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Tuesday, December 06, 2005 

Vol. I No.1

A Beginning…or My One Chance for a First Impression

My name is John Possumato, and despite some diversions here and there, I am first and foremost a “Car Guy.” People who know me know I live and breathe the used car industry, and I have a stake in how it evolves. What I haven’t been is a journalist, but I am compelled to create this blog, because I have noticed a distinct lack of blogs, or easily accessible and condensed information, on very large chunks of this very large industry of automobiles – namely, car & truck fleet sales in general; and remarketing, which is the current fancy term for selling used vehicles, in particular.This relative lack of discussion is puzzling when you consider that commercial fleet sales (new vehicle sales to Fortune 500 companies and daily rental companies) has consistently represented more than 20% of Detroit’s total output every year for at least the past 20 years. More dramatically, while roughly 17 million new vehicles are sold in the United States annually, more than 43 million used vehicles are sold every year for roughly $473 billion -- that’s right – billion, in dollar sales annually.So in my opinion, the new vehicle fleet business is an important part of the car business and deserves a blog to highlight up-to-the minute developments, and generate conversation on the used car and remarketing business. To put a finer point on it, while the financial impact of the remarketing or sale of used cars impacts the economy more than the sale of new vehicles (there are about 20,000 franchise new car dealers in the country versus 50,000 non-franchise used vehicle dealers), vehicle manufacturers really only care about the sales of new cars, and so that’s where all of the paid advertising and media attention is concentrated. But that’s what blogs are for, right? To shine light on interesting topics which may not get traditional type media attention.For better or worse (or for the sake of transparency), It’s important for you to know that I put my “money where my mouth is” on the above conviction, and founded a company five years ago that is focused on the remarketing of fleet vehicles. In my 20 years in the car business, I’ve been a franchised new car dealer, have worked for large and small manufacturers in designing fleet sales programs for their dealers (Ford, GM & Jaguar); and have been active as a principal or observer in most segments in between, in retail sales and manufacturer issues.Because of what I do now (and whom I have known for as long as I’ve been in the business), I travel very frequently, attending just about every type of car event that goes on. As most of these events are not open to the general public and many fall under the radar screen of the general press, I’ll report on these various car conferences, roundtables, shows, etc. There are quite a few; I logged about 150,000 air miles so far this year, and there’s still a month to go. I’ll also comment, when appropriate, on some of the more colorful industry personalities that organize and attend these events, as I find many are industry icons (and very entertaining and informative), but virtually unknown outside of their particular auto industry trade specialty. I’ll try to insert as many relevant photos as I can as well.In reading these blogs, you’ll no doubt see some familiar car industry company names (like J.D. Power Associates or Kelley Blue Book), and some not so familiar (like LeasePlan USA or Bobit Business Media). You’ll also get a first hand, “off the cuff” account of some well-known car events (the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association), and not so well-known (the Conference on Automotive Remarketing), with various recognizable and behind-the-scenes personalities. What links it all together will be cutting edge information, observations, and synopses of events that you won’t likely find in one spot anywhere else on the Web (or anywhere else).I’ll make a commitment to accurate reporting, but most of the time I’ll relay my thoughts in more of a conversational than reportorial style. Let me know what you think about anything that’s put forth; and feel free to suggest blog topics on which you might want more detail. Above all, enjoy the ride…

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Look forward to this blog.

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