In the fast-paced world of car dealerships, knowing when to pursue a valuation for your business is a question that often puzzles owners. In this video, we explore the critical timing considerations for valuations, focusing on one area that demands precision: wealth transfer within the next generation of dealership owners. Join Scott Womack of Mercer Capital and Dan Iosue, a seasoned succession planner from The Rawls Group, as they shed light on the optimal timing for valuations in the automotive industry.

Valuations and Their Significance

For many car dealers, their dealerships represent a substantial portion of their financial portfolio. This underscores the critical importance of valuations in various aspects of dealership management. Valuations are typically associated with specific events, and understanding the timing of these events is crucial for making informed decisions.

The Role of Valuation Dates

In ongoing operations like auto dealerships, valuation dates are significant. These businesses are known for their volatility, meaning valuations capture a snapshot in time. Therefore, minimizing the time gap between the motivation behind the valuation and the valuation date or the actual valuation process is imperative.

Ensuring Accuracy and Trustworthy Insights

To ensure the valuation accurately reflects the dealership’s current condition, the timing must align with the motivation behind the valuation. Whether it’s wealth transfer planning, buy-sell agreements, strategic growth, litigation, dealership sales, or addressing the loss of a shareholder, the timing should be driven by the specific event or need. This alignment ensures that the valuation offers trustworthy insights for sound decision-making.

Wealth Transfer and Precise Timing

Wealth transfer within the next generation of dealership owners is a prime example of when precise timing is essential. Dealerships are not only businesses but often family legacies, making planning for the seamless ownership transition critical. Valuations are pivotal in this process, as they establish a fair and equitable value for the business.

The Right Time for a Valuation

So, when is the right time to pursue a valuation for your dealership? The answer lies in the need at hand or when one of the six triggering events, as discussed in our previous episodes, comes into play. However, the nuances of timing are particularly pertinent when it comes to wealth transfer within the next generation of dealership owners.

In conclusion, understanding the optimal timing for valuations in the automotive industry is essential for car dealers seeking clarity and making informed decisions. Whether you are contemplating wealth transfer, navigating buy-sell agreements, planning for growth, addressing litigation, considering a sale, or managing the passing of a shareholder, aligning the timing of your valuation with the specific event or need is critical. Valuations are invaluable tools for guiding your dealership’s future, and you can trust the insights they provide by ensuring precision in timing. For more insights and guidance on timing valuations in the automotive industry, tune in to our video.

This conversation is a part of the discussion focused on Valuations and Succession Planning for Car Dealers with Scott Womack, Senior Vice President with Mercer Capital, and Dan Iosue, a Succession Planner with The Rawls Group.

For more insight:

Visit the “Valuations and Succession Planning for Car Dealers” discussion page or select one of the additional episodes of the series below:


  • Mercer Capital: Mercer Capital is an employee-owned business valuation and financial advisory firm founded in 1982, serving a diverse and international client base. For more information on Mercer Capital’s valuation services, contact Scott Womack.
  • Succession Readiness Survey:  A 7-minute investment in time will put you in an informed position of opportunities many business owners overlook, impacting business value, growth, and lifestyle and ultimately achieving your vision.
  • Contact a Succession Planner: The Rawls Group can help you with insights and other resources and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas to apply to your business immediately.

Growth Strategies for the Family-Owned Dealership


If you’re ready to get serious about succession and planning to ensure your business’s future success, we can’t wait to see you at the 2024 NADA Show in Las Vegas.

4 Strategies to Maximize Your NADA Experience

  1. Schedule a Complimentary Consultation: Book a meeting at our Booth #2100W during NADA or schedule a free consultation.
  2. Complete the Growth & Succession Assessment: Get a custom report to focus on your strengths and opportunities.
  3. Attend the Annual Wine Event: Join us for wine, insights, and Q&A with our experts.
  4. Register to Attend the AutoTeam America Buy/Sell Summit: Gain insights and network with industry pros.

The Succession Planning Matrix

Many people put off succession planning because they think it means retirement, exit, and the end. However; succession planning is just the beginning. It gives the owner options in terms of what “their next” looks like, whether that be growth, philanthropy, or a new business venture. Our process focuses are addressing 10 key areas of what we call the Succession

Click the following link for more drill-down resources on The Succession Matrix, or check out our Facebook post.

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We can help you with insights, other resources, and see if it makes sense to work together. At the very least, in 30 minutes, you may get some ideas you can apply to your business right away.