NEW YORK – The once crime ridden area called Hell's Kitchen in New York City is now considered to be an ideal location for many car companies.
"11th Avenue is the row where every manufacturer is represented. As expensive as it is, if you are not on 11th Avenue on the west side of Manhattan, you're just not representing the brand correctly," said Nissan of Manhattan co-owner John Iacono.
John Iacono and his family just opened a new Nissan dealership, and a new Infiniti dealership, on the street. The site takes up an entire city block in Manhattan, and Iacono says this new facility is his ideal.
"It's not one size fits all, and I think Nissan and Infiniti know that, and they're giving us the tools we need to compete in this marketplace," said Iacono.
Both Nissan and Infiniti have separate entrances to their facilities, and all customer touch points in sales and service are dedicated and exclusive to each brand. Each brand has its own service advisors and specialized technicians under the same roof, making the most of this valuable real estate. Nissan Motor Company President and CEO Carlos Ghosn toured the facility centered in the city.
"We need to be where customers want to shop. And it's changing, so we have to adapt and we have to change. Particularly we have to adapt not only at the location but we have to adapt what is being done inside the location," said Ghosn.
Employees here are shifting from sales people to something more similar to a product advisor. That's largely in response to the wealth of information now available to customers online.
"It's not only about the location. It's also about what's being offered inside the location, what kind of support is being given to people to help them make the decision of buying the car," said Ghosn.
Ghosn says facilities like these will help bring the United States sales number back up to full potential. The U.S. is Nissan Motor Company's second largest market.
"I would say the U.S. is still one of the brilliant spots of growth on the overall market, so we need to make sure that Nissan will be contributing to it," said Ghosn.
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