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story.lead_photo.caption Smith-Mankins Nissan dealership on Summerhill Road in Texarkana, Texas on Friday, April 26, 2019. Smith-Mankins recently redesign the building from the outside to the inside.

Smith Mankins Nissan, located at 3707 Summerhill Road in Texarkana, Texas, recently got a modernized facelift to reflect how people buy cars in the age of ever-increasing technology.

The redesign includes lots of steel, glass, sleek offices and showrooms, all equipped with cutting-edge technology to enhance the customer's Nissan experience.

New Car Sales Manager Lance Russell said Smith Mankins was one of the most up-to-date Nissan stores in the region.

"We have the most up-to-date technology, with touch-screen monitors that help you design your car by adding accessories and interactive tablets loaded with brochures for the vehicles," he said. "Basically all of these changes have been to accommodate the way that people buy cars now. Most of the time, people who come up here have an idea of what they want, what they're looking for. Most people have done their research online and we've always been forward-thinking in our internet presence. All of this ties into that, having our storefront match our message online and the tech we offer there. With digital retailing, you can buy a car online from my website, basically. We are trying to make it as easy as possible and as customer-friendly as possible."

The center of the new showroom, which can now hold five vehicles, features a curved, well-lit display for the dealership's central feature vehicle and tech islands with tablets beside each vehicle to display additional detailed information.

The showroom also features a 55-inch wall-mounted tablet for customer's shopping ease.

"You can pick out which car you want and pick your accessories and look at it from every angle," he said while clicking on the image of a 2019 Nissan Altima and customizing it with a touch. "In this Texas heat, if you want to shop for a car, why wouldn't you want to do it in the air conditioning where you can check out pretty much everything on the car first before you have to walk around in the 100-degree heat on the hot asphalt? It gives you all the different options, the different trim levels and the different equipment on every car."

Russell said the salespeople also have tablets filled with customer-centric information to give car-buyers a customized experience.

"The tablets have everything they could ever want to know about the car and if there's something they want more information on, they can tell the salesperson and they can show them videos of the actual car," he said. "It's not like everything's completely computerized. There's so much that's still hands-on with the vehicles themselves. It allows the customer to customize the process and tailor it to their own taste. Every person is going to be different. Whatever is most important for you, you can easily let the salesperson know up front so they can tailor their delivery process."

Russell said that although the dealership is moving up in the tech world, their in-person dedication to customer service will remain in place.

"It doesn't really change anything about the way we do business," he said. "It just makes everything more comfortable and nicer looking. We're still going to do business the same way."

Russell said that the dealership, which will celebrate 50 years as a Nissan store in December, made a conscious decision to stay at the location on Summerhill rather than moving close to the I-30 corridor, like many Texarkana dealerships.

"I think the cool stuff about this remodel is we chose to stay here in this part of town instead of just moving north like everybody else has done," he said. "We didn't want to be a freeway store. We want to serve this local community. We are invested in this older part of town. We invested in staying here and planting deeper roots here."

Smith Mankins offers a full line of vehicles including the Versa, Sentra, Altima, Kicks, Rogue Sport, Rogue, Maxima, Pathfinder, Armada, Titan, Titan XD and the 370 Z.

For more information on the dealership, stop by 3707 Summerhill Road or go to www.smithmakins.com.

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