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Premier Nissan builds showroom amid virus

Owner said current circumstances forced his team to evolve

By Hannah Morgan

As a young man from Morgantown, Andrew Cognac grew up breathing in everything about cars. 

His dad owned a Chevy dealership in Morgantown, so he spent his  days scrubbing cars, trying to fix cars and taking a stab at selling them. It was in the air, and a family thing.

 His dad, John Cognac, owns Premier Chevrolet Buick GMC at University Town Centre.

Owning his own dealership was something Andrew always knew he wanted, too.

That opportunity came  in September 2019. And, it was   the same city where he spent those early car shop days, went to high school and college  and learned about the auto industry — Morgantown.

And, he was happy it worked out that way.

“You get to help people from every walk of life here,” Cognac said. “Doctors, lawyers, farmers. Morgantown is diverse. It’s just a very nice place to live and do business.

“The difference between us and our competitors,” he said. “Is that we live here and can give back to the community.”

Cognac owns Premier Nissan and calls his team of workers his family. They are currently working out of a trailer at University Town Centre, next to Premier Chevrolet Buick GMC.

Come February the plan is  to transition to a new place. 

The new dealership will be right beside  the current office. Instead of a trailer, the office will be in a brand-new, 20,000-square-foot dealership.

Ground was recently broken and construction of the facility is underway.

Building a new showroom in the middle of a pandemic might sound challenging, but Cognac said  it has transformed his team, forcing them to evolve and go with the times.

“We have a great team here,” Cognac said. “A group of guys who love what they do. If anything, the pandemic has made us stronger.”

Cognac said  working at a dealership is always a tough grind, especially now, but the team created a fun culture that welcomes everyone.

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