Miami’s 26-Year-Old Supercar CEO
Brett David, CEO of Prestige Imports and Lamborghini Miami, gets a buzz from driving the exotic vehicles his company sells. But don’t be surprised if you see this down-to-earth executive tooling around in a Ford F150 pickup. “I still want to be the kid that drives a Tonka toy,” he said with a laugh.
For Brett, now 26, the term, “kid,” was at one time an obstacle. When he was 19, his father, Irv David, the founder of Prestige Imports, died unexpectedly, leaving his son with the decision either to take over the multimillion dollar firm or walk away.
“I heard gossip like ‘the kid will never be able to continue’ or ‘this is the end of Lamborghini Miami,’” Brett said. Even his mother, sister and his late dad, in a letter written months before his death, urged him to put the dealership on the market.
But he chose to stay. “I lost my father to the stress of this business,” he said. “I couldn’t let this business go. I needed to continue my father’s legacy.” And here we are, seven years later. It’s been an amazing ride.”
The Drive To Excel
The younger David showed early on that he had the guts to lead. In his first full year at the helm of Prestige Imports, he boosted sales of Audi from 500 cars in 2006 to 2,000 cars in 2007. In 2010, 1,610 customers drove off in Audis.
Irv David passed away on his 56th birthday in 2007 after suffering his fourth heart attack. Brett deeply wishes his father were still around so they could work together. “As a father-son team, we would be unstoppable,” Brett said.
A Family Affair
When he took the reins along with his sister, Brooke, Brett broadened his focus to include service and creative marketing. He also has “a great team” supporting him. “Nothing can be executed without the proper team. They believe in my vision. It was my mission to become Number 1, and since 2007, I have maintained that title.”
Brett says he’s always been a car guy. “After school when I was a teenager, you could find me in the parts department or washing cars.” He always wanted to sell vehicles, but his dad cautioned his young son that “no one buying a $400,000 car is going to take a kid seriously.”
It didn’t take long before the teenage Brett proved to his family that his sales skills were a force to be reckoned with. Celebrity singer-songwriter Missy Elliot dropped into the dealership to buy a Lamborghini from Brett a day after he helped start her stalled Ferrari. The teen also sold customized tire rims and ran 305 Imports “out of a bathroom using a BlackBerry.” Dad was so impressed with Brett’s sales figures that he took him into the business.
Extreme Marketer, Passionate Philanthropist
Brett David is no stranger to “shock value” marketing. He commissioned Artist Jona Cerwinske to “paint” a white Lamborghini Gallardo with a black Sharpie marker. The “Sharpie” Lambo has won raves and awards – and put Brett solidly on the innovation map.
A devoted supporter of charitable organizations, Brett created the Ride2Revive Foundation to aid children with life-threatening diseases, run by his mother, Valerie. He also supports Kids with Cancer, Make-A-Wish and the American Heart Association.
A Noble Mission
In a high-tech, fast-moving world, Brett takes his inspiration from a simple man – Mahatma Gandhi – who said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”