Editor's note: An earlier version of this report had a photo that was incorrectly identified as Michael DeSilva. It has been removed.
Rick DeSilva was alarmed as the Great Recession was bearing down in 2008, but he also had a couple of things going for him. For starters, he had lived through two previous downturns and learned a great deal about the art and science of survival.
Second, he was sitting there with a Subaru store just as the most recession-proof of franchises was hitting its stride. It was the only mainstream brand whose sales increased straight through the recession.
Was DeSilva just lucky? Nope. In the previous big downturn, he had placed a bet on the little Japanese brand when its prospects were far from certain. He also picked up some wisdom in the double-dip recession of 1980 and 1981-82: not to rely too much on just one lender.
"The  recession was not as impactful on us," he said. "It was almost more like a speed bump for us. Our numbers were pretty good."