Customer Centric Roots
Frank Penate’s career as a dealer didn’t have the most traditional start. In fact, it was a job at a bank that led him down the automotive path. One of his regular customers owned a local used car dealership and really liked their interactions and the fact that he is bilingual, so he offered him a job at his dealership. He has always loved cars, so he decided to take a chance. Nine years later, he was ready to open his own dealership, which is now five years old.
Getting a Solid Start
From his experience, Penate knew that getting a floor plan was going to be one of the keys to getting his dealership off the ground. He initially selected one through a local bank but ran into his future Portfolio Manager at a Manheim auction who told him how he could benefit from a NextGear Capital floor plan. He decided to give it a try.
Three years in with NextGear Capital, he can’t imagine any other way. The biggest difference Penate said is how easy it is to use. “It’s a lot more convenient to use than my other floor plan at the auction since it’s integrated with Cox Automotive,” he said. “I’m not good with technology, but it’s easy to use and I love that I can access it on my mobile device.” He also conveyed that NextGear Capital has been there every step of the way supporting his growth and that getting approved for a line increase is a much quicker process than through his local lender.
More Than a Floor Plan
Penate loves Account Portal and uses it to stay on top of his inventory. He said that he also likes the additional tools it provides like the feature that provides the status of his titles and market values, which helps him to stay competitive with his inventory pricing. “I’m the type of person who needs to see things visually because I’m so busy and Account Portal allows me to see what’s going on with my inventory,” he said. “I turn about 50 vehicles on average each month and Account Portal helps me to stay aligned with the status of my inventory so I can move more metal.”