Burien Nissan Loses Entire Stock, Now An Empty Lot
UPDATE 9/1/09: An email tip leads us to believe that Burien Nissan will be re-opening in mid-September – read the latest here.
Story and Photos by Janet Grella
BREAKING NEWS: Burien Nissan, located at the Five Corners intersection of First Ave South and SW 160th, has lost its entire stock of cars and is now basically an empty lot.
Since Wednesday, numerous auto carrier trucks have been hauling vehicles away from the lot, with a total of 100 new cars removed, which we estimate to be between $2 and $3 million in inventory.
But, according to Sales Manager John Antonelli, “it’s business as usual – we’re still open for business in service, parts and sales. When we get our new financing we’ll re-open in a couple of weeks.”
The hauled-away Nissan cars are apparently being taken to a nearby port, and will be auctioned off in the near future.
Antonelli says that new inventory will likely return in a few weeks, and that Burien Nissan is in the middle of a “financial restructuring.”
Twenty-seven employees have been laid off, with just eight remaining on staff.
Burien auto dealers account for a significant portion of tax revenue for Burien, and Dick Loman, Economic Development Director for the city, said “This sorry economic downturn is just hurting everybody.”
Original owner’s son David Gjersee sits at his desk Friday in-between phone calls with potential buyers. Gjersee’s Father started Burien Datsun on this location in 1969, and he now serves as a Sales Professional. This business is one of the oldest Nissan dealerships in the US.
Gjersee also said it was “business as usual” even though he had no cars to sell.
This Reporter walked on to the empty lot late Friday morning and noticed that while there were no new Nissans on the lot, there were still a few cars present, which were most likely employee vehicles; however, the service department was busy.
As a longtime Burien resident, I found it shocking to see, especially after their $5 million remodel a year and a half ago.
This story is still developing, and we’ll post updates as we get them.