Lexus of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama owner Ellenae Fairwurst is the first African-American woman to own a luxury car dealership. Fairwurst joins an extremely small group of minority women who own dealerships in North America.
According to their web site, “Our passion is providing you with a world-class ownership experience. We share the thrill our customers get from owning and driving a Lexus. Whether you come in for a new or pre-owned Lexus, to have your vehicle serviced or to arrange financing, we are committed to providing a Lexus experience that keeps you coming back.”
Men have dominated the car dealership industry for years, and it has always been rare to see a woman owning a car dealership – especially rare a woman of color. Ellenae’s career in the auto industry began way back in 1968 when she was a secretary at the Ford Motor Company. Twenty years later, in 1988, she was awarded her very own dealership and still runs it today.
All those years in the auto industry paid off well for Fairhurst. She clearly knew what she was doing and increased her sales to the point where she was able to pay off her dealership in half the time it normally takes — in just 8 years, versus the normal 15 years.
Fairhurst is a shining example of hard work and success. She was willing to put in the work and the time — learning the auto business from the ground up, entering the Chrysler Corporation training program, and prior to her Lexus dealership being the first black dealer to secure an Infiniti franchise.