Penticton Nissan store sets sales record near five-year anniversary

Five years after it opened as a single-point dealership with trailers for a business office, Penticton Nissan has come a long way, battling through the growing pains as a startup and then COVID. The anniversary was March 1 and 10 days later it set a single-day record for the store with 13 transactions combining new and used vehicles.

While 13 may seem small in the grand scheme of some larger dealerships that do it regularly, it represented something significant to owner John Kot, whose company, Kot Auto Group began in 2011 and now has eight dealerships, including three Hyundai, two Genesis, one Kia, one Chrysler and one Nissan.  It also has a Buy Direct Truck Centre.

“Some of my stores would (do that number of deals in a day), but for a small store that was a big day,” said Kot. “I think (the store) had a really big week for appointments lined up, some newer inventory shipped that we’ve been waiting for a long time and we’ve got a pretty good team now. They’re all really jelling.”

General Manager/Partner Scott Barber pointed to his sales staff, which he’s added to in the last two-plus years, as a major contributor to the big day.

“Everybody is dedicated to putting their best foot forward with every single customer,” said Barber. “With every strong day there comes a little bit of luck, but I’m also a believer in making your own luck and that’s working hard. We have five really strong salespeople. When a car dealership has strong salespeople that buy into the process it makes the store that much easier to run as a sales manager, general sales manager and general manager.”

He recalled starting the business in trailers on the parking lot. “It wasn’t ideal, but it was fun, we often joke about it,” said Barber.

He said the dealership experienced a “very lean” three months at the start of COVID and had to lay off some salespeople and operate with a skeleton crew.

“Instead of being a new car franchise we had to make sure we had an ample amount of used cars as well to survive and make the dealership run,” said Barber.

Kot Auto Group is a family business. John’s wife, Trina, is Co-Owner, and their sons, Brandon and Jordan have taken a bigger role in the company as Vice Presidents.

“We decided we could divide and conquer a little bit more,” said Kot.

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