J.D. Byrider Systems Inc. CEO James DeVoe was killed in a private plane crash in Florida on Thursday, March 23, the company said. Two others also were killed.
J.D. Byrider stores specialize in selling used vehicles to customers with severely damaged credit or no credit history. The privately held company helps dealers who have a Byrider franchise with site selection, hiring and training employees and advertising. It also sets up an in-house finance company, named CarNow Acceptance Co., which lets dealers finance customers' vehicle purchases.
There are 123 J.D. Byrider stores in 28 states. Thirteen are company owned. The rest are owned by 57 franchisees.
DeVoe, 62, founded the company in 1989 and served as chairman and CEO. He had been involved in car dealerships since 1961 and opened his first dealership in 1979.
Steele Gudal, 42, DeVoe's son-in-law, a Byrider shareholder and franchisee, also was killed in the crash, as was the plane's pilot. The plane crashed late Thursday morning near the Melbourne, Fla., airport. The plane took off from an airport in Jacksonville, Fla., about 200 miles north of Melbourne.
Gudal had J.D. Byrider stores in the Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Fla., areas.
"With Jim's death, our corporate family has lost a leader, a mentor, and most important -- a great friend," the company said in a statement. "We don't use the word 'family' loosely -- Jim was fond of referring to us all that way."
J.D. Byrider is headquartered in Carmel, Ind.
You may e-mail Greg Migliore at [email protected]
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