Ernest Garcia II is one of the least known, yet profoundly successful personalities in the business world today. As the founder of DriveTime Automotive and major shareholder of Carvana, his contributions to the auto finance industry have been not only significant but revolutionary. His ascent to the pinnacle of success did not happen overnight, it was a result of resilience, brilliance, focus, and dedication. However, there is far more to this man than what meets the eye. This article delves into ten things you probably didn’t know about Ernest Garcia II.

1. He is a Self-Made Billionaire

Ernest Garcia II is the wealthiest used-car salesman in the world with a net worth of over $15 billion, making him one of the richest individuals in Arizona and the United States. This incredible wealth is majorly due to his ownership stake in Carvana, an online used car retailer company.

While Carvana is responsible for most of his wealth, he also owns DriveTime Automotive, an American used car retailer and finance company. He built his fortune from scratch in the used car sales and finance industry, a market that many would overlook.

2. Served Time in Prison

Prior to becoming a billionaire businessman, Garcia had a run-in with the law. In the 1990s, he was implicated in a scandal involving Charles Keating, who was convicted for his role in the savings and loan debacle that cost taxpayers billions. Garcia, who was an investor in Keating’s company, Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, pleaded guilty to bank fraud.

He paid a multimillion-dollar fine and spent time in prison, an experience that could have ended his business career. But this mogul turned adversity into a stepping stone. After his release, Garcia founded DriveTime Automotive, showing that a setback can serve as a springboard to propel your success.

3. High School Dropout

This billionaire dropped out of high school because he felt school wasn’t teaching him what he wanted to learn. He then started his journey in the real world at a very early age. By delving into the auto finance business, he was able to learn first-hand about business operations and finances.

Despite not having a formal education beyond high school level, Garcia has amassed a considerable fortune. His passion for the auto industry and astute business acumen has seen him create companies that have disrupted the traditional car dealership industry.

4. He is Big on Philanthropy

Despite his vast wealth, Garcia remains largely out of the media spotlight. However, he is quite active in philanthropy. Through Garcia Family Foundation, he contributes to various charities and causes.

The foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations that aim to improve social well-being in communities. His charitable endeavors have extended to sectors such as health, education, arts and culture, and human services.

5. Learned from His Father’s Ventures

Ernest Garcia II is the son of Ernest Garcia I, who also dabbled in the used car industry. Thus, he wasn’t totally new to the car business when he started. It can be said that he learned the ropes of the business from his father.

It’s apparent that Garcia II is a quick learner and successfully learned the ins and outs of the car retail business from his Dad. Today, using everything that he has learned from his father and picked up along the way, Garcia II has developed innovative business models that have disrupted the used car retail market.

6. His Son is Carvana’s CEO

Seems like the car business runs in the blood. Ernest Garcia III, son of Garcia II, is the CEO of Carvana. Under his management, Carvana has seen exponential growth and has become a prominent player in the digital auto sales industry.

Like his father, he is also an entrepreneur and is providing substantial value to the industry, much to their competitors’ chagrin. Thus, the lineage of entrepreneurship and disruption in the car industry continues.

7. His Companies are Prominent Job Creators

Both Carvana and DriveTime have created numerous jobs. Despite an increasingly automated auto industry, his companies continue to employ thousands of people.

From salespersons to technicians and customer service representatives, Garcia’s companies have created direct and indirect employment for many. As his companies continue to grow, they further contribute to the economy by creating more job opportunities.

8. His Business Model is Revolutionary

Garcia’s innovative business model has disrupted the traditional car market. Rather than focusing only on brick-and-mortar outlets, he foresaw the potential of online car sales. His innovative perception of the market has not only influenced the way used cars are bought and sold but also set a new standard for the industry.

The success of his online model was a game-changer and led to a paradigm shift in the whole industry, with more car retailers embracing this model for competitive advantage and survival in a rapidly changing retail environment.

9. Keeps a Low Profile

Despite being a self-made billionaire and titan in the auto finance industry, Garcia prefers to keep a low profile. He is not much for media appearances and tends to stay away from the public eye. His business strategy has always revolved around the idea that actions speak louder than words.

Though he’s an influential figure in the auto industry, if you browse the internet with an intent to discover more about his personal life, you won’t get much. Garcia II’s focus remains resolutely on his business, not on fame or public recognition.

10. No Plans for Retirement

Even at over 60 years of age, Garcia has no plans whatsoever for retirement. He continues to actively run and expand his businesses. He maintains a hands-on approach and is quite passionate about his work.

Clearly, for Garcia, age is just a number. He continues to innovate and make significant contributions to the auto finance industry, proving that true passion and dedication have no expiration date.

It’s interesting to note just how much impact one individual can have on an industry. Ernest Garcia II’s story is proof that with determination, acumen, and thirst for success, one can make it big even in the most competitive landscapes.

For more interesting features and information, visit Forbes profile or check out the Carvana website.