December 2016 Newsletter


Randy Henderson
Sil Gonzales
Joe Chastang
Victor Benitez
Stacey Corley
Mark Douglas
Ray Fregia, Jr.
Steve Rojas
Fred Salinas
Past Chairman
Fernando Varela


AV Fleming
Executive Director
Osvaldo Garcia, Jr.
Dee Suber

Executive Assistant

In This Issue:

  • Board of Directors & Staff
  • Message from the Chairman
  • The Muldrow Group
  • American Financial & Automotive Services
  • CDK Global
  • Profile – Eddie Hall III
  • Dealertrack
  • Community Service— Henderson Ford
  • Profile— Merlton Brandenberg
  • Message from the Executive Director
  • FMD
  • eLend Solutions
  • Merchant Lynx Services

ChairmanMessage from the Chairman

Greetings Members and Supporters,

The Ford Minority Dealers Association has had another successful year. One of our goals was to increase our communication with our membership body. To that end, we had two regional meetings with our members, Ford Motor Company, and Ford Motor Credit Company field executives. Then we capped off the year with our annual conference, with our members fully engaged at the membership meeting. We shared the Board’s directions and members gave us lively discus- sion on the direction that the Board is taking the association in 2017 and beyond. Further, the Board continues to show its transparency to the membership body and is fully aware that the Ford MDA Board serves the members.


Dealer Cash Advancement Programs: The Muldrow Group offers a Dealer Commis- sion Advance Program. This program is a unique way to capture funds for any use including: working capital, inventory acquisition, building upgrades or personal needs. Each dealership will be assessed to see the available advancement based on current and past production.

  • Acquisitions
  • F&I Department Products
  • Compliance Training
  • Dealer Commission Advance
  • Income Development Training

MORE Dealer Opportunities with MORE capital advances!! “Let Us Be, Your #1 Agency”. Our partners can count on a ordable quality coverage with a commitment to service second to none!


Why are some finance managers still falling short of their goals for product sales? Most have an understanding of the features and benefits their products offer; how-ever, features and benefits aren’t enough. Using facts shared by customers can create reasons to take advantage of the products offered. Impact statements makes customers aware of how the features benefit them.

Yes, product knowledge is necessary when building value. Be cautious on whose value interpretation you are building upon. Is it yours or is it your customers? Build on what the customer deems to be valuable. What questions lead us to identify customers “value impact points”? Features and benefits are good but some really can resonate more value when presented with impact.

Every month, there are more than 70 million Google searches for parts and service keyword terms. And 43% of Service customers ultimately choose a service center based on the results of those searches — whether they’re sitting at a computer or using a mobile device. That’s why it’s critical that you connect with drivers whenever and wherever they’re searching for their next service.

Despite the critical nature of digital marketing, however, dealers simply don’t show up in Google search results.

A quick search of an OEM “oil change” shows a series of fatal errors:

  • The OEM may appear as the first ad, but with the highest priced oil change listed on the page ($39.95, compared to several other results at less than $20).
  • Local competitor ads, with coupons, appear more freqquently than local dealers.
  • Competitive OEM dealers are advertising on this key-word search as well, adding more noise to the space.

Keep in mind that customers who turn to Google with this search are not invested in any given repair shop or dealership; they’re looking for a convenient location, easy scheduling, and competitive prices. It’s up to you to not only be found when customers search, but also to deliver on those expectations. Use digital advertising to tell shoppers why they should book their next service appointment with you, and make it easy to schedule those appointments. Although many customers still like to dial a number and connect with a person to schedule appointments, more and more customers are showing a preference for booking appointments through your website or from a mobile device. Make sure you’re accommodating all of those preferences. And once those appointments are booked, don’t forget to remind your customers; get them in the door with timely appointment reminders. We know that when customers are reminded of their appointments, no-show rates fall dramatically.

Newly Elected Board Member

Profile – Eddie Hall III

Eddie L. Hall III earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration (with honors) and Master of Accounting Degree (with high honors) from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

After graduating from Ross, Eddie obtained licensure as a certified public accountant and joined his father’s company as a Finance Manager at Royal Oak Ford. Eddie held the position of Finance Manager/Sales Manager at Royal Oak Ford from October 2010 – September 2014. In that time, he helped grow annual F&I gross by 200% and oversee the implantation of all compliance protocols.

In September of 2014 Eddie was promoted to the General Manager of the Hall Automo- tive Group which includes, Briarwood Ford, Royal Oak Ford, and Vicksburg Chrysler. In this position Eddie reports directly to the President overseeing operations, corporate finance and strategy for all dealerships.

Eddie currently serves as Vice Chairperson of the NADA NXT1 20 group and Secretary/ Treasurer of the NAMAD NextGen board.

Newly Elected Board Member

Profile – Merlton Brandenberg

Merlton was born and reared in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Tennessee State Universi- ty and the University of Tennessee.

He served in the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command, and was discharged with the rank of Captain. His initial civilian employment led to the corporate doors the American auto industry un- covering a passion for the industry. He was em- ployed by General Motors and American Motors, holding numerous sales and marketing positions prior to testing his skills and abilities in a retail setting. It was during this period Merlton honed his skill set and developed a desire to further quench another thirst on the auto industry lad- der, Dealership ownership.

His initial dealership, Advantage Ford- Lincoln in Fremont, Ohio was purchased in 1997. It was at Advantage where Merlton was named “Dealer of the Year” by FLMMDA. Merlton purchased Jorgensen Ford in Detroit, Michigan in 2004. Jorgensen has earned Ford’s coveted Presi- dent’s Award four (4) times during his ownership.

He is married and has three (3) daughters. His wife, Patricia, works with him at the Jorgensen store in Detroit.
Merlton believes we all have the ability to navi- gate the obstacles placed in our path and there is always sunlight at the end of the tunnel. We just have to stay persistent and he totally be- lieves in the “WILL to WIN”.

Message from the Executive Directory

Greetings Members, Sponsors, and Supporters,

There is a famous quote by Charles Darwin which states: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive. but those who can best manage change”. In a cyclical business like the retail automotive industry, change is not just automatic it is destined. Therefore, how does one manage change. No matter what one’s strategy may be, one must include urgency. As a matter of fact, urgency was one of our main topics at our last 20 group meeting this year. Out of our conversation came the discussion, how can one instill urgency as a leader? There are many models and theories that one can find to approach the urgency dilemma. The one glaring point that stood out was recognizing the leader’s fallacy.

eLEND Solutions is the leader in delivering the best performing and most secure credit pre- approved and pre-qualification solutions in the automotive industry.

CreditPlus is more than a credit solution. It is also a finance solution. Why should this matter to you? Because 90% of US car buyers are payment buyers. An easy, seamless experience for your customers should start online because that’s where they’re making their buying decisions. The more customers know, the more comfortable they are. The more comfortable they are, they more likely they are to buy.

If you’re looking to streamline your sales process, sell more Ford’s in less time, increase profits and improve CSI please contact me to schedule a free, no-obligation demo.

Don Zale
Mobile 248.701.3835
[email protected]

The election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the Unit- ed States is expected to bring changes to the tax laws for individuals and businesses. During the campaign, Donald Trump released an outline of his plans, which also included a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Individual Taxation –

Trump proposed to compress the tax rates on ordinary income from 7 brackets to 3 tax brackets:

  • 12% for taxable income $0 to $37,500
  • 25% for taxable income $37,500 to $112,500
  • 33% for taxable income over $112,500

The standard deduction would increase to $15,000 for single filers and $30,000 for married filers. This is in contrast to the 2017 standard deduction of $6,350 and $12,700, respectively. However, along with the increase in the standard deduction, personal exemptions would be elimi- nated, as well as the head of household filing status.

mlynxDear members,

It is going on our third year as a vendor/sponsor for this fine organization and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity we have been given. Every year gets better and more relationships are formed, it is a mission of ours to serve the mem- bers in the best way possible and to offer programs that are unavailable outside this group. I look forward to many years serving the FMDA members and ensuring you have the best for your businesses. I would like to show some of our great success stories just to name a few;

Bill Lynch, Lynch Automotive Group; Irving Mathews, Advantage Ford & Prestige Ford; Robert Valdes, El Centro Ford; Fernando Varela, All Star Ford; Eddie Corley, Albuquerque Lincoln; Luis Alaniz, Aztec Ford; and Wesley Armstrong, Laurel Ford Lincoln

We have partnered with this fine organization because we believe in a co-op, this is the foundation for success. We provide better than industry programs and show savings and you give us the opportunity to show you how. We only ask for a chance to show you, whether it’s a bank relationship or a friend we get it but this is business. We will always be available to analyze your current position and give you an honest answer regardless of our position.

We are currently working to bring on a dozen more members who we evaluated, showed a savings and are interested in changing to our program. I strongly encourage all FMDA members to take advantage of this outstanding program that was put together specifically for you. I will be available to talk anytime at, 404-354-9360 or [email protected] I look forward to working with all of you soon.

Kind Regards,
Jeff Gates