When South Jordan's first car dealership opens this summer, it won't be selling your average sedans, trucks and sport utility vehicles.
In fact, some of its cars will cost as much as a house. A big house. With a pool. In a ritzy neighborhood.That's because the showpiece vehicle at Exotic Imports, 10764 S. 300 West, will be the Lamborghini, an Italian sports car with a price tag around $280,000.
The new dealership, scheduled for a mid-June opening, is the dream of Mark Hulet, a Salt Lake accountant who has a passion for Lamborghinis. Hulet never has owned an exotic car, but he has experienced the thrill of riding in one on the open road.
"That's all it takes," he said. "I've always had an interest in exotic cars, especially Lamborghinis."
So Hulet applied with Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. more than a year ago to get one of its rare U.S. franchises. He was approved, then set about acquiring a site and building his dealership.
Helping Hulet is Robert A. Braner, former president of Automobili Lamborghini USA Inc., the car-maker's U.S. marketing arm, who will move from Florida to Utah to serve as president and general manager of Exotic Imports.
Both men said market studies of Utah and surrounding states show the time is right to open a dealership for exotic - and expensive - cars.
"We're anxious to see it coming together," Hulet said. "We believe the demographics are strong enough to support the vehicles."
Braner said Exotic Imports has an excellent location, just across I-15 from the Utah Auto Mall in Sandy and near the 10600 South offramp.
Keith Snarr, South Jordan's economic development director, said at least three other car dealerships also are considering locations near 10600 South in the city.
"They die for freeway frontage," he said. "If they can find a site that has frontage on the freeway with some visibility to let people know where they're at, that's very important for them. . . . (Exotic Imports) has a very advantageous and highly visible site."
Snarr said the nature of the dealership has South Jordan officials excited.
"Traditionally, auto sales have been a big piece of the sales tax receipts for a city, and for us, that would be significant," Snarr said. "I think the quality of the products he's dealing with shows the quality of the city of South Jordan, so we're extremely pleased about that."
Even the building that will house the Lamborghinis, as well as pre-owned Ferraris, Aston Martins, Rolls-Royces and other famous and collectible vehicles, is anything but ordinary.
Hulet said he already has spent about $2.4 million on the project, and it could end up with a total price tag of about $5 million. The architecturally interesting, 20,000-square-foot building will include a showroom, a car wash area, a boutique that sells Lamborghini clothes and other products, a parts department, an indoor service area that will be almost as sterile as a clean room and a customer lounge where people can take a "virtual test drive" by watching videos of Lamborghinis in action.
Outside, easily visible from I-15, a carousel display will slowly rotate and show off one of the approximately 35 cars Exotic Imports will have on hand at any one time.
"We're a little concerned that it will cause traffic accidents," Hulet joked.
Both he and Braner said they know most people cannot afford to purchase one of the 200 new Lamborghinis made each year. But they promise the dealership will welcome those who just want to have a look . . . and dream.
"It is the limited availability of the (Lamborghini) that makes it interesting," Braner said. "It is the rarity of the product that makes it unique."