Troy Nissan focuses on community, service

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 15, 2016


When Troy Nissan held its grand re-opening last week, the owners were surprised by a special gift from Billy Hayes, vice president of Nissan Southeast Region: a replica helmet of a historic Japanese figure.

Owner Duane Webb and his son Tyler, executive manager, were surprised to receive the gift. “We didn’t really know what to think at first because it was completely unexpected,” Duane said.

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“But as Billy began to talk about it a little bit it made perfect sense,” Tyler said. “The Japanese culture is really big on family and we’re one of the few dealerships that is family-owned instead of corporate-owned.”

The big difference, Duane said, is that being a family-owned dealership allows them to give back to the community in ways that corporate-owned dealerships can’t.

Duane started Troy Nissan in 1988, when Tyler was 7 years old. “I’ve just grown up in the car business,” Tyler said. “When I graduated from Troy University in 2004, I came here and went to work. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. I love Troy, I love working with my family and I really believe in the Nissan brand.”

Tyler is next in line to take over the family business. It’s unclear yet whether any of Duane’s three grandchildren will continue the business, as his oldest, Mary Tyler, is only 7 years old. But Duane said she is constantly giving him advice on how to run the dealership. “I think she knows more than we do,” he said, laughing.

Duane explained that the family feel of the business doesn’t just refer to blood relation, but to employees and customers as well.

“Our employees are like family and we believe in taking care of them,” Duane said. “We’ve had very little turn-over because of that. And now we’re selling cars to the grandchildren of our first customers, so everybody is like family.”

The dealership moved to its current location in 1996. The grand re-opening came after the store was completely remodeled earlier this year as part of a nationwide branding campaign for Nissan.

“We wanted to remodel to give our customers a more comfortable buying experience,” Tyler said. “We wanted them to have a nice place to go and the building was just old.”

The remodeled dealership features an expanded showroom and customer lounge, as well as a drive-in service entrance to keep customers out of inclement weather.

Hayes presented the museum-quality replica helmet of Date Nasamune to Troy Nissan at the grand re-opening. “This type of wearable samurai helmet, called the kabuto, is still used in Japan today,” he said. “It is usually given to small children as a symbol of health and continued growth. So today we present this kabuto helmet to you and your team as a symbol of health and continued growth.”

Hayes said that the Webbs, like Samurai Date, are known for their heritage, ethics, and contributions to the community.

Troy Nissan is located at 110 U.S. 231 North. It is open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.