Carvana has expanded into two more markets.
The online-focused used-car group now operates in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Louisville, Ky. These are Carvana’s first forays into these two states.
Carvana now has locations in 31 markets.
Carvana has expanded into two more markets.
CarMax Reports Growth in Latest Quarter
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CarMax Inc. reported higher net sales and operating revenues for the quarter ended Aug. 31.
Net sales and operating revenues increased 9.7 percent to $4.39 billion.
Used unit sales in comparable stores increased 5.3 percent.
Total used unit sales rose 11.1 percent.
Total wholesale unit sales increased 0.4 percent.
CarMax Auto Finance income increased 12.5 percent to $107.9 million.
Net earnings increased 11.7 percent to $181.4 million.
Small Businesses Remain Upbeat But Cautious
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The National Small Business Association released its 2017 Mid-Year Economic Report where the small-business outlook on the overall economy is at its highest point in seven years despite growing frustration over elected officials’ inability to enact needed reforms.
Among the most positive findings: 45 percent of small businesses say today’s economy is better than six months ago; 83 percent are confident in the future of their business; and the number of small-business owners who said “economic uncertainty” was a significant challenge to the future growth and survival of their business dropped to 36 percent, the lowest this indicator has been since February 2008.
Unfortunately, there were less-positive results as well: there was a drop in the number of small businesses anticipating economic expansion in the next 12 months; slightly fewer businesses reported revenue growth in the past year; and even fewer small-business owners reported hiring in the past 12 months or plans to do so in the coming 12 months.
The 2017 Mid-Year Economic Report was conducted online July 24 through Aug. 14, among 1,134 small-business owners.
Dealer Shares Tale Of Recovery After Disaster
The news of the hurricanes in Houston and Florida brought back some bad memories for Oklahoma dealer Roy Sisco.
Sisco, 70, had a Ford dealership in Seminole, Okla., and a couple of other buy-here, pay-here lots when he went through an historic flood. He had only owned the dealership for two years when the disaster struck.
“We’re about 60 miles east of Oklahoma City,” he said, “and we went through this back in July of ’07.
“It had been 50 years since the area had a flood like that,” he said. “The last time it had flooded was in 1954 or ’55.”
Heavy rains caused a local creek to flood and it flowed right into Sisco’s dealership.
“It had flooded the car lot. We had about a foot of water in the showroom,” he said. “So we really had some stuff going on there.”
One big problem for Sisco is he was out of town at the time.
“We were racing at the track, so I was in Tulsa at the time,” he said. “We were starting to come back home when the rain started. We had a living quarters in the race trailer, so we just pulled over and went to sleep.”
Sisco didn’t think it was a big deal, even as it rained all night long.
“Next morning, my phone was ringing and someone said, ‘Roy, you gotta’ get to Seminole, it’s flooded over there.’”
Sisco said when he arrived home, he saw flooding “a quarter-mile-wide all the way down” Oklahoma State Highway 99 and U.S. 377 to his dealership.
“It just looked like a big river,” Sisco said. “It was a kind of a sick feeling. It was a bewildered-type of feeling.
“It’s something you don’t think about and then it’s up on you. It’s just one of those deals.”
The good thing is the in-house finance lots were on higher ground in a different town.
But at the Ford lot, about 250 to 300 vehicles were damaged.
Since it was a Ford dealership, the manufacturer stepped up and took care of its damaged inventory, Sisco said.
“They took every one of their flooded vehicles out of there and crushed them,” he said.
The bad news came when Sisco inquired about his insurance.
“We had been paying for flood insurance and thought we had it,” he said. “I was a country boy and didn’t understand about insurance. But we first got the insurance policy, we had flood insurance, so I thought I was covered.”
Sisco called his local agent and the agent thought there was coverage, too.
His insurance did cover the building and some of the costs of the furniture.
“They didn’t pay a whole lot, but they did pay a little bit,” he said.
The problem was that the used inventory on his lot was not covered.
“About the third day in, my local agent came down and he was just sick. He said, ‘Roy, I hate to tell you. But they will not cover the flood.’”
Sisco said each year he gets a new policy and he signs it for the annual coverage. But at some point, the insurance company stopped carrying flood insurance.
“He pulled my policy book and we looked at it,” Sisco said. “That was about an inch thick. Right toward the end, about three pages from the back, there it was (buried at the end of the paperwork).”
Sisco said he protested the issue all the way up to the state insurance commissioner, but in the end, he was not covered for the used vehicles.
“It was about $750,000,” he said.
Sisco described his mindset when he got the news.
“If you really want to know the truth of it,” he said. “I sat down out there and just thought, ‘Now Lord, you gave me this dealership, so how am I going to get through this? How are you going to work this out so I can survive?’”
The dealership re-opened right away, but it took a while for Sisco and his business partner to get all the way back.
They sat down and made out a plan and just went to work.
On the vehicles they couldn’t collect insurance on or repair, they sold for scrap.
“On the ones that only had a little bit of water damage but didn’t get into the motor, we pulled the carpet and cleaned them,” he said. “I borrowed a lot of money and started working and it took me a long time.
“I think we finally paid it off about two years ago. We finally worked our way out of the hole.”
He understands the struggle that dealers in Houston and Florida will have to go through.
“Ain’t no doubt, they are going to be hurting,” he said. “They’re going to be doing just like we were – trying to work their way out of this.”
They face a worse challenge, Sisco said, because they will be dealing with saltwater from the ocean, as opposed to fresh water.
However, he said even these dealers have the ability to come back from this.
“What I’m saying is, son, don’t give up,” he said.
Today, Sisco still has Seminole Ford, his franchise, and has one Town and Country Auto Inc., a buy-here, pay-here store. He even has a new facility to go with his old building.
Just a month before his 71st birthday, Sisco is still working hard, but he keeps an eye on the creek, too.
“We’re doing pretty good now,” he said. “We still don’t have flood insurance, but when that creek starts rising, we start moving vehicles.”