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Friends turn their passion into profit

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Friends and business partners José Sanchez, left, and Randy Macias opened 505 Auto Sales several years ago. (Glen Rosales/For the Albuquerque Journal)

Friends and business partners José Sanchez, left, and Randy Macias opened 505 Auto Sales several years ago. (Glen Rosales/For the Albuquerque Journal)

José Sanchez had dreams of running his own big business.

Randy Macias owns a local information-technology business.

But their great passion has been owning and operating 505 Auto Sales together.

“It’s taken awhile to ramp up,” said Sanchez, who originally started the dealership with his brother Alex, but turned to family friend Macias when Alex opted to remain with the dealership for which he had been working.

Sanchez originally tried to make a go of it on his own as he transitioned from working for an auto wholesaler.

“But there was a lot more to it that I realized,” he said. “I wasn’t used to the retail side of it. I had to try and buy and sell and work with customers and it just wasn’t happening.”

So he turned to Macias.

“I asked Randy if he wanted in,” Sanchez recalled. “I told him we’re not really making any money yet but that I would give him half of the business to come in.”

Macias smiled as he recalled that conversation that took place several years ago in an area McDonald’s restaurant.

“Yeah, I like working for free,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s been a lot of work but two years later, it’s looking pretty good.”

When the duo first began, the dealership was cash-only, but upon receiving numerous financing requests they decided to add that aspect of the business to their repertoire.

“I thought if we could finance five or six cars a month, that would pay for our rent,” Sanchez said.

That’s exactly what has happened, said Macias, who now handles that end of things.

“I didn’t know anything about finance, but I was able to learn,” he said. “It’s something that we want to be able to do for our customers.”

And it turns out that putting customers into reliable transportation under favorable loan situations has provided its own reward, they said.

“When we’re standing here, taking a picture of somebody with the car that they just bought, it’s great,” Macias said.

“It really brings a smile to our face,” Sanchez added.

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