Steve McDaniels to buy Nissan auto franchise in Bloomington

  • Article by: DEE DEPASS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2014 - 7:00 PM

Auto dealer Steve McDaniels plans to relocate it to Eden Prairie.

 

Twin Cities auto dealer Steve McDaniels will purchase the Feldmann Nissan dealership in Bloomington by the end of the month and plans to relocate it to Eden Prairie by November, company officials confirmed this week.

The Feldmann family currently sells both Nissan and Mercedes-Benz vehicles in a large complex in Bloomington, but the sale and eventual departure of the Nissan operation from Bloomington is expected to free up space for expanded Mercedes sales.

“We love the Nissan product but with all the new models that Mercedes is bringing in, space quickly became an issue for us for both display and for being able to handle the sales and service growth,” Joe Feldmann said.

It’s a hard transition. The Feldmann family has sold the Nissan and Mercedes brands for 33 years and there are customers and employees who have been with the dealership for decades. “So this is bittersweet,” Joe Feldmann said.

But changes in Bloomington will take time.

After the Nissan sale closes at the end of the month, “We have a lease agreement we have already negotiated. … So we will be operating out of the Feldmann Nissan Bloomington location for several months,” McDaniels said. During the leasing period, the Nissan dealership will remain open and nothing will change. By late fall, however, “our intent is to relocate the franchise to some property we have in Eden Prairie. This is an exciting project for us. We love the Twin Cities. ”

The purchase price of the dealership was not disclosed.

Feldmann Nissan gives McDaniels his third dealership in the metro area. He currently owns Maplewood Toyota and Inver Grove Honda.

Soon, he will relocate the Nissan franchise into a dealership building on Plaza Drive that has been closed for roughly two years. The shuttered building used to be leased and occupied by Metropolitan Ford, but that company moved out after constructing its own dealership building just down the road.

“We built the new [Ford] store, because business is great,” said Jack Dennen, a Metropolitan Ford manager since 1982. Metropolitan Ford had tried to buy the old building but couldn’t come to terms with the owner, he said.

In June, McDaniels succeeded in buying it and now has big plans.

Going forward, the shuttered building will be remodeled into a flagship Nissan store and staffed mostly with former Feldmann Nissan employees. “It’s a great location for us. It’s big and on seven acres of land,” McDaniels said. “By the time we open we will have well over $7 million invested in that location.”

Most staff at Feldmann Nissan has agreed to transfer to McDaniels once the dealership sale closes. “We are very happy with their current group of associates, “ McDaniels said. “The vast majority of their associates are going to come and work with us.”

Joe Feldmann estimated that roughly 30 to 40 of his sales and service staff members will make the move to McDaniels. Some others will stay on at the Mercedes operation in Bloomington. And a few others have left Feldmann Nissan for other dealers in the Twin Cities, because they preferred not to drive to Eden Prairie for work, said Joe Cobb, a sales manager at Kline Nissan in Maplewood who hired two Feldmann salesmen.

McDaniels said he is happy that the bulk of workers already interviewed have decided to make the move with him.

 

Dee DePass • 612-673-7725

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