VW planning to buy Potamkin’s flagship store in Manhattan

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

The Potamkin family has sold off its flagship dealership in Manhattan to the Volkswagen Group of America. The agreement, which was signed on Friday, will allow the conversion of the property into VW and Audi stores. VW confirmed plans to buy the 265,000-square-foot store at 11th Avenue and 56th Street from Potamkin Auto Group.

Currently, the building houses Potamkin GM, which has Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Hummer and Saab franchises. Brothers and co-owners, Robert and Alan Potamkin, said that they are moving the six franchises five blocks south on 11th Avenue into a smaller store that housed Potamkin Honda.

Potamkin reveals that a third of the $125 million that VW is set to spend will go to the renovation of the site. The Honda franchise has been sold to Giuffre Auto Group in the Brooklyn borough of New York City

Giuffre owns Mazda, Hyundai, Kia and Mitsubishi dealerships. Robert Potamkin disclosed that Potamkin GM sells about 1,500 new vehicles each year and its Honda store's sales are about 3,000 units annually.

The reason why the brothers are selling the Honda franchise and moving the GM operations is because property is often worth more than an auto franchise in New York.

The Volkswagen and Audi stores will be run by the Open Road Auto Group, which currently owns an Audi dealership in Manhattan as well as BMW, Mini, Nissan, Mazda, Acura and Volkswagen stores in New York and New Jersey.

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