Low-overhead auto brokers are changing the game for traditional dealerships
April 23, 2018
Green and white balloons float above Jeep Wranglers and Dodge Challengers inside the Manhattan Jeep Chrysler Dodge Ram dealership on 11th Avenue near West 48th Street. In an adjacent outdoor lot, red-white-and-blue streamers flutter above used models.
Court papers, however, tell a less cheerful story: In March the franchisees filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing a debt of more than $22 million to their chief lender. The filing included a related Alfa Romeo Fiat dealership a few blocks away.
The bankruptcy was the second to hit Manhattan’s auto row in less than a year. A nearby Jaguar Land Rover dealership that included Maserati and Ford franchises went bust in July with debts of more than $60 million. It sold at auction in September.
Industry experts said the two bankruptcies point to the growing pressures of a changing automotive retail landscape.
On the one hand are escalating rents in an expensive Manhattan neighborhood. On the other is increasingly intense competition from a little known but rapidly growing part of the industry: automotive leasing brokers, who market themselves on the web and base their operations in modest quarters rather than inside a sleek 11th Avenue showroom.
Numbering in the hundreds and concentrated in the outer boroughs, the brokers are part of a shift to digital car-shopping that includes the growth of CarMax, Carvana and Vroom. And there are signs that Amazon could start selling cars.
“I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but I think within 10 years, half of these franchised dealerships will be gone, and not just in Manhattan,” said Max Zanan, a Midtown-based automotive-retail consultant. “Companies like Amazon have trained customers to expect complete transparency. They expect that transparency when they’re shopping for a car, and they’re not getting it” from dealerships.
For New York dealers, leasing brokers represent the most immediate threat. Dealers frequently complain that brokers operate outside the law, but the two sectors share a complicated, symbiotic relationship.
Brokers need dealers: Under state law, only franchisees can sell cars straight from the manufacturer. But dealers also need brokers, whose purchases help dealers hit their sales targets.
The concern is the long-term toll that broker sales could have on automobile retailing…read more.
How One CEO Turned His Passion for Cars into a Paycheck
February 24, 2017
Zoriy Birenboym has been in the car game since he was a kid. Today, the founder of eAutoLease.com is changing the way people buy a vehicle. The millennial says his company is different from other online portals because eAutoLease does not sell its leads to a third party. While technology has disrupted the way people buy cars, Birenboym says sometimes being a car salesman still comes with a negative connotation for some consumers. That’s why this CEO says his direct-to-consumer marketplace is dedicated to being honest. In just one year, the company has generated more than 500 five-star reviews, as well as accreditation from the New York Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau.
An Interview with Zoriy Birenboym, CEO of eAutoLease
October 4, 2016
I had the opportunity to sit with Zoriy Birenboym, CEO of eAutoLease and had a rich, enlivening chat with him. Here’s the extract.
How and why did you start eAutoLease?
I endeavored into eAutolease.com with the intention of expanding my 14 year-old preexisting business. After such a long career in the industry I was determined to expand my demographic and establish a framework with a nationwide reach. It appeared evident to me that the most powerful tool at my disposal was the internet, and that this was the route I was going to take to realize my vision. Hence, I began doing research and engaging individuals with the technical expertise required to build the online platform. Ever since we began we have been continuously improving and redesigning our online presence, working hard to optimize and perfect what we began.
What are your offerings at eAutoLease?
We offer full service leasing, financing, and buying opportunities for new vehicles. In addition we also assist customers with trade –ins, early lease terminations, and lease returns.
Who do you help? In other words, who are your customers?
We help everyone looking to lease, buy, or finance a new vehicle. We also provide guidance to those seeking to exit their current lease/finance obligation prematurely.
Did you quit your job? If yes, how long after you started your business did you quit and what made you decide it was time to quit?
No, I have been running my own business since high school.
Did you get business funding? If yes, how hard was it and how much time did it take to acquire those funds?
My business is completely self-funded. I began working 14 years ago in my living room, and ever since then have been financing my expansions with proceeds from my enterprise. Thankfully, my business has been fruitful enough over the years to accommodate the massive expensive associated with our move online.
Where did you acquire your content marketing knowledge and expertise?
Expertise in my business forged from over a dozen years in the industry ,a powerful SEO and marketing team which advises and consults me every step of the way, and continues research into every thinkable initiative for betterment and expansion.
What are three key strategies or action plans you implemented to grow so much so fast?
1. Uncompromising approach to customer service
2. Extremely competitive pricing
3. Strict synergy between all departments of my enterprise
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give our aspiring entrepreneur readers?
Always assume the possibility of error. What I mean by this is never expect to invest the bare minimum; always allow your-self enough room to cover potential mishaps. Additionally, if there is one thing you should devote the most effort into its picking your staff and partners.
10 Tips For Growing Your Influence On Social Media
December 15, 2016
Anybody can create a social media presence. All you have to do is create accounts on a couple of social media channels and start sharing posts. If you’re relentless, you can create a big footprint simply based on volume alone.
However, if you’re focusing on presence, you’re missing the point. Just because your posts make their way down lots of newsfeeds or your list of followers is growing doesn’t prove that you hold much sway in your industry. It doesn’t mean that you’re an influencer yet. An influencer has amazing bonds with their followers, earns conversions, make people listen intently and can create change within their industries.
A tip from millennial social media influencers to help you become one.
Get really personal
“Look at popular and influential bloggers like Dan Pearce, Pat Flynn and Jenny Lawson. They’re well known for posting some gut wrenchingly personal stuff on business, mental illness, divorce, self-esteem, and a variety of issues. If you want to become a social media superstar, embrace vulnerability and share really personal stuff that people can resonate with and learn from.” – Zoriy Birenboym, CEO of eAutoLease.