You can sell a $200,000-plus Lamborghini by spending very little on advertising and mostly using social media.
Ask Brett David, CEO of Prestige Imports Lamborghini in North Miami Beach, Fla. Nine years ago, David, now 28, inherited the dealership that his late father, Irv, started in 1977.
David primarily uses social media such as Instagram to promote the muscular, aggressive-looking exotic cars he sells. He estimates this free form of marketing has generated between $5 million and $10 million in sales of new Lamborghinis and various used luxury cars last year. He also has a pre-owned inventory valued at more than $12 million. Through social media, David has created a worldwide fan base of more than 980,000 followers.
More importantly, he's one of the top five Lamborghini dealers in the United States, on target to sell 85 new cars this year, up from 66 in 2015.
Prestige also has Lotus and Pagani franchises in the same building as Lamborghini. Prestige sold a second Lamborghini store in Palm Beach in 2010 and its thriving auto Audi store in 2015.
The Audi store sold for $80 million and was a top-selling Audi dealership in the country in the last decade. David said he got an unsolicited offer for the Audi store from Group 1 and decided to concentrate on Lamborghini.
Besides, he rode out the recession with Lamborghini, raced the cars, and "when the others blew up, Lamborghini was the franchise that kept making money," David said. He also sold 48 used Lamborghinis last year and another 90 pre-owned cars -- including about 50 luxury and exotic cars with a tag of $85,000-plus.
David said he realized the impact of social media when he was 19, seeing what "car spotters across the world armed with a Polaroid or a $10,000 Sony SLR" posted on video sites. When his father passed away in 2007, David decided to follow that route.
David said he launched his "social experiment" using Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to "build a brand, not just on the dealership but to build a brand around myself."