DOWNEY, CA–(Marketwired – November 10, 2017) –
- Downey Nissan leads with record sales to Hispanic market in 2017*
- Nakita Joshi leads sales team of 45 ethnically diverse professionals
- A focus on people and novel use of technology keys to dealership success
Downey Nissan leads the brand in volume sales to Hispanic customers, nearly doubling its sales to this important market segment in 2017. At close of October, Downey Nissan also was the frontrunner in the brand's Western region in year-to-date overall sales. A look at the faces behind this growth reveals a young, gender- and ethnically diverse team helmed by 31-year-old general sales manager, Nakita Joshi.
While Joshi admits that she and Finance Manager Anna Robles are often mistaken for receptionists, she doesn't let it get to her.
“Women can do anything, and I'm personally willing to help anyone, male or female, coming up the ranks in this dealership and in this industry,” she notes.
Based in the Los Angeles metro area, Downey Nissan is on pace to sell just over 4,800 new and used vehicles this year. In April, Downey Nissan moved to a new 55,000 square-foot facility on Firestone Blvd., a bustling thoroughfare that intersects three cities representing a significant Hispanic population. The building features Nissan's newest dealership design that offers technology and amenities suited to today's consumer tastes and expectations.
Location and facility are keys to the dealership's success but far from the only one, maintains Joshi, who also credits sales growth to the people who make up Downey Nissan.
“The automotive retail business is a people business. The key is to find, hire and train people who truly love every aspect of their career. If they love what they do, who they work for, the product, the process, and the environment the results are going to be positive. It's really difficult to sabotage any task you truly love performing,” said Tim Hutcherson, owner of Downey Nissan.
This family feel has been a crucial factor in Joshi's own career growth and satisfaction. A single mother, Joshi appreciates that she is surrounded by many other women, including working moms, in leadership positions at the dealership. Anna Robles is the dealership's finance director, a sales manager and a mom of two. Rebecca Galvan is Downey Nissan's marketing director who works side-by-side with the owners to promote all that Downey Nissan has to offer to its customers. Finance manager Liz Gomez also is an example of a female leader balancing roles of job and mom.
“A lot of women are turned off by the hours and the commission structure that come with dealership sales positions,” Joshi says. “You can't be afraid of that. While we sometimes do work long hours, we have flexibility. I may work late into the evening, but then I come in at 1 p.m. the next day. Similarly, while we do work on commission, our owners give us the tools to learn so we can be successful.”
Being a female in leadership is not an anomaly at Downey, and neither is youth. At just 31 years of age, Joshi oversees 45 people most of whom are younger than she is. She estimates the average age of her team members at 26. Likewise, diversity of ethnicity is a differentiator; Joshi was born and spent part of her childhood living in Nepal. Of her sales staff, 90 percent are bilingual English-Spanish, ensuring an ease of interaction for the area's many Hispanic customers.
Joshi sees the emphasis Downey places on technology as yet another secret to the dealership's success.
“We use technology in unique ways,” she says. “Every sales and finance person has a tablet they use to check customers in and out. When they're not working with a customer, our people are using the tablet to complete training modules. Customers use the tablets too. All credit applications are filled out on the tablet, and customers can use them to view our inventory.”
Add Downey's family-friendly environment to the mix, and it's not uncommon to see bustling waiting areas and a packed kids' playroom on the weekends.
“We have plenty of comfortable places to sit, charging stations, food and beverage hospitality areas, and a play room for young kids,” she says. “We welcome families and try to make their experience in the dealership a pleasant one.”
So much so that some customers regularly come in just to use the dealership's WiFi on the weekends even though a sale or service isn't imminent.
“We're like family,” Joshi says. “Our customers see themselves reflected in our staff, and that makes a huge difference.”
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the U.S. media sites nissannews.com and infinitinews.com.
About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2016, the company sold 5.63 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 11.72 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: Asia & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America; and North America. Nissan has a global workforce of 247,500 and has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault under the Renault-Nissan Alliance since 1999. In 2016, Nissan acquired a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors, which became the third member of the Alliance – a grouping with combined annual sales of almost 10 million units a year.
For more information about our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit nissan-global.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
*Source: IHS Markit data, Jan. – Aug., 2017
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