The owner of Holmes Motors, Bill Holmes, Jr., started selling cars when he was only 19 years old. The dealership has been in existence for over 20 years. The first location was in Biloxi, close to Keesler Air Force Base, where it flourished for several years. The next phase of the business was selling tires and rims which also proved to be quite successful. Bill decided it was time to move into a brand new location, and built a beautiful dealership in D’Iberville. It is easy to get to, on Boney Avenue which runs parallel to the interstate. Business was booming so Bill chose to open one more location in Texas. He was always a very enterprising businessman and did everything on his own.
It was not long before the economy began changing and it hit the automobile industry very hard. Loans became more and more difficult to secure. People were faced with new challenges and hardships and buying a car was no longer an option for many. Bill Holmes, Jr. was forced to close the Texas store, and then made the decision to down size in South Mississippi. The Biloxi location also closed it’s doors about three years ago.
Undaunted, Bill concentrated on his D’Iberville dealership and went about making some very big changes. COO and General Manager, Jason Barq Johnson took over the day to day operations of the Boney Avenue location. He and Bill attended a conference in Las Vegas in order to assist them in learning what needed to be done to ensure continued success during these trying times. After extensive research and study, they figured out a way to help the general public and solidify the business. It would require a complete overhaul and reorganization of the D’Iberville location, but Bill and Jason were totally committed to do whatever it took to make it work.
The plan began with eliminating banks from the equation. Holmes Motors would handle all facets of the car buying process, from square one. “We became our own bank,” Johnson said. They implemented a Lease Purchase Program instead of the regular installment contract purchase agreement. In doing so, they were able to cut out the high interest rates that come into play when dealing with regular banks. “When people want to buy a car, and they have less than perfect credit, approval can be very difficult to get, if they can get it at all. Then if they are approved, it requires extremely long, drawn out terms, at a very high interest rate. This can put the buyer in a very tight spot and cause them all kinds of problems,” Johnson said. The purchase of a car can be so intoxicating that people lose all sense of reason and get in over their heads in order to drive home the vehicle of their dreams. Quite often you wind up owing much more than that car or truck is worth, with no end in sight.
Holmes Motors came up with a new and fresh approach to buying the vehicle you want or the vehicle you need. They have totally eliminated the stress of dealing with banks, because they are the financier! The hassle and worry of dealing with a third party is gone. The whole process, from beginning to end happens at Holmes Motors and you are guaranteed to leave with a beautiful pre-owned car or truck…in fact any one of them on the lot is yours if you choose to make the purchase.
When Bill Holmes, Jr. decided to take the sting out of buying a car and consolidate the process all under one roof, he had to make a number of drastic changes to make it happen. First, he made his sales staff and technician dept. smaller. Thirty employees were reduced to twelve, but in doing that, they had to be “super stars” in the industry. “We reduced everything in order to make this work. We cut out one thing after another and went down to bare bones within the operations of the dealership. Everyone made sacrifices for the good of the business but it proved to be the right way to go,” Johnson said. Now Holmes Motors conducts business in a very simple, no nonsense fashion. They have even done away with the dealership cleaning service! Quite literally, all employees take turns with everything from mowing the grass, upkeep of the kitchen, and doing the floors. They work together to keep things running at optimum level. “We are really a family here and are also a very dedicated group of people. We wouldn’t have it any other way. We have trimmed all the fat so that we can provide customers with what they need during these tough economic times, and I have to say…it was well worth it,” Johnson added.
The Integrity Progam kicked of in December of 2009 and has been wonderfully successful since day one. Holmes Motors developed the Integrity Program and is very proud of how it has helped put more people on the road. Thousands of customers have purchased cars and trucks since the program began. It is truly this simple: you will walk out as the owner of any car on the lot if you have a first name and a valid driver’s license, and can provide a cash down payment – that’s it! “We can literally put anyone in a vehicle, regardless of their circumstance. We absolutely do not care what your personal history is or what your credit is. We don’t report to the credit bureaus and we don’t check credit…EVER. Our Integrity Program gives people the opportunity to get a really nice vehicle at the interest rate of 7.9%. The interest rate is written in stone and never changes,” Johnson said.
It is never a good idea to get locked into a car note that lasts for many years. Before the time it is paid off, nine times out of ten, that car or truck will have lost all it’s value. Holmes Motors has developed a plan for a 3 year note, so if you take good care of your car, it will continue to perform well and look great long after you pay it off. Not only that, but Holmes Motors will not penalize you or charge extra fees if you find yourself in financial distress and decide you cannot keep the car or truck you are buying. Simply return it in good condition and you are released from the obligation at that moment. When your situation improves, Holmes Motors will happily do business with you once again. At the same token, after you have begun payments on the vehicle you chose but decide that you want to “upgrade” to something bigger or more flashy…that is fine too! Holmes Motors will happily exchange it and work with you to make sure you get exactly what you want. This is no smoke and mirrors…this is real and you can count on it.
The down payment is based on the value of the car or truck you select. The least you can expect to pay is $1,400.00 down and bi-weekly payments of $150.00 each. Of course the higher caliber car or truck you chose, the arrangements will go higher. “All we require is that you pay the note on time, retain full insurance coverage, and take proper care of the car. You are not married to the deal, and once you establish a history with us, it will reflect well for future purchases,” Johnson said.
Maintaining automobile insurance is of primary importance in the Integrity Plan. Holmes Motors has a full time staff that constantly reviews insurance coverage to make sure that the vehicle and it’s passengers are protected in the event of an accident or total loss. Holmes Motors holds the lien until the car or truck is paid off. Insurance premiums must be paid and paid on time.
The technology in car manufacturing has improved greatly in the last ten years. Cars are made to hold up better and engine life has improved dramatically. It is not uncommon to see the mileage running into very high numbers. But the vehicle is a machine that will need to be fixed from time to time, parts will wear out and general maintenance is crucial to get the best performance out of any car or truck you buy. A trusted mechanic is worth his weight in gold. Holmes Motors gets vehicles from all over the country. Upon arrival the fine auto technicians at Holmes Motors inspect each car and truck from one end to the other. Before it goes out on the lot, it is in tip top condition and ready for purchase. “We have a saying here that every vehicle will look like a prom queen after it passes inspection,” Johnson said with a laugh. “However,” he continued on a more serious note, “we are always looking for skilled mechanics to be a part of our team. We invest heavily in them with the best in training and equipment.”
If you are in the market for another car and would like to do business with Holmes Motors using the Integrity Plan, it will serve you well. Everyone at Holmes Motors recently celebrated a monumental occasion…every single car on the lot was sold, a complete sell out! Come see the friendly, dedicated sales team and find a car that best suits you.