Today only 6% of nearly 18,000 dealerships are minority-owned within the continental United States. As Damon Lester, president and CEO of The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) says, “There is a real need for dealerships to look like the community they will be serving.” Enter startup company PTG365, founded by Brandon Medford, Dave Obaseki, and Eric Whitehead. The trio of millennial-aged friends is trying to eradicate the stigma associated with low-income and urban communities and creating equal opportunities to ensure everyone, regardless of socio-economic status or credit standing, can buy a car. One day at a time, one customer at a time, PTG365 shares the secret of their unorthodox, successful brand.
Black Enterprise: Tell us about PTG365 and how it differs from your typical car dealership.
Obaseki: PTG365 was started almost a year ago and founded by three experienced car guys who were in the car industry collectively over 10 years. We offer a service that a lot of dealerships don’t; bringing a car to your home without you ever driving to a dealership. Our prices will always be lower than a dealership because we have less overhead and we focus more on referrals off of our deals than anything. The better we do by you; the more clients you bring; the less in advertising we need to spend.
Whitehead: [We’re] a company that not only ensures the best deals but makes the automobile buying process painless and easy without setting foot into an actual dealership. We work with both new and pre-owned vehicles of all brands, makes, and models. We work with all credit and we have relationships with over 40 finance institutions. We also deliver the cars to our clients. PTG stands for Prices Too Good and the 365 is for every day.
Medford: PTG365 is a unique auto brokerage based out of New York City. We offer many different services for all automobile needs during the automobile buying process. We are a one-stop shop where we offer services such as credit repair, credit restoration, new car sales, pre-owned car sales, auto insurance, and financial education services. What makes us very unique from car dealerships is that we’re not limited to inventory whatsoever. Car dealerships sometimes force customers into cars that are in their inventory because it’s more convenient for them. On the other hand, because of the licenses and relationships that we carry, we’re not limited to anything. We go above and beyond to exceed our client’s needs and to make them family to PTG365 for a lifetime. Because of me and my partners years of experience working in a car dealership, we understand that MAKING OUR CLIENTS HAPPY is the most important thing.
How did this concept of a ‘one-stop shop’ for all of your financing needs happen?
Obaseki: This happened with us networking with the right people in the industry and getting a lot of finance managers and directors on board with our cause. Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Whenever we have conversations with banks, we make sure we leave a good impression so when we do need favors for approvals it’s done without question. So when we get clients and they want a list of cars, getting answers for each bank is easy and done quickly.
Whitehead: This concept started with the idea of car buying being a long, drawn-out experience that isn’t as exciting as it used to be. The purchasing of a vehicle is the second largest purchase of a consumer’s life. We make this process exciting and easy being a one-stop shop because we do all the shopping and legwork for you while you save time and tons of money.
Medford: We came up with this idea from working in multiple car dealerships and listening to the feedback from customers about why they weren’t happy at other places.
With such a non-traditional business one must have a non-traditional business model. Could you explain your business model?
Obaseki: Why sit in a dealership for hours and hours just to pick up a car you dreamed about? Why go through the headache of them saying you’re approved on one monthly payment and then go inside the finance office and hear another? With PTG365, every price is too good and you’ll never have to worry about being forced into anything. We do good by your side without you even knowing.
Whitehead: Any car your heart desires and your finances could afford, we will make it happen. Shoot for the moon—if we miss, we land on the stars. We make this process fast and smooth while delivering your vehicle to your doorstep. We shoot for the moon with your vehicle of choice but we give you other options that you may qualify for and would definitely work within your budget so you’ll still land on the stars and be completely satisfied with the outcome.
Medford: By any means necessary. Aim to do anything necessary to be successful. Without strategically planning; just go for it, aiming high thereafter figuring out the course of action.
You mentioning catering to high-end clientele but on the flip side, you specialize in helping low-income communities receive financing. How important is that balance for your business?
Obaseki: This balance is key to our success. We make sure every client is catered too; doesn’t matter what the score is. Getting really low credit scores done is usually more of an achievement for us because it’s difficult. We share the idea that it doesn’t matter what your credit is, there’s always a car for you. High-end clients bring other high-end clients so we try and keep that consistent.
Whitehead: The balance is very important because we have a diverse portfolio. We want to help any and everyone. The challenging deals with the tough credit scores also feel very accomplishing when you see the smiles on the client’s faces after they once felt they wouldn’t get any help. Also, the accomplishing feeling of high-profile clients who are ready to build the vehicle of their dreams the exact way they wanted and the end result concluding with the exact purchase order of the vehicle they wanted.
Medford: This is very important, more important than anything. This is how the economy balances. I believe no one should be ruled out whatsoever. Who cares where you come from? It’s about where you’re going and what can PTG365 do to help.