The Exotic Deal

Behind the Scene of the Exotic Auto Sales industry with Hillary Desneux


We sit "In the Garage" with Hillary Desneux, of Desneux Motorsports, an exotic auto dealer in located in the Midwest.  Hillary chatted with us and opened up about herself, and what's it's like running this type of business.


Name:  Hillary Desneux

Location: Peculiar, Missouri

Instagram: @hillarydesmoto




1. How did you first get into cars?

I can't really think of a time when I wasn't into cars. I was really influenced by my dad and cars have always been a passion and big part of our life. When I was younger, I remember when my dad would pick me up from school in whatever he had at the time, be it a Corvette, Cobra or Viper and I thought it was so cool. As I got older, I learned as much as I could about them and when I started driving, I knew it was something that would always be a part of who I am.



2. What was your first car?

2002 Saleen Mustang, with the s281, number #742.



3. What is your current car?

After I sold my Datsun 240z, I bought a Nissan 350z convertible.



4. What is your favorite car?

I love so many, but I'd be lying if I said anything other than the Ford GT. The Ford GT has so much style and character because it brings classic, American muscle and supercar together all in one. It's the total package and I've never experienced anything else like it. Desneux Motorsports has also bought and sold over 20 Ford GTs, so it’s a car I know very well.



5. Being you own an exotic dealership, what is it like to drive a variety of supercars?

While we do get to drive the cars occasionally, it doesn't happen as much as people would like to think. Most of the cars that we bring in are very rare, have low mileage or are in pristine condition, so adding miles to the tires will do no good. However, I've had the opportunity to drive a lot of different cars which I really enjoy. I have a strong passion for cars and I love and respect them each individually. No car ever drives the same, and each has its own personality. For me, it’s not just a car, its a lifestyle. It's how you feel when you're behind the wheel. Each car has its own style and offers a different experience -- very few people understand that.



7.  Is there anything you want to share about being in the exotic retail business?

As a little girl, I remember dreaming about the things I am able to do now through Desneux Motorsports. I dreamed about the fast cars, the traveling, the lifestyle . . . I wanted it all. Most people see all the cars and the lifestyle that we promote and think it all happened overnight but they don't see all of the challenges and struggles that came with it. This business is tough. This lifestyle is one many dream of and only few ever experience.



8. How did you get into the exotic car business?

Growing up, my father always had nice cars. What most people don't know is how hard he worked to get us where we are today. My father is the hardest working person I know. When I was little, I remember him waking up at 3:00am, putting in fifteen-plus hour workdays, just to bust his ass running the landscaping business he's had for the last twenty-years to provide for his family. When I turned 15, I began working with him before and after school, usually running with a weed trimmer in my hands, and I worked through college as well.


When I graduated, the dealership wasn't an idea yet and at the top of my class, I knew I didn't want to take over the landscaping business so I decided to go the corporate business route instead. About two years ago, my dad purchased what is now our dealership. I hated the corporate 9-5 and with my background and passion for cars, I decided to leave my job and partner with my father to open Desneux Motorsports, making our dreams a reality.


Here we are 2 years later and we've cut over half of our landscaping accounts while running Desneux Motorsports full time.



9. What is your role like?  Do you encounter challenges?

Running Desneux Motorsports has been nothing short of a blessing but being a female in the automotive sales industry has definitely presented its own challenges. The car business is tough and most people involved in it have been around it for a long time. Coming into the business as a 23-year old female, many people had doubts and didn't take me seriously -- some still don't. I would call prospective clients or other dealers and many would turn me away, only wanting to work with my father, assuming I didn't know anything about cars. There were others that would tell my father that a girl has no business working in the automotive industry.


As irritating as it was, I am extremely grateful for it. It taught me a lot and challenged me to be better. I knew that in order to get anywhere in this business, I would have to go above and beyond to prove that I wasn't just a pretty face, that I actually knew the cars in and out, knew the business, and for lack of better words, could stand my ground working deals. I've always been a hard worker and the doubt was the fuel I needed to push me to learn everything I could about the business. I wanted to prove to everyone that I have what it takes.


The last two years have proven to be the hardest but best years of my life. I built our company website without a tech background, I do all of our own marketing and I work with my father on every deal made. While most people enjoy free time going out on the weekends, I spend most of mine researching cars, the latest trends in the industry, and market values on any given model. I work around beautiful cars all day, I travel and I connect with so many amazing individuals everyday.


10. If you could leave us with any last remarks, what would that be?

I love what I do and I thank God everyday for the opportunity I have been given. I believe that through hard work, effort and faith, you can do anything you put your mind to. Desneux Motorsports was founded on dreams and passion and we hope to inspire others to make their dreams a reality to live life to the fullest, because it's not just a car --  it's a lifestyle.




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