Car dealer Jack Daniels IV is used to seeing the grins on people's faces when they hear his name. And he's OK with it.
"People have said, 'It's my favorite drink, so I thought I'd buy a car from you,' " says Daniels, who last month opened the largest Porsche dealership in America.
No, he's not related to the famed 19th-century Tennessee distiller. But he doesn't mind if the famous moniker helps attract customers to the $5 million, 36,000-square-foot Porsche dealership he opened April 1 in affluent Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Jack Daniels Motors is massive -- for a Porsche store. Sitting on a hill, "the building almost looks like the Parthenon at the Acropolis," says Daniels, 55.
The property includes a 20,000-square-foot showroom that can hold 30 vehicles. Porsche Cars North America says its average U.S. showroom measures 3,600 square feet.
In addition, there is a 16,000-square-foot service area with 20 bays just steps away from the showroom. Outside is room for displaying an additional 80 vehicles.
Daniels and his brother, Michael, 53, consolidated two Porsche stores at the new location -- the family's store in nearby Paramus, N.J., and a Nanuet, N.Y., outlet they purchased in 2008.
The Daniels brothers aim to sell 500 new Porsches this year, up from about 240 last year at the Paramus and Nanuet stores combined.
Last month, Daniels says, the new dealership ranked 21st in sales out of Porsche's 199 U.S. dealerships. But he expects to be in the top five by the end of the year -- and keep growing from there.
Porsche executives are confident, too.
"This all-new dealership is incredible in every respect," said Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America. "It shows the dedication Jack and Michael Daniels have for our brand. The magnitude of the investment puts the Porsche brand on the map in a very dramatic and passionate way in one of our most important markets."
Daniels bought Prestige Porsche of Nanuet for $4 million in the fall of 2008 and ran it as Jack Daniels Porsche of Nanuet until the new dealership in New Jersey was finished.