Let’s say you buy a car from the new Holman Motorcars facility on Sunrise Boulevard. Furthermore let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you decide to go home in the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn.
When you buy a new Rolls, you don’t just pick the color and what kind of radio it has. There are options. Let’s say you’ve gone with the gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament. For a primary interior color, you’ve selected Crème Light, which offsets nicely with the Dark Spice secondary color you’ve picked. You like the look of the “Rolls-Royce Goodwood” treadplates, the lambswool footmats and the wooden trunk floor, so you select all three. Polished metal fuel filler cap? Don’t mind if you do.
This is your car, as evidenced by the not insignificant check you’re about to write for it, so you’re going to have it just the way you want it. And when you get it, that should be a moment.
Well, here’s how you get it at Holman. From the main showroom – sorry, gallery – you walk down an ornately tiled hallway into a well-appointed but fairly Spartan boardroom-style office. There, you sign the paperwork. Then you step through a door, a curtain is pulled back – and there it is. Your car, in a suite of its own, under a star-pattered ceiling and some serious mood lighting. The team at Holman encourages customers to bring along friends and family for the big day, and there’s room for them to sit on the sofas lining two of the room’s walls. “This is an event,” Holman general manager Gregg Stone says. “This is an experience.”
Even if you’re not in the market for one of the big three of British ultra-luxury automobiles, you’ve likely seen the new Holman facility as it’s been under construction. The longtime Fort Lauderdale auto group’s recently completed ultra-luxury car facility sits next to Holiday Park’s Sunrise Boulevard entrance, just east of the Searstown bend.
Three British car companies live side by side in the Holman facility: Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The space Holman has created for them is, Stone says, built specifically with not just the luxury market but the ultra-luxury market in mind.
Walking into the main gallery from the valet area (you don’t park your current car at Holman, you leave it with a valet), you’re first greeted by what could reasonably pass for a luxury hotel lobby. Light brown chairs and several Eames Lounge Chairs give way to a high-stools-ringed bar and several TVs. Walking out into the airy, art gallery-like main space, you might notice a large, oddly shaped lighting feature. It’s a chandelier of sorts, done in the shape of England’s famed Silverstone Circuit, the British Grand Prix home that’s been a site of famous wins for all three carmakers under this roof.
The three companies’ discrete spaces open up before you. As you might expect, the three had highly specific ideas about their sections of the space. Their areas, side by side along the north side of the gallery building, suggest luxury in subtly different ways. The Bentley section looks set to receive a member of the royal family while the Aston Martin area offers just a bit more laid-back, with some tasteful mid-century wood paneling and a more open-plan sofa seating area for choosing your specific features. (All three spaces have lounge-style areas in one corner where you can choose every manner of color, texture and detail that’s going to go into your car.) The Rolls-Royce area includes a wall-length water feature and a quote from the company co-founder.
On the other side of the valet area, the servicing shop features equipment specific to each company, in-ground car lifts and, Stone notes, a floor you could eat off of. Not that you’d need to – the employee break room offers tall chairs, a kitchen and enough fancy coffee to open a coffee shop. Stone even throws open the door to a staff men’s room to show off something that would fit in a hotel. Across the way, sales staff have similar provisions.
Treating the staff well has a practical purpose, Stone says, just as everything here does. There’s the typical car buying experience where you get coffee in a Styrofoam cup and a handshake from the salesman after he shows you how everything works. Then there’s luxury car buying – something Stone, formerly in sales with Lexus, knows about. It’s more bespoke, but still nothing like this.
Stone sums it up simply: with both the physical space and the employees in it, Holman has to give customers an experience that lives up to the cars they’re buying.
“We have to be sure we can create an experience that’s second to none,” he says.
“You have to give them that experience that money can’t buy. Because if they can buy it, they will.”