As you drive along the scenic NE 151st Street in Miami, a stunning seven-story building dominates the south side. It isn’t an apartment complex or an office building, nor is it anywhere near a cruise terminal. It’s Warren Henry Auto Group, a group of brands that specialize in luxury and ultra-performance.
Let’s call it what it is: a mega dealership. Its seven floors are occupied with Warren Henry’s Land Rover North Dade, Jaguar North date, Koenigsegg Florida, and Infiniti dealerships. Each store is a full-size franchise store, in essence, separated by concrete floors much like malls separate their keystone retailers. The cost? A cool $120 million to build.
The facility was completed nearly two years ago, but the format is still extremely impressive. The North Miami headquarters features 800,000 square feet, of which approximately 500,000 square feet is automotive retail space with another roughly 200,000 square feet of offices. The service department has 82 bays – yes, 82 bays – of which all are within air-conditioned space. There’s on-site parking for more than 2,000 vehicles.
And foresight during construction meant that Warren Henry Auto Group contains the capacity for 400 electric vehicle chargers to be installed. Currently, there are around two dozen in place.
From the street you see balconies with popular models suspended high above the ground. The frontage looks more like a five-star hotel than a dealership. The dealer group relocated to the new location when they discovered their customers were increasingly from the North Miami area.
Despite being a monstrous building that could be mistaken in size for a factory, the customer experience remains second to none. The team boasts award after award for customer service including a spot on the J.D. Power Excellence List for the Customer Sales Experience, according to their website.
If you’re looking for a dialed-in example of why car shoppers like small, rural dealerships, you’ll find it here on a much, much larger scale.
The reason dealerships aren’t going away
Warren Henry Auto Group has been growing. Their exponential growth through more than four decades now finds them with 13 locations in Florida, and they’ve been insightful enough to move their location to where their customers are.
They do what everyone in the industry knows best: customer service. Although there are emerging carmakers that make a go out of auto retail without dealerships in the traditional sense, it’s hard to imagine that consumers would ever be ready for online ordering or kiosk purchasing to be the norm. Customers want a car shopping experience on their terms, and that’s what the Warren Henry dealerships model within their incredible complex.
Outside the box for dealership spaces
Granted, there may never be another mega dealership to rival the Mark Henry Auto Group’s facility, but their structure provides a few ideas that could be incredibly useful for dealerships aiming to expand or refresh their current building.
The North Miami building is open to hosting private events, allowing people to visit their facility casually – without the pressure of a car shopping visit. They have a rooftop spot with a panoramic view of the area and an adaptable space for events. This model of welcoming visitors who aren’t yet car shoppers can endear people to the dealership, establishing a stress-free relationship before anything transactional ever starts.
You may not see small independent or single-brand dealers make the move to a complex of this nature, and it’s been evident that it’s harder than ever for standalone dealers to make it in the industry. Think about going outside the normal car dealership box to make your own statement locally, maintaining the focus on the customer experience.
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