Planet Hyundai Sahara General Sales Manager Jason Laguna is among a host of Texans who moved to Southern Nevada to lead operations of a bustling automobile dealership.
Planet Hyundai Sahara, purchased in March of 2010 by a Texas family teaming with longtime Las Vegas businessman Ron Coury, became the best-performing Hyundai dealership in the Western region in 2013.
So far this year, the dealership is among the nation’s top 10 Hyundai stores.
Laguna, who arrived in August 2012, said the key to success has been handling customers and friends the Texas way. The 44-year-old has worked 26 years in the car business, starting as a porter detailing and moving cars.
“I started selling cars as soon as I got out of college,” he said adding that he graduated with a psychology degree from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Although a psychology degree might not seem like a natural for the car business, Laguna said it is vitally important.
“It enables me to have the patience to process people’s needs and get resolutions,” he explained. “I ask questions and relate to their needs. I understand why people can get upset and I think I have a lot of compassion in that regard.
“We don’t close car deals. We open relationships. Simply put, that’s how we do it. There is no game,” he said. “Buying a vehicle is generally the second biggest purchase a person makes in his or her life, so we must be certain to handle the transaction professionally and with a little love.”
Planet Hyundai co-owner Coury added, “Jason possesses such a pleasant and calming nature, every one of our customers that interacts with him leave our dealership feeling like they now have a friend in the car business. That is reflected in the large number of customer referrals they send us from their friends and family. Jason Laguna is a true asset to this business and the community at large.”
When someone needs a car, the process can be frightening, so Laguna said it’s comforting to feel you have a connection in the car business.
“They want to have a go-to person who is on their side to help them through whatever situation they are dealing with at the time,” Laguna said. “In the Hyundai brand, you have support that is above and beyond all consumer expectations. We have a manufacturer that supports us so much they back up their product longer than anyone else in the business and gives people the best warranty in the industry.”
The Hyundai warranty includes a 10-year, 100,000 mile power-train warranty along with a five-year, 60,000 bumper-to-bumper warranty.
“They don’t get any better than that,” Laguna said. “We don’t have to worry when we sell a Hyundai. I left the domestic manufacturers because they simply wouldn’t back the dealer much less the customer. Planet Hyundai provides a very comfortable atmosphere for both the buyers and the employees.
Laguna has learned to love Las Vegas.
“It’s the wild, wild West, but I look at everyone like a neighbor like we did in Texas,” he said.
“We just need to treat everyone like our family member or neighbor and I just want to leave the same legacy here that I did in Texas.”
Planet Hyundai Sahara is at 7150 W. Sahara Ave.
The locally owned and operated dealerships include the Planet Hyundai Used Car Superstore at 7100 W. Sahara Ave. and Centennial Hyundai at 6200 Centennial Center Blvd.
Further information regarding the dealerships can be found by visiting www.planetlv.com or by calling 702-938-1400 (Sahara) or 702-483-2200 (Centennial) and by visiting their website at www.centen nialhyundailasvegas.com.