Used Car Dealership Business Model (for Startups)

Build a 5-year financial projection for a used car lot / dealership.

car dealership business model
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Video Tutorial:

Updated the EBITDA per car per year visualization for x-axis date formatting.

The Used Car Dealer Business Model provides a great way for a Startup to plan and budget out the various aspects of starting and operating your own used car lot.

1. Start with the lightly shaded tabs in yellow. That is where you build your projections and based on them, the monthly/annual P&L fills out.

2. All the blue tabs are summaries that run off of the light yellow assumption tabs and go from top-line sales volumes all the way down to EBITDA and cash flow after debt service.

3. Note the order of the car types in the revenue builder and costs tabs are supposed to coincide with each other. So Car Type 1 revenue is driven by its mark-up relative to the car type 1 cost.

4. The only advanced logic is with the inventory count. You can enter a given amount of months in cell H7 of the ‘costs’ tab and that will define how much car inventory you are buying pre-launch based on the projected sales you have for that time frame.

5. On the Revenue builder and on the monthly running costs section of the ‘costs’ tab, you can define the month a given item starts. This helps for ramping visualization if you plan on having certain car types and costs types begin later in the startup period. i.e. if you don’t want to hire a 2nd and 3rd salesmen until the 18-month mark.

6. Note that the types of cars can be changed to be called whatever you want, but the idea was to create an average cost for each type with corresponding mark-ups so you can get an idea of what the economics look like if x amount of each type sells per month. It is not meant to be super specific or handle 100’s different cars with different margins. Do your best to estimate each type.

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