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First African-American to Own Rolls Royce Dealership

In Feb. 2014, Thomas A. Moorehead has made automotive history. He’s the first African-American to own an ultra-luxury Rolls-Royce dealership in America.

He’s starting his second month as the owner of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars of Sterling, a community in Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. He is one of only 35 Rolls-Royce dealers nationwide.

“This is a very good market,” Moorehead said. “This is the richest market in America, and we’ve done very well. We cover Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the District of Columbia.”

A Rolls-Royce sells for anywhere from $250,000 to $550,000, depending on the model and the features. He said he expects to sell four to six new Rolls-Royces each month and six to eight used units. The 69-year-old trailblazer also made history in 2001 when he opened a dual dealership in Sterling selling BMWs and Mini Coopers. His dealership is the largest minority owned BMW dealership nationwide and ranks among the top 10 percent in sales of the brand.

“When you look at it, Rolls-Royce is the next step up from BMW,” said Moorehead, who also is chairman of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers. The first Rolls-Royce he sold was a two-door Wraith coupe for about $330,000. His dealership has sold five since he opened his doors in December. 

“We’re looking forward to having a pretty good year,” Moorehead predicted. “For individuals that have been sitting on the sideline due to the down economy, we’re starting to see those individuals come back into the marketplace.” 

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