The Morphett Vale dealership is part of the large South Australian Autogild group, but goes to great effort to make customers feel they’re in a small local business.
“Most people who walk in the door are known by their first name,” Grand Nissan general manager Gavin Mackenzie says. “We want them to know we acknowledge them as a person, not a faceless number.”
“I think emphasising the local connection really resonates with our customer base. We’ve been serving the southern area since 1990 and we try to make it a one-stop shop for people – sales, service, finance. Customers tend to be happy with their experience here and we get a lot of repeat business.”
Mr Mackenzie says emphasising the community connection is part of the dealership’s training processes, and translates into every part of the business.
“We’re very involved in the local community, and most people who work here live in the area.
“We cater for everybody, obviously, but we tend to go to a lot of extra effort for the local people. We’ll bring a car out to a customer for them to see. And being part of a large group we can show people more – our entire range of used car stock across the State, for example – and if they see something they think they’ll like we can arrange for the car to be brought here.”
Mr Mackenzie says the local aspect extends to him felling like he has come home in returning to Grand Nissan after a few years in other parts of the Autogild Group.
“I started here at Grand Nissan as a sales person not long after it opened 20 years ago. I then became sales manager, then general sales manager then general manager in 2005, before moving to Autogild’s Metro Holden Prospect branch for some years. Then I came back in January this year.
Mr Mackenzie is not the only long-termer at Grand Nissan, he says. “Some of the original people are back as well. Nick Doyle has been here for nine years – he started as a sales person, and is now new car manager.”
He says his passion for the industry hasn’t ever waned. ``The car industry is as exciting now as it's ever been. I've been in this industry for 24 years. I have to say, this is the best job in the world.''