CAI MARCH 2018 Magazine INSIDES V4.indd

March 2018 - TEASER ISSUE

Contents © 2018 Cantin Automotive Insider

Private Equity & the Auto Industry: ONE

MAN’S VISION

-CAI Staff

A

Photo: Getty Images

For Lash, it all started with a love of cars and selling restored vehicles out of his parents’ driveway.

lot. That perseverance and business acumen led him to a Nissan dealership in Massachusetts, where he quickly became the number one salesperson. After spending several years learning all aspects of dealership sales, Lash decided he wanted to learn the back end of the automotive business, overseeing the service and parts departments of several largedealershipsforyears.Lash’sextensive experience in the front and back end of dealerships catapulted him into general manager positions. He quickly developed an extraordinary talent and reputation for turning around underperforming stores for large automotive groups. This rare ability grabbed the attention of Volkswagen executives, who awarded Lash an open point franchise in one of their largest metro markets. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

sk any startup founder and you’ll get the same answer: there’s hardly anything more exciting than owning your own company. This holds

true for auto dealers, too. Unfortunately, acquiring dealerships can be nearly impossible due to high barriers to entry, i.e. high capital requirements and tightly- controlled franchise markets. Jeffrey Lash is breaking down these barriers by partnering with existing dealers and giving them access to expansion capital through private equity. By building strong relationships with manufacturers, Lash is putting private equity at the forefront of successful automotive models. Dealers are able to expand and investors are able to partake in the high returns of a successful automotive group. The automotive industry is the largest industry in the United States. The returns are higher than other investments and the industry is recession resilient. No wonder investors are looking to invest in the automotive market. Lash is leading the way towards this innovative and newly-evolving model, and he is excited to continue forging ahead with his vision.

“GPB Capital’s annual sales

reached $3.2 billion in 2017 and it is now

the ninth largest auto group in the United States.”

From the age of 15, Lash loved restoring old cars with friends. By the age of 18, he was successfully selling them right on his property. This continued through college, after which Lash used his sales money to start his own used car

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