has an average ACV of $3,000 and it has really been great for stretching our capital," Ingram added, "and we still make the same grosses we have become accustomed to on our higher brand."

Sessions focused on increasing cash flow from existing operations also drew crowds, including such topics as payment assurance devices, maximizing recoveries, dealer software solutions and leadership enhancement skills.

“This show was far and away the best event I have ever attended," said Rick Potter, president of Peachtree City, Ga.-based CAR Financial Services. "The participation in this event says a lot for our industry, particularly given the economic environment we are enduring."

Hagen agreed. "I want to tip my cap to Ken Shilson and everyone at NABD," he said. "They put on a great show and showed dealers where they can still find profits, even in a down market."

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