Georgia dealer Rob Doll had planned to give Nissan North America just what it wanted this year: a showcase dealership in a growing Southeastern market.
In better times, Doll's dealership group, which sold Nissans and several General Motors Co. brands, might have been able to achieve his ambitious plans, say people familiar with the project. But not in 2009.
Doll had borrowed $9 million from Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. to fund construction of a store in Columbus, Ga. The design mirrored Nissan's architectural vision for new stores: sunny and modern. There would be 12 service bays. The store was designed to sell and service the light-commercial vehicles Nissan plans to introduce late next year, with larger service doors and powerful lifts capable of raising loaded cargo vans.