There’s a new Nissan and Subaru dealer in town.
Briggs Auto Group on Thursday bought the former Bossier Nissan Subaru dealership at 2300 W. 29th Terrace.
Briggs retained all 17 employees from Bossier, a dealership that had been in town since December 2006.
The decision for Manhattan-based Briggs to expand into Lawrence was relatively easy, said Jason McAfee, Briggs’ general manager in Lawrence. He considers Lawrence underserved as a market for Nissan and Subaru vehicles, a void Briggs intends to fill.
“We’re excited about the community,” McAfee said, soon after the dealership change took effect Thursday. “It’s a lot like Manhattan, only bigger. It’s different — there’s obviously the KU-K-State rivalry — but it’s exciting. We’re pumped up about being here.”
McAfee said he didn’t have any information about whether Briggs would be seeking a different location in Lawrence. Briggs’ Lawrence business now occupies a lot and showroom that Bossier had leased from the family of John Ellena.
Ellena owns Ellena Honda, which is next door at the corner of Iowa Street and 29th Terrace.
“We’re going to stay here,” McAfee said. “The location is pretty good. I just don’t think anybody’s realized the opportunity here and taken advantage of it.”
Although Bossier typically carried about 60 new vehicles and 20 used vehicles, McAfee said, “we plan on doubling that, easily.”
Briggs Auto Group sells new Nissan, Buick, GMC and Pontiac vehicles in Manhattan, plus new Dodge and Kia vehicles in Topeka. Briggs also sells preowned vehicles in Manhattan, Junction City and Topeka.