Jul 9, 2019
Michael West is from Lucedale, MS that has a population of 25K. He grew up in a trailer where he shared a sofa bed with his siblings. It was his early upbringings, that made him never what to experience being poor as an adult. His father was a building contractor, and Michael was a welder by trade. He had gotten his start in the automotive industry helping his Stepfather “Art” with his “buy here, pay here” dealership. He didn’t have sales experience but he was a great people person.
Michael was in the process of getting his first two deals funded, Hurricane Katrina Hit and the dealership lost everything and went from having 75 paid accounts to just 3. It took them two months to reopen. In November of 2005, they sold 34 cars and was getting back on their feet. Michael wanted to get out of the buy here/pay here but they needed more capital. Talked to his stepdad to start financing vehicles through a bank. They partnered with Western Funding and sold 343 cars over a 2 ½ year time frame. They started receiving backend money that was increasing month after month. Things started going well, but that was short lived...Western Funding filed bankruptcy.
Michael self-taught himself finance and started signing up multiple banks. He mastered how to fill out the banks' packets, and had the tenacity to keep following up and landing major banks. As Direct Auto became more successful Michael started investing in himself. Michael took a Joe Verde class that turned his mindset and business around. Michael feels that Finance is his superpower wants to help other small independent dealerships become successful and he is also in the works of creating an app that helps dealers to connect with banks “Indirect Auto”, (coming soon) Join us as Michael West shares his story and how independent dealerships can master the automotive finance game.