Our People
ROBERT M. HOLLENSHEAD, Founder, the Company’s heart
Robert started his wholesale operation in 1972 in Philadelphia, PA. He is the largest independent wholesale car dealer in history, with annual revenues approaching $500,000,000.00. He has profound knowledge of the psychology of both sides of the business, wholesale and retail. Having spent the past decades buying (off the street), selling by hand and obviously in the auction lane, reconditioning, transporting, importing, exporting… to five continents (before it was cool), and thinking.

Robert's thinking has led to many innovations for the wholesale industry, a few of which are:  the first Dealer Trade lanes before there were dealer trade lanes, the first Exotic Sale in the country, Wreck Check (long before CarFax), Bid the Load (now Central Dispatch), Buyfigure, which was the blue print used, as documented, in the Veritec patent bought by Hearst/Black Book, BuyBook Technologies (the theory and the value engine that powers AutoTrader’s Trade in Marketplace), Spotters, Automated Diminished Value (soon to be used by anyone that has had an accident , fixed their car, and found out their car had a drastically diminished value, but could do nothing about it), and many others. The latter will fundamentally change the way we value, trade and liquidate automobiles.

The theory used in the BuyBook process was developed a decade before any of the internet initiatives that are in use today. It all started while Robert was in the process of buying an auction from his mentor and theoretical partner, Al Balis. Al has since passed on to a different world and hopefully met our Creator. There is no doubt that he is buying and selling something in the ever after. We don't believe that they drive there, so it's not cars, but for sure it is something (if you listen very hard on a clear evening, you can hear him yupping the bid in the background).

Robert is the designer and custodian of Soledad Gardens (www.soledadmansion.org).  Formal gardening, painting in the social realist form, sculpture, pre-colonial cultures of South America, and traveling are his passions. He has been to 74 counties and is a student of the historic relation between culture and cuisine. He uses the shovel, brush, and canvas to reveal his soul to anyone inclined to have a look.

Robert is a Marine Corps vet, and a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Marxist/ Leninist economics.