New general manager joins Coast BMW Nissan in San Luis Obispo

Coast BMW Nissan, one of several San Luis Obispo auto dealerships on Los Osos Valley Road, has a new general manager.

Scott Bisbee is now responsible for the daily operations of the BMW-Nissan dealership and its staff of about 40 employees.

Bisbee replaces Gordon Giacomazzi, who had been Coast BMW Nissan’s general manager and a business partner in the dealership with Cardinale Automotive Group, the corporate parent of Coast BMW Nissan, Bisbee said.

According to Joe Cardinale, president of the Cardinale group, Giacomazzi’s 20 percent share in the business was bought out.

Giacomazzi said he was at the dealership for more than a decade and that their parting was amicable, noting that he and Cardinale remain friends.

“I had 11 years with great customers, and for me that was a joy.’’

Giacomazzi said he plans to open a used car dealership in Santa Maria in three weeks.

Bisbee had been in discussions with the Cardinale Group and decided to become partners with Cardinale after the relationship with Giacomazzi ended, Bisbee said.

Bisbee joins Coast BMW Nissan after working several years for a Honda dealership in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Wisconsin native relocated to the Central Coast with his wife and three children. He has been in the auto sales industry for 21 years.

“I feel like I’m coming back home to a smaller community where everyone knows your name,” he said. “I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the community.”

Bisbee said there are plans to hire more employees — about a 15 percent increase in employees in all departments — and improve the dealership to make it “well positioned for growth” when the economy rebounds.

He noted the store has had its “share of challenges” and sells about 100 vehicles each month. The goal is to sell close to 200 a month, he said.

“I can tell you that there are a lot of things that the dealership has done over the last couple of years that may not have been as customer-centric as it could have been,” he said. “One of the things I pride myself on is that the customer comes first.”

Changes include implementing transparent pricing and making it easier and more convenient for customers to get into the dealership. New technology will also be used to help customers in a faster and more accurate manner, he said.

“I think that our customers will see a significant improvement in as little as one month and will see the continuous improvement over the course of the next year,” he said.