With Little Debt, CMA Added New Stores During Downturn

"For Liza Borches, CEO of Carter Myers Automotive in Charlottesville, Va., and other dealers now in their 40s, the Great Recession was a painful lesson in how to navigate a dramatic economic downturn. It's one they have vowed not to forget."

Borches said her generation of dealers now has a more conservative approach to debt, dealership expansion and expenses, all of which prepare them for when — not if, in her mind — the next recession hits.

"I'm really thankful that I had to go through 2008 and 2009 fairly early in my career," she said, because there were things "that we had to do" then "that I'm very confident has made us a much better dealership group today."

She adds: "I learned that business, even when it's really good, that we can't take that for granted. Expense control is critical even in good times."

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