Entrepreneur Omar McGee knows the ins and outs of the luxury car industry. A handsome, stylish man with vision, McGee is literally living his dream as the owner of , the only African-American owned exotic vehicle sales and rental dealership in Los Angeles, and one of the co-stars of the new Discovery+ series, “Million Dollar Wheels’’ where he shares co-hosting duties with Chadwick Hopkins.
“Million Dollar Wheels,’’ from executive producer Jamie Foxx, follows a diverse group of top luxury and supercar dealers in the world as they find and sell the most exclusive vehicles in existence to an elite clientele.
McGee grew up in the business and as an independent luxury car dealer, made his mark as the youngest general manager in Ferrari dealership history.
At the risk of sounding redundant, it’s important to stress that we are talking about the tip-tippity-top of the luxury car industry where there might be less than a dozen car models available in the world. Here, if you have to ask the price — know that you simply can’t afford it.
And because, essentially we are talking about the wealthy versus the very rich the group of people that can afford these unique, luxury cars are members of an exclusive group and more to the point of the show — “Million Dollar Wheels’’ – they don’t just sell cars; they sell a lifestyle.
Here is what Omar McGee had to share about being a part of the luxury car world.
L.A. Sentinel: Growing up did you have an affinity with cars, or is this something you developed when you got older?
Omar McGee: In all honesty, growing up, I didn’t hate cars. My father owned a collision shop and he taught us everything from how to start a business all the way to the end. The problem that I had [growing up] is that I had to work on cars, and I hated it, with a passion. The beauty in that is it taught me how to work. It taught me how to become an entrepreneur. It taught me everything that I needed to know to compete in this world. But at the time, as a kid, I didn’t realize that.
LAS: Where did you grow up?
OM: [Flint] Michigan. At the time of my high school graduation, a lot of my classmates got jobs in the shops where they could make 60K a year which, at the time, was a fortune in Flint, at the time because of the cost of living. We were the centerpiece of the middle class. A lot of people don’t know that about Flint.
With me, I looked at all of that stuff like hard work, labor work. I went to college and I studied filmmaking, communication, education, and not-for-profit.
LAS: This is a very interesting journey. How did you get back on the car track?
OM: I moved to Los Angeles and I took a trip to Miami where I saw all of these luxury cars.
LAS: Copy that. Miami can do that.
OM: (laughing) I got it. Now, it all made sense to me. My father, at the time, was selling Buick’s [cars] and Toyota’s and to me, this was not attractive. So when I got back to L.A. and looked around, I used the same business model [my father taught me] and applied it. L.A. is filled with luxury cars and looking around, L.A. was like my new birthday.
LAS: Facts. A lot of folks in L.A. can afford to purchase luxury cars. So your fathers’ education helped you understand what makes a good car and what makes a great car, correct?
OM: Yes. It was obvious when I moved to L.A. It’s a big difference between buying and selling a . It’s a different ball game. When he came to L.A., he was like — ‘You are out of your mind,’ no way would he buy a car that expensive. My family still can’t accept the amount of money people pay for cars. They are enjoying the ride but still, it bothers them a little bit.
LAS: I understand because, for the price of a car, many people can purchase a house or easily pay down or even off a mortgage.
LAS: Walk us through how a luxury car appreciates in value. How does that work?
OM: Well, you are talking about cars that take six months to make. Handcrafted. A Rolls Royce and with a lot of the other cars, they are only making a few of them. Within that, as time goes by you will lose some of the cars. Some will be shipped out to different countries.
So, if they made 300 of those cars and in some cases 100 depending on what car you are purchasing, those cars become incredibly valuable because of the number of cars released and the demand for those cars. Cars can go up to 3 million. Those are supercars. There is a demand out of this world.
LAS: Let’s talk about the Discovery+ series “Million Dollar Wheels.’’ What motivated the creation of this very interesting show?
OM: I don’t know. I was actually the last on-air talent hired. What they [camera crew] captured is what we go through. They just placed the camera and let us go. They followed our journey on how we deal with each other and our high-profile clients.
LAS: This is a very compelling show. I am in for the ride — so to speak!