Dealer Brian Miller is a jeans-and-sneakers guy who occasionally still drives the first car he ever bought: a 1972 Mercury Cougar.
Miller, 58, is also a guy who can write a check for $3 million at the Geneva auto show to buy a Bugatti. As a dealer to an elite clientele, he tirelessly caters to the high-powered rich and famous.
"I'm kind of a low-key guy that likes weird stuff that turns out to be expensive," said Miller. "When I was young, I liked to be flashy. My dad was the same way. He came from humble beginnings, and he likes fancy cars. I like to stay in the background now."
Miller's dealership, Manhattan Motorcars Inc. in New York, is anything but low key. It boasts a roster of exotic and superluxury brands under one rooftop, often selling vehicles with price tags topping $1 million to the rich and famous. He sells Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, Lotus, Koenigsegg, Bugatti and Porsche vehicles at his Manhattan store. He has two other Porsche stores and an Audi store outside the city.
Miller's secret to success is providing hands-on four-star service to people who expect nothing less.
"No one wanted these franchises back when I started doing this in the early '90s," Miller said. "They were very small franchises, and it didn't take much to run all of them."
But his brands' sales have grown over the years. Today, Manhattan Motorcars sells about 850 new cars and 350 used cars a year, across all its luxury brands combined, making it one of the top superluxury car dealerships in the country.
"Manhattan Motorcars is a key dealership for us. They are a linchpin in an extremely important market," said Gerry Spahn, spokesman for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars N.A. He declined to comment on its sales volume or rank but said New York, Southern California and Florida are "historic core markets" for Rolls-Royce. He added: "The dealership has a long history with the brand."