How’s it going, everybody. It is Matt Holandez here on the Nissan of Duarte Podcast. And as a guest today, I brought a friend of mine along. Her name is Amy, she’s a blogger at Nissan of Duarte. She also does much of their social media. So, I figure being in need of help as I am right now, not fully prepared to go talk to an actual dealer, but I wanted some help. And so, Amy, I’m hoping you can help me.
I’m pretty sure I can.
That’s what I do. Hi everybody.
Check this out. This is my dilemma here. I need a car.
Yes, you do.
And so, I kind of narrowed it down. I was looking around the Nissan of Duarte website and I found a couple that I kind of liked.
I know. But I’d like to ask for everybody listening before we start talking about a car you’re going to get in the future, what kind of car do you drive now?
I drive a Honda.
All right. And how do you like your Honda?
I actually really like it. Like, a lot. And I’ve had it for so long. You’ve seen it. I’ve kind of driven it to the ground. And I loved it for a long time now. It just might be time for me to–
All things come to an end?
Yeah. I guess so.
So, tell me, how come you got interested in Nissan?
Well, I heard a lot of good things just from other friends that own Nissans. They’ve had their cars for years themselves. And a lot of them have actually had it past on to them. So, having a previous owner and still having it maintained the way that it does. Of course, it’s of interest to me. And then I hear a lot about the things that you do. I’ve seen social media. And like I said, I just started browsing a little bit and I found a couple that I was interested in.
Okay. So, which ones are you interested in?
So, the first one I saw was a Nissan Sentra. There’s a couple of trims that they have. And there’s one in particular that looks really nice. And then also, the– What is it called? An Altima.
Okay. So, the Sentra and the Altima are the ones that you’ve kind of narrowed it down to.
Yeah. I think so.
Okay. Well, let me tell you. The Sentra is a great car. It’s actually a really good car for someone that’s maybe looking to save a little money. Doesn’t want to spend too much on a new vehicle, but still get something that’s a good quality vehicle to drive. It’s a five-seater, so you don’t have to worry about not having enough space for your friends. It has pretty decent gas mileage. You’re probably run into an average of 27 miles per gallon. So, it could be worse. What else do you want to know about a Sentra, Matt? How else can I help you?
Well, besides price tags. So, it started off, the price tag, I think, was saying something like 17 or something.
Yeah. So, you’re looking at around a $17,000 to start with. Which is why I said this is a great car for someone that doesn’t want to spend too much but still wants a good reliable vehicle. But you also mentioned that you were looking at some of the different trims. Like, maybe the Nismo you were interested in, which is the sportier line. So, that one’s probably going to cost you around 25,000.
Okay. So, I guess one of my concerns is, what am I giving up if I’m going with, I guess, the entry trim? What is that? The 17,000 one?
Okay. First, let me tell you what you are going to get. Okay. So, you are going to get automatic emergency braking. That’s going to be available on all trims. Maybe you’re interested in a rear-view monitor, that’s kind of like a pretty–
Yeah. I do like that.
–pretty popular feature. You are probably going to have to spend a little more for that. But you’re still going to get your Bluetooth, you’re infotainment center, all that on your standard. So, yeah. Anything else that I missed? Any other questions?
No. Well, what’s the major difference then between the Nismo model and the entry besides the price tag?
Well, it’s almost like a completely different car as far as looks. It’s a really sporty vehicle. It has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine so you’re going to have fun with that. It’s kind of like the Sentra is maybe a car you would get when you want that sporty experience without the price tag. You want to look on the road. I know you, Matt.
No. Yeah. I mean, of course. Of course. I also want something that’s fun to drive, you know? And also, you kind of know me a little bit. I like to go out in nature and things like that. Hiking. I do want a vehicle that’s not going to struggle up the hills or anything like that.
Okay. I wouldn’t go off-roading with the Sentra [laughter].
No, but I think you’re going to be fine. It handles itself. You’re not going to be unable to get up the hills. But if you are looking for something– You also mentioned Altima. Right?
As a car that you were interested in. So, the Altima is a great choice. Who doesn’t love the Altima, right? It’s so classic. It’s sophisticated. It’s a nice sedan. It’s roomy. It’s comfortable. It’s got a great quite ride that you can really enjoy. And also, you have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. So, you’re going to get–
Oh. So, that’s a four-cylinder also?
Yes. It is.
You can choose a different engine if you want.
Gotcha. And so, starting price for that?
The starting price for the Altima is around $25,000. So, you’re looking at your Nismo model versus your basic Altima there.
Yeah. So, if you wanted, you can get– You’re really interested in power? So, you might opt for the 3.5 V6 instead with the Altima. And then you’re going to get 270 horsepower. So, you’re going to get [inaudilble].
Nice. All right. It’s still a five-seater, you said?
Yeah. It’s very roomy. Very comfortable. People love their Altimas. That’s one thing that I can really tell you about my experience with Nissan is that people really love their Altimas. They love this car. It’s comfortable. They look good.
Yeah. I see a lot of them on the road.
So, I figure–
They’re popular for sure. Yeah.
I figured they must– Are they going to be doing anything new?
So, yeah. Actually, the Altima is about to undergo a redesign for 2019. You’ll probably start seeing it hit the stores maybe the end of the third quarter. So, that’s a good time to look out for that. Maybe that’s something you want to wait for because it’s probably going to be upgraded with all Nissan’s latest technology. Nissan is a leader in technology. Great technology, right?
So, you’re looking at the opportunity to get that in a new Altima. There’s improved powertrain. Even if you’re opting for the four-cylinder. So, you’re looking at a good situation. With the 2019 Altima. And plus, who doesn’t like to be a leader, right? Getting a car when it’s brand new?
I mean, yeah. It’s true.
But another way you can look at this is that you might want to grab a 2018 Altima right around that same time.
Oh. Because the price will be different?
The price will go down. Yeah. I think a little bit.
Are dealer’s typically– Is it better to deal with them when they have a brand new model coming out? Like, with a new car year? Is that always like a good deal?
Oh. You mean dealing for the new model or for the previous model?
Well, for the previous year.
Yeah. Yeah. I think you’re going to find they’re going to want to get those cleared out to make room for the new. So, that’s a really good time.
All right. So, I could look into holding off a little bit, I guess. Just to see what we’re getting there.
I don’t know. I’ve seen your Honda. You might not be able to wait. But if you can, if you can.
Yeah. Yeah, I might be able to. Is there anything else that I might have missed?
I think so. I think you have completely overlooked the Nissan Kicks. Which is a new, small crossover on the market. It’s already, actually, I shouldn’t say out in the US market, it’s already been pretty popular in other countries like Mexico, China. But now it’s coming to the States. And it’s actually going to start out around $18,000. So, I think in your budget. You’re going to be able to haul a crew in that, too.
Is there a ton of room in there or?
Well, it’s a five-seater just like the others, so you’ll be able to get your dogs in.
Yeah. It’s also equipped with some of the new technology that Nissan’s been rolling out. So, you won’t feel left behind in that. It’s actually like a perfect car for a young, career professional like yourself.
All right. I might look into that. I know you said, obviously, it starts around 17, 18 you mentioned?
Do they also have some different trim levels that you might be able to get a little bit more out of it or?
Yeah. So, you can definitely get more out of it with some of the different trim levels and upgrades and some of the tech, some of your features and benefits. You’re not looking at spending more than 21,000 though when it comes to the Kicks, so.
It’s actually really a budget, good quality– I think you’d be hard-pressed to find another vehicle that’s offering what it offers for that price.
Awesome. All right. How is it with– I know it’s kind of brand new and everything, so how is released to the States? How is it doing with as far as safety and all that stuff?
Oh, yeah. It’s doing great with safety. It’s a safe vehicle. It’s passing safety tests. One of the things that you’ve already expressed, kind of a concern about, power. I want to be honest with you because I want you to make the best choice. The Kicks may not be the most powerful vehicle. But like I just finished saying, you’re getting a lot for what you’re paying. It’s really a great vehicle. So, you want to think about. You also have some cool customization options with the colors. Some different bright colors. And different ways to customize those so that you can make it your own. So, yeah. I would definitely look into it. I think of it as being fun, you know?
Yeah. No. Yeah. That’s one thing that I do want in my next vehicle is something fun to drive. And having custom colors is, I mean, I like that stuff. Kind of make it look a little more unique. Something different than what you’re normally seeing out there on the road. Yeah, so I’ll look around. I’ll see. I’ll check that out. I thank you for bringing that up to me.
I wanted to talk to you, too. I know that we had previously discussed that you were interested in all-wheel drive, which is something that none of these vehicles offer presently. But it will be available on the 2019 Altima. So, you definitely want to keep that in mind as you’re deliberating.
Okay. So, 2019 Altima comes all-wheel drive. Is it going to be standard?
It’s an option. It’s an option.
You know, maybe Nissan wants to see how that does so that they can bring it in more.
Definitely. I think all-wheel drive cars is definitely going to help me up in the mountains [laughter]. It’s just easier to drive that way. Okay, cool. Honestly I’m–
So, are you going to come into Nissan of Duarte for a test drive or what’s going on?
Well, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Yeah. Especially now that I have this. I’m going to take another look at the options. I might, honestly, hold off for that 2019 Altima and see what’s going on there. And then just go visit one of the guys at the shop and see if they could work a good deal for me. You have any other tips as far as me, you know before I go in there? Work some type of deal?
So, do you know anybody that drives a Sentra or an Altima?
Yeah. And have you asked them if you could drive it or have you asked them what they like about it or?
I’ve asked what they like about it. I’ve never drove one.
Have you ever asked them what they don’t like about it?
I haven’t. Huh-uh.
Actually, that’s a really good question to ask before you make the investment in a car. Because although everybody’s different and has the different things that they like and don’t like about their vehicle, finding out what their first-hand experiences will help you make the right decision for yourself. So even before you come in, I think that if you know people who have those cars, you should talk to them and find out how they feel about it. And that way– Otherwise, I think it’s really important that you know what you want. Kind of firm that up in your mind and then come in, drive the cars, and then talk to us. We want to help at Nissan of Duarte.
Okay. Sounds good.
So, if you have specific questions about things, I know that your sales rep will be more than happy to answer those.
Awesome. And then just because I know that you do a lot of the social media, in case people are like myself, looking at some cars that they might be open to in the future, how do they get to see you on social?
Oh, yeah. So, follow us on Facebook. Like us on Facebook. That’s where we have most of our social media presence right now. And some of the questions that you’re asking, they get addressed there. And we share all kinds of new information that’s going on there. Reviews so that you can kind of get another perspective on some of the different Nissan vehicles out there. Some of the weird news that happens. The, what should we call it, niche news. Like, for example, when the Star Wars vehicles came out, that was pretty cool, the thing that Nissan did, so.
Oh, with the Rogue?
Yeah. That was pretty cool.
Yeah. And Nissan does have some of those specialized vehicles like that. If you want to check out.
Okay. Well, that sounds good, Amy. I appreciate your time. I appreciate all the advice. Guys, if you’re anything like me, looking for a new vehicle sometime soon, go ahead and check out the website. It’s nissanofduarte.com.
And call-in if you have any questions.
In a move that is rare for a car dealership, Nissan of Duarte is proud to announce a monthly podcast you subscribe to. Find out about what makes this dealership different from all the others. Listen to it or read the transcript below.
All right. So, Wednesday Wisdom today, really excited, man. So, we’re kind of breaking ground here. We’re at Nissan of Duarte doing their first official podcast. I’m with Samantha Sanchez. Say hi, Samantha.
So, Samantha runs the BDC Internet Department. I thought she’d be a perfect person to runs this podcast with only because number one, she’s full of energy. She’s the Energizer Bunny which is fantastic but beyond that, Sam really just got in the industry here recently ago which we’re going to kind of get some of her backstory here in a minute but really interesting perspective on the car business. So, what we’re trying to do with these podcasts is just bring some light into an industry that historically unfortunately just hasn’t been very transparent. I believe that is gone. Doing business that in that way in the dealer space, in my opinion, in the current state is just not going to work anymore. So, the days of general managers and sales managers that are behind a sales tower in a sales office and they never come out and you never meet them and you don’t even know if they’re really alive or breathing. Is that person really there or not there? Those days to me are over. People want to see transparency and let’s face it, man, buying a car and that process still has some friction and so forth and so on. So, what we’re trying to do with these podcasts is really kind of dive into the dealer world and kind of see ins and outs and kind of how technology is affecting this particular space. So, with that being said, Sam, talk to me a little bit about– first of all, give me your background. What is your background and how did you actually get wrapped up in this cockamamie business?
So, I was in college at Cal State LA and I was studying sociology for about four and a half, five years and I really couldn’t put my finger my on what I wanted to do forever if you will.
Five years of sociology.
Yeah. Five years–
Did you flunk several semesters or [inaudible]?
No. I got my bachelor’s. So, it–
Okay. Fair enough.
–took me two and a half years at Citrus College at JC and I transferred over to Cal State LA and I finished my bachelor’s at Cal State LA. I was a little bit confused on what I wanted to do and I was actually babysitting for a general manager and I was telling him, “I’m just ready to work. I’m determined. I’m motivated. I want something new that I could run with.” So, he said, “Wow, Sam. Come work at my dealership,” and that is my current general manager now, Jacob. So, he introduced me to the car business and this is basically how I landed that I’m here.
And you’ve been hating him ever since [laughter]. Literally.
Not hate. I’m enjoying the opportunities. There’s a lot to learn. So, I’m thankful that this dealership is showing me a new perspective and new opportunities from marketing, from Internet, from parts and service, taking care of customers. There’s just a lot going on here.
So, talk to me a little bit about– so, you’re the perfect person to talk to because you’re not a 20 year industry veteran. So, you’re relatively new to the industry. Right?
Seven months. Right? So, in seven months, you’re probably already crazy. This business has already probably– because you look like you’re 50 already. It took seven months to get you from your early–
23 to 50 [laughter].
— 20s, 23 to 50. So, in the car business, we always talk about years are like dog years. For every one year in the car business is like seven dog years. Know what I mean?
Yeah. Exactly. So, talk to me a little bit about some of the things that, in this industry anyway, some of the things that you look at now and are like, “Man, I didn’t realize that this happened,” or, “I didn’t realize they put in that much time or effort. I didn’t realize–” like for example, the hours. Hours are long, right?
Mm-hmm. Yeah. Definitely coming into this business, I definitely didn’t realize how much people work. I didn’t even know what a bell was and that people were [crosstalk]–
What? You thought a bell was like ding like [crosstalk] like ding.
Yeah. Like from school. It’s like come back to your classroom. I never even knew what a bell was. I was like, “What’s a bell? Why do you guys talking of dreading your bell? What is that all about?”
Why are you so afraid of a bell? [inaudible].
So, then I was like, “Okay. So, they’re working from opening to close.” So, what could possibly be going on from the dealership with these many hours? When I first started, I was a little bit overwhelmed on how to even start my day. Who do I talk to, who do I not talk to? How to even approach my customers to just not say the right– I didn’t ever want to say the wrong thing. The most shocking thing I would say is probably I didn’t realize how much time customers spend her at the dealership with the salespeople and how important it is for them build a rapport with their customer and get a little background and make their customer feel comfortable being here at the dealership. Considering that people aren’t coming here for just an hour, sometimes people are spending four to six hours here hanging out at the dealership. So, it’s like what do you possibly talk about or what’s going on in that process that’s taking six hours long? So, that was something kind of crazy to me. I’m like, “Okay. What’s going on,” just learning the basics of the process of selling a car and I am on the customer side if you will. So, I’m like, “What is the customer feeling,” and I always get feedback from the customer after the fact when they leave and I’m finding out a lot. People are just nervous to come into the dealership and to buy a care. I think the car process is a little bit frightening for people.
It is painful.
It is painful. It is.
Like when people say I’d rather go to the dentist than come to a car dealer, that’s problematic. Right?
Yeah. For sure. Because nobody wants to sit here in the showroom for six hours.
Okay. So, let’s talk about that– so, let’s talk about it. First of all, you’re scaring me the six hour bullshit. I’m never coming to your dealership to buy a car. So, let’s talk about that process. So, in your opinion, does that process need to be changed? Like the process of buying a car, does that process need to be changed?
Yes. It’s 2018 and buying a car should be as quick downloading an app [laughter].
Wow. Okay. All right. So, you’re like an Amazon experience buying a car. Right?
I just think that the process needs to be more welcoming to outside people. A lot of people are scared to ask questions and first thing people are like, “Okay. Am I going to get screwed over by the salesperson,” and I don’t understand why people think like, “Oh, I don’t want to go in. They’re just going to screw me over,” and I’m just kind of just realizing why they feel that way. But I would say from an outsider like seven months coming in, something that needs to change in buying a car, the process would just to make it a little bit more exciting and more fun for the customer. A lot of customers do a lot of research online and there’s a lot for them to access and when they come in, they have already information if you will like that salesperson can’t win. I really don’t know how to explain this. They do so much research before the fact when they come and it’s like once the salesperson’s helping, it’s like, “Invalid. Invalid.” They don’t trust the salespeople.
So, basically– because here’s reality the Internet has changed everything. Right? We can both agree with that, right? The Internet and technology has just changed everything moving forward. And let’s just be honest here, the consumer has the ability to pretty much research and look up everything and anything now as it pertains to a car deal from factory incentives to dealer cash to a price point on cars to what the dealer pays for that car. You know what I mean? So, the consumer has the option to do all that anyways already so it’s not like the consumer doesn’t have those options. See I think that to me that’s the biggest difference, the consumer didn’t have that option before. So, ultimately at this point, there is no reason for a dealership not to have a more transparent process anyways because the customer already has that info anyways. So, the least the dealer could do is make it easier at the store level. Right?
Yeah. Definitely. The process needs to be quicker, more exciting, and we need a transition to make our customers feel more welcome and excited to buy a car and not feel frightened to come in here and to purchase a car.
Sure. I hear you. So, let’s talk a little bit about– in the next episodes, we’ll get deeper into what that process is going to look like and how we’re going to do some of those things. I have some opinions just based on the fact that we’re in the tech industry now and I think ultimately all that’s going to change anyways because I think technology’s going to force the dealer to change anyways. You know what I mean?
We’re just at that point ultimately at this point. So, talk to me a little bit about this particular dealership. So, let’s dive into Nissan of Duarte specifically. So, this dealer’s been around for a long time. It’s gone through changeover a few times and so forth and so on. So, talk to me a little bit about the Nissan brand. So, what can you tell me about the Nissan brand in general? Don’t tell me so much.
The Nissan brand. For instance, I think the brand is pushing more to technology just in the vehicle itself and I can see their cars are getting a little bit more technical just from the simple fact of like the E brake. Technology’s just really advancing and it’s showing everything that we do on a day to day basis. Like our vehicles for instance, our vehicle’s technology’s just crazy.
Like the new Leaf has some pretty–
Like it’s got some pretty nifty stuff, right? I mean ultimately, right?
Right. So, now the 2018 Leaf I want to say with an eight hour a charge, we doubled the mileage from 2017 to 2018. So, Nissan’s Leaf goes about 150 miles now on a full charge which is pretty great. The E brake is something else. It helps driver fatigue. So, in stop and go traffic, the driver doesn’t really need to put their foot on both pedals. They only need to use one because the car’s starting to sense how close another vehicle is within and it gradual starts to brake and it even can come to a complete stop on its own. So, I would say that Nissan’s really pushing to grow with the technology that’s growing in our outside society. So, that’s something that I’ve noticed about the brand of Nissan itself.
And the Nissan Kicks which is the newer one, right? Doesn’t that one have some sort of lane kind of deal where it kind of [crosstalk].
Right. When you’re vehicle’s starting to shift over, the wheel automatically brings you back to the center lane if you will on its own.
Okay. Okay. A la Tesla-like.
Yeah. Definitely. Definitely.
Wow. That’s pretty neat. Now, I haven’t seen the Kick personally and I think it kind of looks like the old Jukes, right?
It looks like a Juke and a Rouge had a baby [laughter].
Wow. Okay. Wow. That’s pretty graphic. I’m not sure exactly on how that would happen. Was it on the first date or did they date for a little bit?
Third date. Third date.
Third date. Okay. Third date. Wow. She’s still pretty quick [laughter]. She’s still pretty quick. But fair enough. So, ultimately– so, we talked–
I would say, no, Nissan’s really pushing their technology as a brand I would say.
Yeah. So, ultimately, we talked a little bit about tech. We talked a little bit about kind of your background. So, let’s go back to Sam for a second. So, where do you see Sam in the dealer space over the next six months maybe a year? So, what would you like to develop? Where would you like to take your career? Because people don’t understand, in the car business, it really is a career. It’s not really just a job. Like if you wanted a job, go work at McDonald’s or something but this is a career ultimately.
Yeah. Just from an outsider– I mean, going to college and everybody talks about all these careers if you will and then when I got introduced to the car business, I’m like, “Okay. Nobody talks about the car business as a career but it’s definitely a career.” Different departments to grow and to learn starting from BDC and the Internet, then to finance, there’s stuff to learn in finance, even in parts and service and the service advisers and up in management, the desk managers, the general manager. So, there’s a lot of avenues. Something that I’ve liked, so far working here, I’ve had a couple opportunities to do a little bit of outside marketing going to represent Nissan of Duarte outside of the store and meeting new people, seeing new faces. Getting to represent the brand and the store and just meeting other people and find out what they’re doing and I try to ask a lot of questions of people in the business and outside the business to just learn other tactics that I could bring here to Nissan of Duarte and implement on my own. But yeah, I would definitely just say I just never realized there’s so much to learn here and there’s so much opportunity. So, just being her seven months, I could only imagine what am I going to do but yeah. Where do I see myself in seven months? I would like to meet more people outside of the dealership and market and see what other people are doing out there and meet other people to do business with them.
Yeah and I think part of the value that you bring to this dealership specifically and to the auto industry is, again, just the fact that you’re a fresh take, you don’t come with 15 years or 20 years of old school mentality because, like I said, I believe that time is gone and past us just because the consumer has access to all that information anyways. So, to me that’s going to be the next evolution of the auto industry is it’s going to be that in-store process, that frictionless process, pulling back those layers, ultimately.
Well, I’m sure when you were working in the dealership, I don’t think people were calling you and giving you a soft number and asking you questions about a specific stock.
No, it didn’t work that way.
Customers are calling in with the–
I mean, if somebody wanted to see a car, they’d have to literally drive down to the dealership.
Customers are calling in with a VIN and a stock and knowing the mileage and having the CarFax and asking about a specific accident or something that happened to the car and it’s like a chess game with your customer. It’s like you always want to be one step ahead but the technology’s actually a step ahead of us, a couple steps ahead of us. So, that’s allowing our customers to be ahead of us.
Which I actually think– you would say that’s a good thing?
On the technology side, I’d say that’s a great thing. For the dealership side, I don’t know.
Yeah. That’s an emotional answer by the way. That’s an emotional answer. You know what I mean? I’m sure if you didn’t work here it’d be good, right? But, hey, listen, I totally get it. So, here’s what we’re going to do. So, that’s going to do it for this episode of Nissan of Duarte’s podcast. I want to give a big thanks to Samantha Sanchez for–
–allowing us the time and opportunity. We know she’s busy. She initially said that she was nervous but it wasn’t too bad, right?
No, not at all.
See, it’s just a conversation. So, as we continue to expand on these podcasts, we’ll continue to talk about how technology’s affecting the car business and we’re going to get deeper and deeper dive into the ins and outs of a dealership but for now, I’m excited. I’m excited to work with dealers that are looking to break ground and are looking to get away from that old school mentality of we can never talk to a manager or we’re not unwilling to open up our doors. So, with that being said, Sam, thank you–
Thank you. Thank you guys for listening. Thank you for taking the time. Appreciate it.
Appreciate your time. So, guys, thanks. Appreciate it and as always, stay blessed and be blessed.