South Carolina auto group buys Dayton dealership

Lexus of Dayton has sold to a South Carolina-based dealership group.

The luxury car dealer in Washington Twp. is now owned by Hudson Automotive Group, headquartered in Charleston, with locations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

David Hudson, owner of Hudson Automotive, will continue to employ all of Lexus of Dayton’s current team members and management staff.

“David’s desire to employ all current team members with full recognition of their earned benefits was the deal sealer for me,” said John Higgins, Lexus of Dayton founder.

The 8111 Yankee St. property sold for $10 million, according to Montgomery County records. The dealership recently wrapped up a $3.5 million renovation project that added about 8,000 square feet.

The dealership will be the first in Ohio for Hudson Automotive Group.

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Higgins said he opened one of the country’s first Lexus dealerships in 1989 with his friend and former Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Rahal in opening one the country’s first Lexus dealerships in 1989. He said they knew each other from both driving race cars for Porsche Motorsports and were “looking for new endeavors.”

Higgins and another lifelong friend Richard Grant bought Rahal’s interest in 1994 and Higgins became the sole owner in 2013.

“Lexus of Dayton has sold over 31,000 cars since we opened in 1990 with 11 employees and a new car brand that people had never heard of,” he said. “We built a great company with a team of talented, professional, and committed employees.”

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Higgins was previously featured by the Dayton Daily News for his love of high-horsepower vintage race cars and he plans to continue to drive his friend Grant’s race cars in events all over the country.

In retirement from running Lexus of Dayton, Higgins also plans to tend to his new company “The Killarney Park Garage” which houses his growing automotive collection.

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