Entrepreneur Profile: Gavin Marks

marksIn 1986, Gavin Marks started C&G Imports, Inc.  a used car dealership in Arlington, VA. When Marks started the dealership, he was only 19 years old and was attending the University of Maryland. His classmate and future wife, Darwina Marks, supported Gavin as he started the business and acted as Vice President of the company. Throughout his entire early life, Gavin was an entrepreneur at heart and was constantly launching small businesses such as mowing lawns and reselling products to his classmates. He also worked at a car dealership while he was in high school, which gave him the experience and knowledge he needed to start C&G.

Marks initially saw an opportunity in the Latin American market in Arlington and catered his business toward that market. While he did not speak Spanish, Marks was a quick learner and eventually built fluency in the language from his day-to-day work. Beyond catering C&G to a market niche, Marks delivered value by reforming and simplifying the traditional car dealership financial model. Instead of relying on banks to offer loans to his customers, Marks financed the vehicles himself at a 0% interest rate. This set him apart from other car dealerships. Customers enjoyed the simplicity and immediacy of C&G deals compared to competitors and the company took off as a result.

Today, C&G Imports is still thriving in the metropolitan DC area. Marks has now launched a finance company, C&G Financial, as well as a popular TV show, DC Contigo, which helps market the C&G brand and enhance the relationship C&G has in the market.