New-car sales are down at your dealership nearly 50%, and it is not because you are a bad dealer or forgot how to sell cars. Add to that, you and your co-owner brother are blind. What do you do? Call it quits?

Not if you are Tim and Bruce Young of Delray (FL) Lincoln Mercury. Instead of giving up, they turned to parts.

It worked. In the last 10 years, the dealership has become a parts juggernaut in Florida. Its parts and accessories department's $45.5 million in revenue (almost half of the dealership's $100 million total) helped the store rank 308th on this year's Ward's 500.

Their father started the dealership in 1958 and had the foresight to purchase 20 acres when the land was still cheap in the south Florida community, says Bruce Young.

“With that land, we're able to house $5 million in inventory, along with the $4 million in receivables,” he says. “If we had to borrow the money for the land today, I doubt we could have done it.”

The business has been a challenge and required years of dedication and a huge financial commitment to be successful, he says.

In the last few years, Ford Motor Co. built a series of parts depots, one in Lakeland, FL, a couple of hours away.

“We lost a lot of dealer-to-dealer business when they built that,” Bruce Young says. But then, the Delray store captured the parts business of another Lincoln Mercury dealership, located to the north in Palm Beach, when it closed down. “They had kicked our tail for 20 years in parts,” he says. “From a bean counter's perspective, investing our money into parts might not have been a good decision. But we worked hard at it.”

Now Delray Lincoln Mercury has 30 trucks that make daily deliveries, including one tractor-trailer that makes nightly runs. The dealership has been the top Ford and Lincoln Mercury parts seller for five consecutive years.

A big factor in the store's profitability is its ability and willing to buy other dealerships' unsold parts accross the country.

Says Bruce Young, “We'll pay half the cost, and no freight or tax. Dealers will send us a list, and we'll pick and choose which ones we want. Chances are, we'll be able to sell them.”

Both brothers suffer from a degenerative eye disease that has worsened over the years. Blindness has actually helped, Bruce Young says, “because now I have to delegate. If I could still see, I'd be down in the parts bins.”

Top 10 Parts & Accessories

Overall Rank Dealership P&A Revenue
20 Brown Brown Chevrolet $54,111,676
169 AutoWay Chev Clearwater $51,603,741
308 Delray Lincoln Mercury $45,455,127
33 Sanderson Ford, Inc. $32,565,411
66 Bill Heard Chevrolet Company $32,525,000
2 Fletcher Jones Motorcars $29,385,180
11 Courtesy Chevrolet $28,437,016
98 NuCar Connection $27,667,052
18 Landmark Chevrolet, Ltd $26,749,000
201 Sam Packs Five Star Ford, Ltd. $24,714,437