Home Blog

All-New Suzuki Vitara 2016 – The Compact SUV Re-Invented

The all-new Vitara is the latest offering from the Suzuki stable. There is no doubt that Suzuki has re-invented the compact SUV in all-new Vitara, which is all set to smash the automobile market. It may even become a rocking hit. There are many buyers who can't afford to pay big money to own an SUV, for them, the all-new Suzuki Vitara is the best affordable compact SUV in its segment. Without a doubt, many small hatch car buyers will now have to think twice before finalizing their decision to buy the vehicle.

The automobile market has become quite competitive and Suzuki has introduced this compact SUV to retain its fair market share. The all-new Suzuki Grand Vitara starts from $ 22,990 (on-roads costs extra) – its specs coupled with pleasant fuel economy figures should attract more than a few buyers from the usual small hatches. This car is available in 2 specs and both are well equipped. The entry level RT-S ($ 22,990 plus on-roads costs) comes in front-wheel-drive only and the RT-X ($ 24,990 plus on-roads costs) offers all-wheel-drive and a standard auto.

The new car is the makeover of the Vitara nameplate; however, it is not the successor of the current Grand Vitara. On the contrary, this small wonder competes against style-driven compact SUVs like the prosaic Ford Eco Sport or the Renault Captur. This new car is ideal for a week in the city, with adequate flexibility to drive towards the beach on the weekends. It is adorned with a sunroof, leather seats and little extras to justify its extra cost.

Suzuki strongly believes in Vitara's personalization choices as the key to the car's success. 6 paint finishes are available out of which 3 come with a contrasting black roof as a $ 995 alternative.

Undeniably, this compact re-invented SUV is quite promising!

The Drive

The all-new Suzuki Vitara is powered by an efficient 1.6-liter petrol engine with VVT that renders 86kW of power @ 6,000 RPM and 156Nm of torque @ 4,400 RPM. It comes with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic, front wheel drive for the RT-S model and a 6-speed automatic, four-mode all wheel drive for the RT-X model. It is equipped with Mac Pherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension. It has got electric power steering, solid rear rotors, ventilated front rotors and 4 wheel disc brakes.

Suzuki's expertise dates back to 1970s when it introduced its first LJ10 series. That car has developed over the course of time into the Jimny, which is available to this day. Since then, Suzuki hasn't looked back and has been successfully manufacturing and supplying small, light and amazingly capable compact 4×4 vehicles. No doubt, this new Car is certainly focused towards city driving; however, that strong DNA has assisted in designing the current vehicle. Driving the manual car in the city is a breeze and it brings to attention a smart shifting box and a pleasant feel of the clutch, which makes it quite easy to drive. There are no glitches to maintain the highway limit; however, it is recommended to leave adequate space while overtaking.

  • RT-S variant render front wheel drive only, which is a good option for the first time or young car buyers who just want to drive in the city and highways.
  • RT-X variant is equipped with impressive all-paw traction with an automatic transmission and is perfect for those who are looking for all-wheel-drive grip.

The system will supply power to the rear wheels as it discovers grip when left in auto mode on gravel. To respond to low-traction surfaces, 'snow and mud' setting pre-emptively divides power to the rear axle from a standstill and fine-tune the ESP. Between the front and rear axles, a 4×4-lock mode allocates an even 50:50 torque split and to keep revs up, sports mode changes the automatic shift points. Additionally, on tight and zigzag roads, sports mode shuffles torque to the rear axle and ends up being quite a bit of fun. As far as the ride quality is concerned, Vitara is firm and at no stage, it feels too stiff, nor does the suspension hop or stammer on uneven roads. The steering is sharp, which carries a nice weighting and is pinpoint exact, which is something that you would not always expect from an SUV.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is the center of attraction. As per the official figures, the RT-S manual renders 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers and the RT-X renders 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers.

Safety

The all-new Grand Vitara is equipped with seven airbags (dual side, dual front, driver's knee and full-length curtain), ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, hill descent control, front height adjustable seatbelts with load limiting pre-tensioners, a reversing camera and hill hold (auto only).

The Interior

The interior of Vitara has been smartly made that strikes and impresses you. It is well built and set up for practicality.

You can customize the decor panel and air-con vent rings with an option of changeable panels that ranges from a bold orange to a vibrant turquoise or contemporary stark white, to a more refined gloss black for a small additional cost.

The Vitara has good space inside in spite of its compact external dimensions. While driving, you get a clear front view as well as good all-round visibility, all because the driving position is higher than the usual. The front seats are quite comfy for a longer drive, provides adequate thigh support, and well-shaped bolstering.

It is equipped by decent boot space of 375 liters, which outstrips the Mazda CX-3 and Holden Trax. To locate smaller items, there is a pocket on each side and an underfloor compartment to hide valuables.

RT-S variant: Single-zone climate control, cloth trim, remote central locking, power windows and mirrors, cruise control with speed limiter, trip computer, leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch gray alloy wheels and analogue clock.

RT-X variant: (In addition to RT-S): Electric panoramic sunroof, proximity key and push-button start, electric folding mirrors with indicators, leather and suede seat trim, front and rear park sensors, 17-inch polished alloy wheels , auto lights and wipers and LED low-beam headlights.

Infotainment: Four speakers (RT-S) or six speakers (RT-X) audio, seven-inch touch screen, satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Mirror Link (for compatible smart phones) and iPod USB connectivity.

Luggage Capacity: 375 liters, which is stretchable through 60:40 split fold rear seats.

Summing Up

The Suzuki brand has a brilliant history for manufacturing SUVs. The all-new Vitara is built focusing the tight corners for city driving. Vitara's compact dimensions are just perfect for zipping through the busy city streets, which is nicely mingled with roomy and elegant interiors and boasts of a fantastic infotainment system. It shines on the road and is an excellent buy for young buyers. People who can afford RT-X variant will get hold of the all-road grip (4-wheel-drive).

The Common Causes of Road Traffic Accidents

In this article we are going to look at the most common causes of road traffic accidents that are in turn leading to accident compensation claims being made.

Intoxication

Many accidents are caused by drivers who are intoxicated from alcohol or drugs.

Bad Weather

One of the biggest causes of road traffic accidents is bad weather conditions. The weather can cause bad visibility or cause bad traction on the road surface which can in turn lead to vehicles colliding with each other or objects such as walls. Other unexpected weather conditions such as flash flooding and black ice can lead to accidents as it is to late to detect it until it has affected you.

Driver Error

Probably the largest cause of road traffic accidents currently is driver error. These are range from following cars too closely, falling asleep at the wheel, driving too fast, unsafe overtaking and many other careless and unnecessary mistakes.

Distractions

This is linked to driver error but is more about the driver being distracted by something outside the car or inside the car. Many accidents are caused by drivers actually being distracted by another accident happening on the road. But even things such as changing cds, looking at your mobile phone or checking out your make up in the mirror can all cause accidents. Basically anything that's makes you take your eyes off the road can create disastrous situations on the road.

Road Design

Sometimes accidents are caused by bad road design. This is when a part of the road or traffic control has been poorly placed or designed and can lead to increased accidents in the area. This could be anything from poorly placed signs blocking your view of incoming traffic at intersections to dangerous turnings off of busy roads. Sometimes accidents caused by poor road design will mean that the government or council will be liable.

Vehicle defects

Sometimes a road traffic accident will be caused by a defect in the driver's vehicle. These defects can be anything from brake failure to a tire bursting. Vehicle defects can cause an accident on the road, but sometimes these defects will cause more damage in an accident caused by something else. For example some cars will have defective airbags which do not deploy correctly, meaning people involved in accidents may suffer worse injuries. Also some SUV / people carrier style cars are prone to rolling easier which will result in worse injuries for the passengers.

4 Smart Driving Tips for Extreme Weather Conditions

Extreme weather condition is like a bear attack. One can get trapped in adverse weather at any moment and is sure to get confused between what to do & what not to do. It is said that the best way to avoid any disaster is by not driving in such weather conditions. However, life often throws emergency situations, when one is compelled to take the plunge, and drive in acute conditions. In such situations, the most effective defense driving technique is to slow down the speed of the car. Given below are a few of the other driving tips for handling such crisis situations:

Beware of Fog

Fog is considered as the most dangerous of all weather conditions. To get a proper view of the road, wipers and defroster are a must. It is advisable to turn on low beam headlights and cut down the speed, thereby increasing the following distance. Rearview mirrors must be checked frequently for keeping an eye on the approaching vehicles from behind.

Keep a Check on Traction

Wet road surfaces may often lead tires to hydroplane, as a result of which, one might lose control over speed. While driving, if one feels that tires have lost traction with the surface of the road, then it is recommended to take the foot off the accelerator and let the car slow down. However, one should not try to stop the car unless the tires are gripping the road again. Using tires with adequate water channeling treads and keeping a regular check on them can reduce the chances of the occurrence of hydroplaning.

Do not Take Hot Weather Lightly

An eye on the warning lights and gauges, particularly, the temperature gauge, is a must while driving in hot weather. If the temperature gauge rises up to the red zone, turn off the air conditioner and turn on the vehicle's heater to its highest and hottest setting. This will help in drawing away heat from the engine. One must never attempt to remove the radiator cap while the car remains hot. It is best to wait until the engine cools down.

Be Careful with Snow and Ice

It becomes extremely difficult to drive with snow covering streets and roads. It becomes more hazardous when the snow starts to melt. Hence, it is wise to keep the windows and the windshields clear. Further, one should avoid taking fast turns, quick stops, or shifting to lower gear before going down a steep hill.

These are a few of the simple and essential tips that will help in making the travel safer. Apart from following these tips, it is also important to check whether the vehicle itself is properly maintained and fit for driving in rough conditions. For replacement parts & spares, one may get in touch with a reputed auto parts dealer, which supplies genuine & reliable products.

Taking Advantage of Used Cars

Used cars generally offer second hand cars at very low selling price like 50% off their brand new selling price. Some may be 4 to 5 years old but they are properly maintained and their qualities are still well preserved. One advantage of buying a used car is that you can own top of the line high quality cars like BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi, Rolls Royce or Bentley and Lexus at very affordable rates. These used car sale are generally in good working condition and very reliable for long term use because they are well engineered and designed to last for many years.

Examples of great deals at used car sale are: a BMW saloon for only less than £ 2000, an Audi for only £ 5000, a Mercedes Benz for only £ 5500, and a 2002 Volvo for only £ 3000. These are just one of the many great deals you can have at used car sale outlets. If you are sports enthusiasts and you want to drive your own sports car like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Jaguar, and Porsche; you can easily find one at used car sale dealers that fits well within your budget. Such great deals are: A 2008 Ferrari Spider for only £ 24,000, a Maserati 2000 GT 3200 Coupe for only £ 13,000, a Lamborghini for only £ 65,000, a 2003 Porsche for only £ 13,000, and a Jaguar 1999 S-type for only £ 3,000.

Now, can you imagine that you can drive your own Jaguar sports car for only £ 3000 or a Ferrari for only £ 24,000? Such amazing deals can only be available at used car dealer there are many selections of vehicles to choose from like smart vehicles for maximum fuel efficiency, to hummers and land rovers for adventure, off-road and outdoor activities. Just name what you want and you can absolutely get great deals at used car sale dealers. Take advantage of it.

Car Rental History

The meaning of a "Car" (automobile) by definition – is a wheeled vehicle that carries its own motor and transports passengers. Cars as we know them wasn't fabricated in a by a single originator – the progression history of cars took effect all over the world in the 19th century and the start of the 20th century – and it is estimated that around hundred thousand of patents been registered.

Car rental companies came a short while after cars became popular. Rent-a-car agency is a corporation that allows someone to use their car in return for regular fees. Today most car rentals company's got local branches primarily located close by airports or at big cities.

The largest motor company in the world today is Ford and is a primary piece of the car rental history. Henry Ford started a small workroom in his backyard. Fords vision was to make cars financially manageable and directed at every person.

Landmark Ford models contain the Model T (over ten million were built until 1925), and also Ford V8 (which used by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow – known as Bonny and Clyde the famous bank robbers).

The rental car manufacturing had its commencement nearly fastened to Ford's presentment of the "frugal" type of "Model T" – which was in 1908.

Car Rental history started at 1916 by Nebraskan goes by the name of Joe Saunders which was reputedly the first human being to run a car rental business.

Joe let out the Ford Model T and rented it to representative businesses that showed around and needed a car because he wanted to take a native girl out.)

Car rental companies mainly function as an alternative for someone who his car is briefly impossible to reach or broken.

The first big rental company started at September 1918 by Walter Jacobs – a 22 year old at the time from Chicago – opened a rent-a-car business. He began with twelve Model T cars, but within 5 years the firm was producing revenue of $ 1 million annual incomes. John Hertz – owner of a few local cab companies purchased Jacob's place, and that way it got the name "Hertz".

The car rental industry is in a radical manner competitive in the last 50 years, and there's a lot of small renting companies all around the world, European companies like Europcar and even there are big local companies in the Middle East like car rental in Israel companies such as Eldan. There are 2 primary types of car rental corporations: corporations that own fleet of cars (a group of cars operated under integrated supervision), and corporations which control on a middleman ideal – and have cooperation with car hire companies to provide approach to their cars.

Benefits of Repairing That Rock Chip in Your Windshield

So you are driving down the highway, and a semi truck pulls in front of you. Then out of nowhere a small rock, the size of your pinky, slams into your windshield. And like that, you have an expensive fix on your hands. The benefits of repairing that rock chip in your windshield is two fold. If you don't, that little chip can turn into something much worse, if you don't, it can also cause you to have to replace the whole window. Because of this, and because most people aren't made out of money, it is always a good idea to fix these before they get worse.

One of the benefits of repairing that rock chip in your windshield is protecting that chip from turning into something much worse. That rock chip is liable to spread over the whole windshield and turn into something much worse. Because of the amount of pressure the windshield is under, a little rock chip can cause an incredible amount of damage beyond what you can even see. This is because of the amount of pressure it is under, and especially amount of pressure a windshield is under when driving full speed. Which adds an incredible amount of even more pressure to it. Depending on the out side temperature, it could make is spread quicker as well.

This may not seem like a big deal, but when dealing with it in your windshield, it is a huge deal, and should be dealt with accordingly. One of the best methods to getting this fixed, is not replacing your windshield at all. Instead, you can have a liquid of some sort pushed into the rock chip itself, and this will in turn reinforce the damaged glass, and help alleviate any potential for a crack to spread across the window.

So in the end, the thing you want to look at the most when dealing with a rock chip is what is involved in the process of fixing it. This is very important when dealing with rock chips in the windshield, and very important to the safety of the passengers as well, considering what a cracked windshield could eventually do to the people inside the car. So the safety is important for your windshield to be well maintained, and the safety of the people in the car, and the people around you on the road. This is all important to consider.

How to Make Your Vehicle Last Longer

Before the economy took a turn for the worst people were trading in their old vehicles and getting new ones when theirs didn't look so great or when they wanted something new. However, with a recent change in the economy more and more people are unable to afford new vehicles, even pre-owned new vehicles. So, it is important that you find ways to make your vehicles last longer and keep yourself happy as well. There are many ways to improve your vehicles appearance after damage or ways to spice it up! Find out what you can do to make your vehicle last longer.

You can first start by keeping your vehicle clean inside and out. You should make it a habit to wash your vehicle once a week or when it gets dirty. You should also be sure to give a good coat of wax every time you wash it also to protect the paint. Without the protection that the wax gives you paint will oxidize and become dull. An auto detailing service is a great service to get if your vehicle needs a little extra TLC. A professional auto detailer will get your vehicle looking its best! Having a clean car will help you too since it has even been proven that having a clean car will even improve your mood as well!

You should also always take care of any auto body repairs as soon as possible. When you have auto body damage it really has a negative effect on your vehicles appearance. Most people don't realize that there are many auto body repairs that can be completed and that most of them can be completed quickly, and the best part is that they are affordable. Some auto body repairs that can be completed include bumper repair, windshield repair, wheel rim repair, paint touch up, paintless dent removal, auto body repairs, and more. Getting your vehicles auto body repaired will get your vehicle looking great and for much less than buying a new car will cost you. A new car will cost you thousands while auto body repairs average only in the hundreds.

If your car is already in good shape but you just need to spice it up a little you can do that. There are many upgrades available for car owners now, the problem is that so many of them cost a lot of money. However there is a great upgrade you can get for your vehicle that doesn't cost a lot, will make your vehicle look great, and has added benefits as well. That upgrade is window tint! Window tint will provide you privacy, security, protection from UV Rays, keep your vehicle cooler, protect your vehicles interior, save you money on gas, and best of all it will really enhance the appearance of your vehicle!

Most auto reconditioning shops offer all of the services mentioned above. So, get your current vehicle looking great for a lot less than a new car and you will be feeling great too!

Tips for Driving Cross Country

Driving cross country, it's considered the ultimate road trip. Having the independence of seeing the Country in a way that is not possible by taking a plane is a very satisfying and liberating experience. The drive can also be a tough one. For those who haven't driven for long periods of time, the trip can be grueling unless you're mentally and physically prepared. I have made the trip four times, each time getting easier gaining experience of the do's and don'ts related to the drive. Your trip needs to be well planned out starting with what time of the year you want to travel to how much weight is in the car. These factors will seriously affect your trip and can determine how long it will take you to get to your destination.

In my experience, spring and fall are best for traveling. Your car will perform better in milder weather; You'll burn less oil and get better gas mileage not running your air conditioner if traveling in the summer heat which is extremely hard on your car, and you'll also avoid ice and snow if traveling in the winter. Roads are a lot rougher in the winter since icy roads and snow take their toll creating potholes and other road hazards.

Milder weather will also make your trip easier if you happen to blow out a tire or run into some car trouble. Sitting in a car that does not start in the heat of the summer or cold of winter is not fun. If you happen to breakdown, you can still enjoy being outdoors while waiting for assistance.

Checking your tires for correct pressure and foreign objects like nails or worn treads is a necessity before starting your journey. If you see anything out of the ordinary on your tires, have them checked or replaced by a mechanic before the trip. And of course, you absolutely must check your spare. Your spare will be a life saver if you blow a tire in the middle of nowhere. Next, an oil change. During the course of the 3000 plus miles you'll be driving, you'll have used up the recommended duration of a normal oil change interval in a matter of a few days. A few extra quarts of oil is a good idea if your car is burning more than normal amount of oil. In the same category as oil, the other vital fluids in your car should be checked; radiator, brake, power steering and even windshield wiper fluid must be checked and filled if low.

Now that your car is in shape to make the journey, you need to pack for the trip. Depending on who is traveling with you, there are a few options to consider. Comfortable clothes like sweats are ideal since you'll be sitting for long periods of time. Having a light weatherproof jacket is also needed. Flashlight, batteries, a gallon of water are a must have. Getting a gas card is something to look into, having a separate card that is not in your wallet but in your glove compartment is a smart idea just in case you happen to loose your wallet, you can still buy gas and get to your destination.

Finding The Best SUV For The Money

Everybody has different tastes so it's not likely we can agree on what the best SUV for 2012 will be. Although tastes may differ we can compare some of the features of the best performing SUVs. In the following article we will look at the five basic qualities a good SUV should have. These are – affordability, sleekness, insurance costs, number of sales and fuel efficiency. The SUVs that I talk about below are top performers in at least one of these categories.

One of the best looking SUVs is the Chevrolet equinox. Not only is it sleek; it is fairly easy on the wallet. With quality exteriors and a luxurious interior design, this automobile is indeed a beauty. In fact, auto reviews rate this sports utility vehicle as a nine out of ten. So if you're looking for affordability and beauty, then this SUV is definitely the ride for you.

When it comes to fuel efficiency the top honors must go to the Ford Escape Hybrid. Though this vehicle is not the cheapest SUV on the market, it makes up for it with its ability to use fuel efficiently. We all know the price of gas is only going up so if you want to save cash you need to drive a car that runs efficiently and is not a gas guzzler.

Insurance expenses can play a big part in the overall cost of a car. The best sports utility vehicle for low insurance costs is the Hyundai Tucson. This information is compiled by Edmond Group. Although not the cheapest in terms of buying price, you won't have to worry about paying an arm and a leg for insurance. The starting cost for this SUV is around $ 20,000.

In terms of smoothness and superior driving comfort the top three honors go to the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, BMW X6 Hybrid and the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. These automobiles will definitely catch your eye with their lush interior, quality trim and sleek exterior design. These cars are pretty hefty on the price tag but have great fuel economy.The BMW X6 Hybrid, for instance, is going to cost you around 90k.

Best SUV in terms of sales. One of the most popular SUVs sold is the Honda CRV which has sold over 17,000 units for the year. This is an indication that people regard this SUV as a top performer and an all round great sports vehicle.

Is Now the Right Time to Buy a Car Dealership?

There is never a wrong time to buy a car dealership, only a wrong way to buy one.

In 2009 there have been dealerships (both domestic and import) that have made over half a million dollars in one month, yet the majority of the pundits said that 2009 was not the time to buy a dealership.

Remember "If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." Ecclesiastes 11: 4. It is not the "conditions" that count; it is your "analysis." The fact is that most car dealerships that closed in 2009 were bought or established during what the pundits now describe as "the good times." The times when owners and the experts lamented were "the right times" to buy and build.

Case in point: In 2008 Automotive News ran a front page story on a fellow that was building a Toyota dealership on the freeway, across from the Oakland Coliseum – a $ 35 million store, with five floors and a four-story glass showroom. The experts proclaimed about the dealer "… has a broader vision about the relationship between real estate and car dealers than you would ordinarily find."

On February 24, 2009 The Oakland Tribune reported: "New Toyota dealership in Oakland closes". In that article the dealership's customer relations manager lamented: "I'm kind of in a state of shock because we thought we had such a bright and opportunistic future here, and with this, it just leaves an empty taste …"

When one analyzes that situation, the dealership was supposed to fail.

For a plethora of reasons, not the least of which was the store's rent factor, the dealership's success would have been contrary to the laws of nature. Analyzing that situation, however, is left for another article. For this article, the object lesson learned is: Even though the factory approves a transaction, the lenders finance it and the trade publications applaud it, those approv provide no guarantee a dealership is going to succeed. Having said that, there are many buyers who will still believe those approv mean success.

With the epidemic of lawsuits today, factories and lenders cannot give business advice because if the dealership did not succeed, it is the factories and lenders that will get sued. Consequently, one must rely on oneself and advisers that are not afraid to contradict the boss.

As an aside, be careful not to associate with habitual "deal-breakers." Some advisers are perpetual naysayers because advisers do not get sued for telling a client not to do a deal. They only get sued when a client gets into a deal that goes sour because it is never the client's fault. It is the bank, the factory, the accountant, the lawyer, the business advisor (anyone other than the client) that is to blame.

The bottom-line is that there are two critical factors in buying an automobile dealership that will help ensure success for the long term: (1) How it is bought; and (2) How it is managed.

Each factor has a story, but those are the two keys. How the dealership is bought and how it is run will determine its long-term success or failure. We say "long-term" because car dealerships provide enough cash-flow that some deals could take five years to fold.

Buying a Car Dealership

What is the right way to buy a car dealership in bad economic times?

In the "good times," buyers were paying premiums for dealerships, based upon brand names, pretty buildings, nice locations, and so forth. The fact is, in good times or bad, dealerships should be valued in the same manner: by how much the buyer expects to earn after the purchase. In other words, upon expected ROI (return on investment) – not the brand, or the building, or the location.

Determining what a store can earn after its purchase encompasses more than math. Regardless of how often the "multiple of earnings theory" has been proved wrong, members and associates of the trade still perpetuate the myth that the purchase of a car dealership can be that effortless.

As a natural consequence of the ROI method, purchase prices will fluctuate because one would tend to expect to make more during "good" times, versus "bad." Therefore, when one states that the values ​​for blue sky or goodwill are dropping, their statement has nothing to do with the "value" of the dealership. Furthermore, there is no information in the foregoing statement to help one decide a reasonable value to pay for a dealership. Rules of thumb are only guides. Guides are good servants, but bad masters.

If a dealer is going under and throws a prospective purchaser the keys to the building and says: "It's yours. I just want out." That act does not make the dealership worth more or less. The questions a buyer must ask are– (a) "what is it going to cost me to open the doors?" and (b) "what do I think I will earn after I own the store?" In other words: "What is my expected return on the investment?"

At one time there was a dealer group in Colorado that presented an offer for the existing dealer to pay them (the buyer) $ 2,000,000 for them to take-over the stores. The offer was based upon projections of what the stores would lose while buyer tried to turn them around. The seller refused and ended-up losing several million more before the stores closed. The dealerships properties were eventually sold to a church.

A good checklist for valuing car dealerships can be found in IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60, published by the Internal Revenue Service in 1959. While the ruling (59-60) was intended to outline and review in general the approach, methods and factors to be considered in valuing shares of the capital stock of closely held corporations for estate tax and gift tax purposes, the methods discussed are applicable to valuing an automobile dealership and valuing blue sky in an asset sale simply by backing-out the amount of the stock valuation attributable to goodwill / blue sky.

The Five Biggest Mistakes Buyers of Automobile Dealerships Make:

1. Thinking that when they verify earnings they have completed a major task. The truth is, what the seller made or lost does not matter. A plethora of details and formulas need to be applied to determine what the new owner can net. What rent factor PNUR can the store afford? Do those numbers correlate to the percentage of gross requirements?

2. Overestimating vehicle sales projections. The first question is: "What can the new owner realistically retail?" We have seen too many dealerships that went under because the buyer could not accurately predict potential sales. On more than one occasion we have seen factories and lenders approve dealerships where the prospective purchasers projected sales volumes that exceeded the volume of the area's historical sales leaders.

3. Famous buyers thinking their names alone can turn-around dealerships or sell cars. We can name more unsuccessful, former car dealers that are famous, than successful car dealers that are famous. We have one photo that depicts a famous athlete getting a business award from the President of the United States. He went to the White House and received the award the year before the factory closed his stores. Either nobody saw it coming, or nobody cared.

4. Thinking that buying a store at a low or zero multiple of earnings means they got a bargain. The biggest misconception of a bargain is when the factory awards a new point. Most people think they got something for nothing. They really did not. The ones that do succeed, however, usually succeed because of the timing and the location – not because of the dealer.

The fact is, it takes about a year to build the service department of a new point, yet the dealer must capitalize the store as though it were already operating on 8-cylinders. In many instances, a new point suffers through months of losses until, if ever, it finally becomes a successful store. Those losses are "blue sky." In other instances, it is the second owner that makes a go of it and in some instances, such as the Englewood store mentioned above, the point goes away.

The savvy purchaser understands there is a value to buying a dealership that has its number is in the phone book, a loyal service base and repeat customers. The main value is that the day after the store is sold there are people lined-up for service, people buying parts and customers coming back to the store. That is worth a bonus (blue sky) to the owner even if the store has been losing money.

5. Thinking there is some "magic" formula that will make a store successful. The only formula that will work most of the time is a mixture of hard work and knowledge of the retail automotive business. Each of those words is an operative word: "retail" and "automotive." Knowledge of another business is not enough.

One last bit of advice to rookies. When making changes in the retail automotive business act swiftly. Erasers are made because people make mistakes. We have yet to meet the person who has never used one, although in today's world one might substitute the word "eraser" with "backspace" or "delete. When a mistake is made, the trick is to analyze, decide and act quickly. Do not hesitate to correct errors and bad decisions.

That advice has been around for thousands of years, both in the proverbs one learns as a child (such as "A stitch in time, saves nine" and "He who hesitates is lost," and so forth), and in Ecclesiastes 12: 12 "But, my son, be warned – there is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting!"

In summation, do not hesitate to buy a car dealership in a bad economy, just buy it correctly. Read the articles referred to above and act upon them.

"A dealership should be bought for one reason and one reason only – to make money. It should not be bought because it is close to home, because the buyer likes the franchise, because a partner wants to provide a job for a relative or , because the building is attractive. A dealership is purchased to make money and, in order to make money, it has to be "bought right". A Practical Guide to Buying and Selling Automobile Dealerships , National Legal Publishing Co. (1989), at page 2-4.

That was written twenty years ago. It was true then and it is true today.