When the economy collapsed almost two
years ago, the Detroit Trading Company didn’t go down with it. Instead
it tweaked its business model, allowing it to adapt to the rapidly
changing market and set the stage for some significant growth.
Southfield-based business developed a technology that gathered,
analyzed, and organized Internet sales leads for car dealers. Prior to
2008, the six-year-old company sold them on an open exchange. After the
financial markets collapsed and credit lines froze, its good subprime
leads were no longer in demand. The company then switched to selling its
best leads with the best credit scores to dealer groups who signed on
for the service.
“There was no point in buying a lead from
someone with average credit when they can’t get a loan,” says Pete
Bonner, senior vice president of Detroit Trading Company.
eliminated the open market model that depended on volume, rendering
several hundreds of thousands of leads worthless. However, the segment
with high credit scores was gold in an auto market desperate for buyers.
“All leads are not created equal,” Bonner says.
company has been able to maintain its profitability and its staff of 13
through the recent turbulent waters. It plans to hire 3-4 people within the next year, including a new salesperson and a new programmer.
Pete Bonner, senior vice president of Detroit Trading Company