A little over 90 seconds into the short documentary released Friday at the 2024 National Automobile Dealers Association Show in Las Vegas, one person after another asks the same question: “Who the [expletive] is Car Dealership Guy?”
After all, for the past two years, to the millions of fans and followers of his podcast, newsletter and social media channels, the only hint as to who the bleep he is, is a caricature of a dark-haired, bearded guy with big eyes and a wide smile—until now.
The documentary that runs about 13 and-a-half minutes finally takes the veil off Car Dealership Guy, or CDG, for short: who he is, what he is and how he morphed into the viral personality and auto media mogul he is today. Watch it here.
First off, that caricature is pretty close to capturing the actual visage of the man behind the character. Real name? Yossi Levi.
In an interview ahead of the documentary’s debut, Levi explained his metamorphosis from a 14-year-old kid working at his dad’s used car lot in Philadelphia to creating the Car Dealership Guy persona that his wide audience of auto dealers and industry followers flock to for advice and insight on the car business.
“We’re now building the fastest growing automotive media company,” declared Levi.
Before he was Car Dealership Guy, Levi was Gettacar guy. He founded the online auto sales site Gettacar in 2018, and it went from $80 million in annual sales to shutting down in 2023 due to competition and market conditions.
Indeed, it was the crumbling of Gettacar that led Levi to create his new, anonymous persona.
“Things weren’t going well at the time, and I needed something creative to kind of get my mind off of it,” Levi explained. “Fast forward two years. Car Dealership Guy is a media company, it’s a business. Scaling this up anonymously was fun, and it helped me avoid saying something stupid that could have otherwise adversely impacted people that I worked with.”
Through his plain-spoken style and insights based on his experiences selling and marketing vehicles, Levi’s CDG brand has rapidly expanded in terms of bandwidth and audience.
Under the Car Dealership Guy banner is a podcast, a newsletter, social channels and various services such as the ability for consumers to sell or refinance their vehicles, plus a new auto industry job board.
In all, the brand is capturing more than 80 million impressions per month, according to Levi. That includes 50,000 to 100,000 listeners for each episode of his podcast and 55,000 subscribers to the CDG newsletter.
“I have this really unique set of experiences where I’ve built a dealership, I’ve grown a dealership, I’ve gotten to a big scale and have been at a small scale. I’ve been involved in dealership acquisitions. I’ve been involved in growing dealerships organically,” said Levi. “People want to know the secrets, the nitty gritty of the automotive industry and so that’s what brings people to Car Dealership Guy.”
His growing reach also brings advertisers to the brand. All of Car Dealership Guy’s revenue comes from sponsorships on the various CDG channels, making it possible to offer all his content for free, Levi explained.
Car Dealership Guy’s fans expressed their glee at him revealing himself.
On X.com, formerly Twitter, some of the comments included this from @fitfounder: “Amazing to see you enter non-anon status. You give so much value that it’s a no brainer move.”
“Speechless. Goosebumps. No words my friend,” posted @realEstateTrent.
“You’re a legend Yoss!,” posted @Agazdecki.
The company has four full-time employees and works with several freelancers.
Some examples of Levi/Car Dealership Guy’s industry insights:
- Dealers need to adjust to lower sales volumes: “Right-sizing your teams and understanding and helping people, trying to understand how to get across this chasm and get back to the reality of what it is to sell a car.”
- Consumers return to showrooms: “While there are several brands out there—Tesla, Carvana, which truly deliver a phenomenal online buying experience—the majority of the market is still voting for an in-person experience.”
- Battery-electric vehicle sales: “We’re facing a situation where there’s too much supply relative to demand. Right now, not enough consumers are voting for battery electric vehicles and so that’s resulting in a world where dealers have these vehicles on their lots and they have to discount them massively. They’re losing lots of value.”
By taking the cloak off Car Dealership Guy’s identity through this documentary, Levi hopes his audience will gain one more important insight.
“It’s almost funny. I’m all about transparency, yet who I am is not transparent,” said Levi. “So I feel like this is just that next evolution in the growth of this brand. Sharing my story, I want to build an intimate connection with my audience and you can’t do that as an anonymous figure.”
Aside from that, for Levi, by finally answering the question, who the bleep is Car Dealership Guy, “I think it’s partially a relief.”