Market Conditions Commentary
Closing thoughts on a world record year
by Robert Hollenshead
Dec 24 2012 3:53PM

When I was young I hated listening to “old” people say how time was flying.  It was so ridiculous.  When I was in school time went backwards.  Later, when I was in the Marine Corps I always said that if I were to catch a terminal disease I would re-enlist because time stands still in there, you’d live forever.    But I can’t lie to anybody about this, 2012 took about  4 seconds.  This is out of control.  This is the last sale of the year and I don’t have a clue where the other 76 sales went.

They must have happened however because I am sitting at my desk looking at the numbers and thanks to all of you, the dealers we do business with, at your stores, at the auction, on simulcast, and on our product you know as Trade in Marketplace, it was a record year.

I bought and sold more cars than anyone in the history of the car business…by a multiple.  From one location (and a terrible one at that as any of you that have been there know) 27,680 units were bought and sold and we priced and guaranteed the price on another 2,000,000.    This has never happened before in the history of the car business.  Needless to say, in a market where fewer cars were sold we sold more.  In an auction environment that sees lower conversion rates and lower volume due to a myriad of reasons, we sold more.

My intention is to smash these numbers in the year to come.  I won’t be able to do anything without you and the people that work for our companies.  I deeply appreciate every one of you as dealers we do business with or as employees that work with us.  A dream remains a dream until it is put into action and it isn’t possible to do what we do without the trust of the people we do business with and the dedication and hard work of our people. 

Thanks to all of you.  I hope everybody has a spectacular Holiday and please take one second to think about how lucky we are to have the businesses we have and to be in the circumstances we are in.   By exercising our right to be in business for ourselves we have the wonderful experience of success or failure measured only by our wit and will to work and sacrifice.  We are taking advantage of our freedom that was guaranteed to us by our Constitution.   It is easy to take our freedom for granted and forget what it means.  It takes a day like today when there are a few seconds at the end of the year to think about it.  It leaves me humbled.   Maybe I’m just getting too many miles and need a good clocking. 

Have a chillofied Holiday and we’ll see you on the block for the final sale of the year…unbelievable.


5 Readers' Comments

Bill Simmons
VA 23235
11 years ago
That took a lot of "get up early and going to bed late" to make that happen. Congrats on our great year Bob.
Bill Simmons
Haley Toyota Certified Center

Robert Hollenshead
PA 17545
11 years ago
Thank you very much Bill. You have been a great partner on simulcast. If you ever have any issues with our merch, please contact me direct. Thanks again .

Ben Houser
PA 18080
11 years ago
Mr. Hollenshead, I'm 23 and just got into the car business. It's been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I worked my rear end off to be able to start a dealership on my own and without a floorplan. Someone I know used to be a dealer principal at a new car store and he always told me, "when you get your license, you make sure you find bob hollenshead down at manheim PA. He'll take care of you like nobody else."

This past Friday, I finally got lucky on simulcast and bought something from you for the first time. Even when I don't plan on buying something from the auction, I always enjoy listening to your commentaries in the lane. It always makes my Friday morning, that's for sure!

Merry Christmas and I look forward to doing more business with you in the future!

Robert Hollenshead
PA 17545
11 years ago
If I can give you some advise, don't ever get a floor plan either. I've never had one. It makes you work harder and faster as well as really feel the pain when you make a mistake. For every dollar you make save 90 cents. Live on the ten cents. Save every dollar you can and don't spend it like you are making it.

I can tell you that I have watched hundreds of could guys that have a floor plan that get fat and lazy and wind up losing everything with an excuse. From my point of view it is almost always getting lazy with money. It has to turn and you can not burn.

I started when I was 20 and I have never regretted it. Good luck to you my boy. Get up early and go to bed late. You'll be surprised how "lucky" you'll get.

Yakov Bandura
NY 13206
11 years ago
Hi Bob,

It's been an awesome year for us. Thank you for all your help and all the cars that you've sold us. I see profit in all the merchandise you sell me. Enjoy your holidays. I'll see you on Simulcast this Friday to wrap up 2012. Looking forward to 2013. Merry Christmas to you and your family. God Bless!!!

Yakov Bandura
Owner of Highline Motor Works
Syracuse, NY