Former surveying contractor finds niche in auto industry – Las Vegas Review

In the car business, sales consultants must be able to learn quickly in an industry that is ever-changing.

Henderson Nissan Internet Manager Bob Stewart knows only too well that he needs to be quick on his feet. He was a surveying contractor when the economy tanked about four years ago.

Stewart, a native of Voorhees, N.J., switched gears when the crash hit. He entered the car business when the economy came to a screeching halt and hasn’t looked back since.

“This car business is definitely a very fascinating industry,” said Stewart, 55. “What makes this so interesting is that the car business always recovers simply because the leaders in this industry don’t sit around and wait for something to fall in their laps.

“When something doesn’t work, they get up, brush themselves off, study the marketplace and generally find a solution to what might have been a problem. Whether they’re totally revamping a vehicle style or introducing something all new, they are always working to find a way to get people in their showrooms.”

In the case of Nissan, Stewart said the Japanese automobile manufacturer is recovering from the giant earthquake and tsunami that hit a year ago .

“I’m here for several reasons,” said Stewart. “First off, Nissan came back from a devastating setback that included a 9.0 earthquake that not only killed thousands but also stifled the automobile business for several months.

“But the key here is that Nissan did not give up and has come back stronger than ever. This is a tremendous tribute to the company and the people who work for it.”

Ashley Taniku, who has lived in Las Vegas for about five years, recently shopped for a vehicle at Henderson Nissan and worked with Stewart.

“He treated me very good,” she said adding that she visited the dealership through a Costco Internet program. “I came in to trade in an ’03 Volkswagen Jetta and want to see the 2012 Nissan Altima. I love the fact that it has keyless ignition. The car drives very nice and it gets something like 28 miles to the gallon.”

Stewart said the Altima is a great example of a long list of impressive models that also include the XTerra Rogue SUV and the Frontier pickup, along with passenger models that include the Maxima, the Sentra and the new Leaf, a hot-selling all-electric model that gets more than 100 miles in the city before needing a charge.

Stewart said the chance to work in an Internet department is both challenging and fascinating.

“Right now more than 80 percent of car buyers shop on the Internet before ever entering a dealership,” he said. “We must respond quickly in order to get people into the store, and it goes without saying that buyers are very schooled long before test driving a vehicle.”

Henderson Nissan is led by General Manager Marty McKenna. The dealership is part of the Super Store Auto Group which has five dealerships in Las Vegas and 26 throughout the nation.

“Bringing Bob Stewart in to run the Internet department has already showed positive results,” McKenna said.

Stewart added, “Marty is the first general manager I worked for when entering the car business in August of 2008. It’s great to be back working with one of the best general managers in the business.”

Further information regarding Henderson Nissan can be found at www.hendersonnissan.net or by calling 558-5800.

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