We first met Wayne Huezinga when he asked our help in creating the identity of a new venture he was starting. When we asked about the venture, he said he planned to consolidate the largest unconsolidated industry in America, used cars. He pointed out that the annual sales of used cars was equal to half the sales of new cars. He also said that the average family could no longer afford the average family new car, so they were leasing cars instead of buying them. This meant that there would be a lot of formerly leased cars on the market when the leases expired within 2-4 years, with low miles, that he could buy and sell at a great discount.
He planned very large lots, with a great range of selection. He was not going to have sales people. Instead, he would have consultants to help customers figure out what kind of car was best for their needs and what would be the best way to pay for it. He was going to have fixed prices, the same for everyone. He would give you a firm price for your trade-in whether you bought a car from him or not.
We said, “Wayne, a lot of used car lots are owned by local businessmen who you will put out of business.” He replied, “Used car dealers take advantage of buyers, especially women. They misrepresent their cars, manipulate their pricing and don’t stand behind their product. They are ranked below politicians in honesty. They deserve to be put out of business.”
We named the new business AutoNation and within four years it was the largest auto dealer in America.
So, when you go to any car dealer in the future, new or used, you can thank Wayne Huenziga for bringing transparency and integrity to the industry.