“To be America’s best auto sales and finance company in the eyes of our associates and customers while improving the communities we serve.”
Such is the vision of America’s Car-Mart. In this quest, the company must expand its footprint so it can continue to grow and serve more customers. Over the last few years, Car-Mart has acquired Taylor Motor Company and Smart Auto.
In 2020, Steve Taylor sold his company, Taylor Motor to Car-Mart. As the third-generation owner, he led his company through the transition to Car-Mart. In 2021, Steve played a key role during Car-Mart’s acquisition of Smart Auto. And now, Steve will become the company’s first Director of Acquisitions, and lead Car-Mart’s initiative in acquiring well-managed, like-minded dealerships.
Here’s what Steve says about his new role, and what he envisions for the company:
Why did Car-Mart see a need for this new position?
Our industry is maturing, and many companies, who have been doing this for 15-20 years, are wanting to exit the business. We know there are some great car companies out there, and we’d like to talk to them about joining the Car-Mart team.
Based on the sale of my company to Car-Mart, we have developed a successful acquisition template that works for both parties.
Why are you excited about this new position? What do you bring to the role?
I’ve been in the industry a long time. I have a lot of contacts through dealers and vendors. And having sold my company to Car-Mart, I’m in a unique position to both help Car-Mart make a sound acquisition decision and companies make a decision that works for them. I can share my personal experiences.
I have a financial background, and I enjoy that side of the business. Plus, being able to migrate from a day-to-day operational role to a more strategic role is exciting. Finally, I’ll get to work with some of the best people in the industry.
What are your goals for this role at Car-Mart?
I want to help expand the Car-Mart brand. Car-Mart is in business to help people by giving them peace of mind in one stressful area of their lives. Customers rely on Car-Mart for affordable, reliable transportation. And Car-Mart believes it has an obligation to serve more customers.
So, I want to help Car-Mart deliver this peace of mind to customers. I want to find those companies that want to be a part of Car-Mart’s vision. I want to find like-minded companies that are interested in exit options, and who want a future for their associates.
Why did you make the decision to sell your company, Taylor Motor, to Car-Mart?
For starters, I was at the point in my life that I didn’t want to borrow more money for expansion of my business. Also, our team is really good at what we do, and I wanted to give them a future.
I looked at Car-Mart and carefully assessed the business. I reviewed the company’s quarterly reports and saw the two companies were similar – in towns, collections, metrics, vehicles, and values. It seemed like a logical fit.
It’s cool that we’ve [Taylor Motor] been able to join the only publicly traded buy here pay here in the U.S. The end to Taylor Motor is sad, but what my team can continue to do going forward is exciting. There’s a better future with Car-Mart. For more information, check out the press release – America’s Car-Mart Names Steve Taylor to Lead Acquisitions.