For some customers, 440 to 500 hp just isn't enough. So Manhattan Motorcars owner Brian Miller offers them a boost while helping his F&I managers and service advisers, too.
In January, Miller launched a performance division for his ultraluxury-brand dealerships. He offers enhancement packages to new- and used-car buyers in his F&I offices and pays F&I managers for each package they sell. Service advisers can also sell packages and earn extra.
"There are a lot of people who'd like to have another 75 or 100 horsepower," Miller told Automotive News. "We've had a lot of interest in more sound to the exhaust, too, fancy wheels and more graphics on the cars."
Miller's performance division is called Manhattan Motorwerks. Despite its infancy, through word-of-mouth alone, it has received at least $100,000 in orders for engine upgrades, horsepower boosts, exhaust enhancements and removal of weight for the track, Miller said.
That level of interest at such an early stage has led Miller to believe Motorwerks could add an annual "seven-figure gross profit" to the group by early 2020. It is also a unique branding opportunity.
"In today's world, you have to keep doing things to separate yourself," Miller said. "I'm trying to do things to keep us above the fray."
Miller owns Manhattan Motorcars, Manhattan Motorcars Chelsea, Porsche of Huntington and Classic Audi in the New York City area and Porsche of Princeton in New Jersey. In addition to Porsche and Audi, he sells Bentley, Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, Lotus, Rolls-Royce and Spyker vehicles. The group sells about 4,000 new and used vehicles a year, Miller said.
The performance division operates out of the 20,000-square-foot service area at Manhattan Motorcars Chelsea in lower Manhattan. There are 10 lifts and a service staff to support it. His hiring plans for Motorwerks call for a master technician, marketer, fabricator and parts manager as well as, eventually, four or five more technicians.
Miller's biggest hire so far is Tico Lemoine, who joined the performance division as operations manager Jan. 2 from Porsche Cars North America, where he had been regional aftersales manager for nearly six years.
Lemoine and Miller hatched the idea for Motorwerks in early November during a casual conversation. Fifteen years as a multibrand factory rep as well as a stint in 2008-10 as general manager of Merrick Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep of Wantagh, in New York, which carries Mopar performance parts, had taught Lemoine that performance upgrades offered a lucrative yet mostly untapped opportunity.