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Guest donaltopablo

Jacksonville loses Nissan regional HQ to Atlanta

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Guest donaltopablo

Jacksonville loses Nissan regional HQ to Atlanta

Ryan Geddes

Staff Writer

JACKSONVILLE -- Nissan North America Inc., the U.S. arm of Tokyo-based Nissan Motor Co., is moving its Southeast regional headquarters from Jacksonville to Atlanta by July 6, according to the company.

The automobile company employs about 35 people at its 8743 Western Way location, which was also home to Nissan's area parts distribution center.

The company announced in December plans to shut that operation down and relocate it to an as-yet undetermined location in Florida this month.

The company plans to sell the 156,000- square-foot building and relocate all 35 regional headquarters employees to a 19,000-square-foot leased space in Atlanta, said Nissan spokesman Steve Parrett.

"Atlanta's central location is a key factor [in the move]," said Parrett. "To better service that part of the country we felt it necessary to relocate the parts distribution center and the regional office. This will support our dealerships and increase customer satisfaction."

Gene Robbins, general manager of Mike Shad Nissan of Orange Park, said the regional office's move would have little effect on his business.

"With this age of e-mails and phones, it's not something we gained by having them close by," he said.

Steve Finlay, editor of Ward's Dealer Business, an automotive dealership trade publication, said it makes sense that Nissan would want to move its regional headquarters to Atlanta.

"Atlanta is the financial center of that entire region. It's the happening city," Finlay said. "Nissan certainly wants to be where the action is."

And the move comes at a time when Nissan as a whole is "on a roll," Finlay said.

According to Ward's, Nissan is on track to sell 1 million units in 2004, a 200,000-unit increase from 2003. That would be the largest single-year gain by any automotive maker in Ward's track record.

Toyota has that title with a 180,000-unit sales gain in 1977, Finlay said.

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