Basic Transportation

When Hollywood stars and movie moguls get an itch to buy a snazzy new sports car–a Porsche, say, or maybe an Audi–chances are, they pay a visit to Geoffrey Emery ’86L, owner of Beverly Hills Porsche and Beverly Hills Audi.

After practicing law for five years at major firms in New York and San Francisco, Emery bought the Porsche/Audi dealership in 1991 and has turned it into the second-largest Porsche dealer in the world, selling some seven hundred Porsches as well as eleven hundred Audis a year. Emery himself handles many of the dealership’s numerous VIP clients, who have included the likes of Steven Spielberg, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, and California’s new governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“Porsches are basic transportation in this town,” says Emery.

It’s easy to see why the TV show Access Hollywood recently featured a segment on Beverly Hills Porsche. Located in a former open-air market in the heart of Beverly Hills, the dealership occupies prime real estate and caters to a clientele that doesn’t balk at paying $440,000 for a car (the price of the new Porsche Carrera GT–also the average cost of a home in L.A.). Emery’s sleek sales staff is notably diverse in terms of ethnicity, and in a business that is overwhelmingly male, a third of his top executives are women.

Emery is expanding his Porsche business to the tune of more than 200,000 square feet of commercial space in Los Angeles and ten to fifteen locations. In his huge, cluttered office above the Beverly Hills showroom, where his Emory degree hangs on the wall, Emery can see all his future dealerships on a dozen live-feed computer monitors. He serves on various boards with both Porsche and Audi.

“Porsche is the most profitable car company in the world,” Emery says. “And southern California is the largest Porsche market in the world. I have to help them be successful by building their brand identity, and that involves substantial real estate commitments. It’s taking up a significant amount of time right now.”

Fast cars aren’t the only luxury commodity Emery provides to California celebrities. He also owns Ericson Yachts and Pacific Seacraft Corporation, renowned manufacturers of ocean cruising yachts, which can be enjoyed for a price range of $75,000 to $500,000. And rock stars including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have used musical equipment made by the Matchless Amplifier Company, a company Emery acquired in 1992.

Emery has hosted the L.A. chapter of the Association of Emory Alumni at an event in his Porsche dealership and actually helped start the chapter in 1991. “My Emory experience was very positive,” he says.

So young Emory graduates who head out to L.A. to seek their fortunes–if they make it big–are encouraged to stop by and see Emery, their fellow alum. For as little as $40,000, he’s happy to put them in a shiny, new Porsche.–P.P.P.





L.A. Alumni:

Kai Ryssdal ’85C

Mark Goffman ’90C

Zachary Hansen ’94C

Curley Bonds ’87C



© 2004 Emory University