Porsche stops Lexington dealership's sale, closes it

Lexington's Porsche dealership has closed after the automaker nixed a planned sale because it deemed the market too small to maintain a presence.

The dealership, at 1868 Plaudit Place in Hamburg, closed Nov. 30, said master technician Brian Wooldridge, who said he was one of seven employees.

Wooldridge said the dealership's owner planned to sell it to Green's Toyota, but Porsche Cars North America wouldn't sign off.

Tony Fouladpour, spokesman for Porsche Cars North America, confirmed the decision Monday and said it had nothing to do with the potential buyer of the dealership, which had been open since June 2005.

"We determined Porsche didn't need representation in that area," Fouladpour said, explaining why it exercised right of first refusal on the deal, bought out the franchise and closed it. "It simply had to do with that."

Representatives of the owners of Porsche of Lexington and Green's Toyota did not return messages Monday.

Fouladpour said Central Kentucky Porsche owners can have their vehicles serviced at dealerships in Louisville or Cincinnati.

Wooldridge said he plans to open a garage focusing on Porsches and other high-end cars.

The move is another blow to Lexington's luxury-car market, which lost a Land Rover and Jaguar dealership in late 2008. Jim Haynes, president of the dealership, said the vehicle volume didn't justify the store.

Haynes withdrew from the market with plans to service Lexington customers from his Land Rover and Jaguar dealership in Louisville, Blue Grass Motorsport. The dealership has drivers on the road daily between Lexington and Louisville to pick up and deliver vehicles that it services.

His dealership also sells Porsches. "We hope to be taking care of Lexington's Porsche customers and build a relationship with them," Haynes said Monday.