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Stocks U / United Auto Group


Subject:  Re: UAG Management Matters Date:  1/16/1998  10:52 PM
Author:  tmfralegh Number:  8 of 26

Far Rockaway,
I've known car dealers and I have'nt found that financing is necessary to the success of a car dealership. The disclosure on their finance business is nearly non-existent, which I would stay away from as an investor. I don't offer any earth-shattering insights into this sort of business, I just bring up some things to look at.

On the seasonality issue, I'm not the one that took the write-off, the company did. Did I say anything about seasonal trends or that this is a horrible business because earnings and sales were down sequentially? Not all at.

Tell many times in its history did McDonald's write off a about 10% of its franchises in one fell swoop because of bad capital allocation on the part of their HQ? McDonald's pushed it when they were young, but they ran super-successful businesses. If this is to be a successful business, they will be process-driven and customer driven. Making money on the finance business is fine, but your service has to make the customer want to beat a path to your door to want to be served by you. Writing off 10% of the franchises seems as those these things aren't happening. So, you've either got a company with its attentions divided or you've got mediocre capital allocation people running the business. I don't know which it is, but I don't think I'm off-base to try to muse aloud as to why this company took the big bath.

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