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May 9, 2021

Nissan of Gilroy opens new location on Automall Parkway

Brian Verdin leads Gilroy’s newest automotive dealership facility, in the city where he launched his sales career more than 30 years ago.

He is tasked with growing a brand and industry hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a facility that is just as shiny as the vehicles that surround it.

Nissan of Gilroy recently opened its new location at 6807 Automall Parkway, moving from its former spot at 400 Automall Drive. The building had been under construction for more than a year, hindered by Covid-19 and other delays.

With the doors open and a Covid-19 vaccine being distributed, Verdin and his team are ready to hit the ground running, or in this case, rolling.

“We’re trying to do our best to make sure we’re here to service our local community,” said Verdin, Nissan of Gilroy’s general manager. “Right now a lot of people aren’t commuting. Eventually they are going to get back to it. When that happens, we’re going to be ready.”

The Visalia-based Groppetti Automotive Family, headed up by Don Groppetti, purchased the Nissan dealership in Gilroy in late 2016, with the goal to move out of its rented spot on Automall Drive and build its own facility just a stone’s throw away on Automall Parkway.

The new, roughly 18,000-square-foot facility sits on three acres, with a showroom, service department and electric vehicle charging stations. Its current inventory sits at 170 new vehicles and 40 used, according to Verdin.

Nissan of Gilroy’s staff of 20 is about half of what it was pre-pandemic, but Verdin expects its inventory and sales volume to increase once Covid-19 is in the rear-view mirror, which will result in hiring more employees.

“The more jobs that we can create, the better service we can give to our customers and the better it is for the whole overall economy,” he said.

Verdin said the Groppetti Automotive Family is a community-oriented company that gives back to organizations that serve children who are less fortunate. It recently donated $20,000 to Rebekah Children’s Services of Gilroy.

Groppetti Automotive Family recently donated $20,000 to Rebekah Children’s Services. Pictured, from right: Don Groppetti (Dealer Principal/Owner), Mark Turner (Gilroy Chamber of Commerce), Brian Verdin (General Manager), Chef Carlos Pineda (Rebekah Children’s Services) and Claudia Sandoval (Rebekah Children’s Services). Contributed photo

Verdin added that the company’s community service is what drew him to the Groppetti Automotive Family, joining the Gilroy dealership more than a year ago after 27 years at a Salinas Nissan dealership.

In 1990, Verdin got his start at Gilroy Toyota, where he worked for a year-and-a-half before he got called back to Operation Desert Storm while serving in the Army.

Verdin said Nissan has a number of new vehicles arriving in the next year, including the three-row family SUV Pathfinder and the redesigned Frontier mid-sized pickup truck. An all-electric SUV, the Ariya, is also on tap for later this year, part of the industry’s shift toward electric vehicles.

Now back in Gilroy, Verdin is looking to build awareness of the dealership and ingrain Nissan of Gilroy in the community.

“Our vision and our mission is to establish relationships,” he said. “We want people to know they can count on us.”

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