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on the cover by John Buelow Principal, CLA Dealerships

Succession Planning A N D T H E I N D E P E N D E N T D E A L E R


t’s impossible to have a conversation about dealership succession planning without talking about the distinct successor challenges facing independent and BHPH dealers compared to dealers in the new franchise space. New car dealers simply have more money, managers, and resources, including the NADA Academy, which grooms the younger generation to become the next leaders. Meanwhile independent dealers carry the financial


burden much more than franchised dealers, and lack that guiding governing body. For these reasons and many others, a succession plan will look and feel different from dealer to dealer in the independent realm. There is simply no “one-size-fits-all” approach, particularly when it comes to training a successor to understand the business. Is it on-the-jobexperience? Is an MBA a must? Or is it the school of hard knocks? Here are a few succession

approaches from the perspective of fathers, sons, and daughters. From both owners and those moving toward the torch, and we begin with an inauspicious note: potential successors might be approaching the business, but on their terms. What dealers may see as a dynasty may not be realized if enough family members aren’t interested in the business down the road. “I think one of the hardest pieces about succession has been the rollercoaster of emotions on whether T e x a s

D e a l e r

July/Special 2016

Profile for Texas Independent Auto Dealers Association

Texas Dealer, July 2016  

Texas Dealer, July 2016  

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