Originally published August 23, 2006
Car dealer: An armed driver is a happy one
By Billy Bruce
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER
The TV and radio ads are true: Buy a truck. Get a free gun.
A creative marketing campaign conjured up by Prestige Nissan General Sales Manager Dan Crumpler offers buyers of used or new Nissan SUVs or trucks in August a choice of a Remington 1187 shotgun or a Remington 700 rifle.
"We've given away five or six guns already," Crumpler said Monday at the Thomasville-based dealership. "The guns retail for about $699 each, so it's a good deal, especially with dove season starting Labor Day weekend and with deer season starting in early October."
Crumpler's phone rings. A potential buyer wants to come up and work a deal on the truck and free gun offer.
"Yeah, come on up... we'd be more than glad to work with you on that," Crumpler tells the caller.
The marketing campaign has drawn interest from potential customers/hunting enthusiasts in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, Crumpler said. He advises potential buyers not to show up at the Thomasville dealership with expectations of driving away in a new truck with rifle in tow.
"Oh, I couldn't give the guns away here at the dealership. They'd put me in jail for that," Crumpler quips. "We give you a certificate for the gun, and you have to take it over to Kevin's Guns and Sporting Goods to pick up the gun. Of course, first you have to pass all of the local, state and federal requirements for purchasing a gun. That's why we let Kevin handle it."
Kevin's has outlets in Thomasville and Tallahassee. The gun coupons are good at both stores, Crumpler said.
In Georgia and Florida, there's no waiting period on long guns. Rifle or shotgun purchasers submit to a federally required criminal background check. Handgun purchasers in Florida must wait three business days to buy the gun unless they have a concealed weapons permit, a clerk at Kevin's Tallahassee store said.
The background check for a rifle buyer might take an hour, if that, Crumpler said.
"We're not going to run out of guns. Kevin has plenty," he said. "Kevin also has a store in Tallahassee. Our coupons are good there too."
Crumpler says he's an avid hunter, Georgia-born, who took the Thomasville job after working for a Nissan dealership in South Carolina. He says his creative marketing schemes, like the gun giveaway, have enabled him to double and triple sales.
"I'm always trying to think up new and innovative ways to get new customers," he says. "This gun idea just sort of came to me. I know a lot of hunters around here. Hunters want guns. And hunters need trucks. It was a no-brainer, really. But it's working."
Fred Young of Bainbridge, Ga., is a happy truck customer who says he heard about the truck-gun deal on the radio.
"Bainbridge is about 45 minutes from Thomasville and Tallahassee, so I decided to find out if Thomasville really does have cheaper prices," Young said. "I was looking for a truck. Prestige gave me a whole lot more truck for my money, and a gun to boot. Or should I say, a gun to shoot?"
Young hasn't redeemed his coupon for a Remington shotgun yet, but he plans to give the gun to a friend as a birthday or Christmas present. "I'm not an avid hunter, but I have some very good friends who are," Young said. "The gun was just a bonus."
Thomasville's booming growth has inspired Nissan to expand the Prestige dealership. By February or March 2007, the lot inventory will have tripled, once the expansion is complete, Crumpler said.
Craig Hornsby, owner of Prestige Nissan in Thomasville, also owns Prestige Infiniti in Tallahassee, he noted.
Contact reporter Billy Bruce at (850) 599-2312 or email@example.com.
Prestige Nissan offers buyers of used or new Nissan SUVs or trucks a choice of a Remington 1187 shotgun or a Remington 700 rifle. Pictured above standing in a 2006 Titan truck bed are sales managers Jeff Palmer, left, and James Miller; standing are General Manager Dan Crumpler, left, and Internet Director Brenda Baughman.
So, what do you have to buy to get something really cool?
Like a new Ar?
AM I the only one that noticed that Remington 1187 is pointed directly at the other guys head with the guys finger either on the trigger or trigger guard, I can't tell which?
I saw that too, but I think it's an optical illusion. They are standing in different parts of the bed.