Fernando Perez has worked as the agency principal of Southern California-based Pinnacle Dealer Solutions for more than seven years. He has had a relationship with Portfolio since 2014, working with dealerships across the Midwest and along the West Coast.

Over the years, Fernando has faced many challenges. One such challenge boils down to people. “We’re only as good as the people we employ and the agency partners we collaborate with,” he says. “Keeping people connected with our partner dealers on a weekly basis is critical to not only providing tangible value to our clients, but also to being the trusted consultants that we are.”

In light of recent market turmoil, Fernando adds, staying engaged and connected is of the utmost importance as dealers face unprecedented market conditions.

Despite the fact that the industry outlook has greatly improved, “We are still facing the challenges and pressures of working and selling cars in a high-interest-rate environment,” Fernando says. “Dealers are fighting real challenges right now as used car prices have fluctuated so wildly over the last eight months, which has made it harder for dealers to manage used car inventory and turn a profit.”

However, Fernando adds, he is optimistic for a strong finish to 2023. “I feel used car values will stabilize and new car volume should increase, since dealers will be forced to take on more and more inventory from the OEMs heading into Q4 and beyond now that chip shortages have subsided.”

Fernando believes his ability to offer Portfolio products and services helps make his dealers successful and profitable in any environment, singling out high-value, non-cancelable options. “Dealers today are looking for noncancelable products that can be retailed, especially as we’ve seen huge increases in chargebacks from lenders clearing up receivables.”

When this Las Vegas native is not working with clients in the field, he thoroughly enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, sailing and scuba diving — with sharks! “I’ve gone diving with sharks many times. I’m terrified of sharks, as are most people. But it is important for me to face my fears head-on as sharks are often so misunderstood.” His favorite dive location thus far has been the Bahamas; however, he is looking forward to an upcoming trip to Grand Cayman next year to see how it compares.

Fernando, ever the outdoorsman, needs not fear what’s ahead in the auto industry. “I think we’re headed for better times,” he says. And we couldn’t agree more.