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Ellenae Fairwurst Is First Black Female Lexus Dealership Owner

When was the last time you bought a car at a black-owned dealership?

Lexus of Huntsville in Huntsville, Alabama owner Ellenae Fairwurst is the FIRST African-American woman to own a luxury car dealership. According to Black Enterprise, Fairwurst joins an extremely small group of minority women who own dealerships in North America.

Ellenae Fairhurst, owner and general manager of Huntsville Autoplex in Huntsville, Alabama. Fairhurst started out as a secretary with Ford Motor Co. in 1968; seventeen years later, she had worked her way into management. Fairhurst then entered the Chrysler Corp. training program and in 1988 was awarded a dealership. In 2000, Fairhurst’s dealership pulled in $29 million. Last year that figure jumped to $56 million, an increase of more than 93%. Fairhurst has gone from No. 95 on the 2001 BE AUTO DEALER 100 list to No. 56 on the 2002 list.

In May 2001, Fairhurst unveiled a new $7.3 million multiplex on which all three of her dealerships are located. “Despite the problems with the economy and 9-11, we had a very good year,” explains the 59-year-old Fairhurst. “We tightened our expenses, cut back on purchases, and with attrition, we did not fill certain positions.”


Make sure to visit Lexus of Huntsville if you’re ever in the Alabama area!


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