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A small-town Toyota store is challenging the norm — and succeeding

Six years ago, White River Toyota was indistinguishable from nearly any other small Toyota store in the nation. Today, it is one of the top-performing franchised auto dealerships around, thanks to the novel ideas that have come from the dealership’s 39-year-old general manager, Jason Quenneville, and his team.

“Everything we do, everything we’ve done, is about transparency,” Quenneville explained. “And whatever we decide to do, we do as a team, with everyone in agreement.”

Patrick Ehlen, vehicle operations manager for Toyota Motor North America’s five-state Boston region — which includes all of New England except Connecticut — says it’s fair to characterize White River Toyota as punching above its weight class.

White River’s 20.1 percent share in its market is almost 4 full points above the average of 16.3 percent for Toyota stores in the Boston region. The dealership also has the highest sales retention rate out of Toyota dealerships in the state. And it has won the Toyota President’s Award, the automaker’s highest dealer honor, 14 times, including each of the last 11 years.

“Other dealers are always looking over their shoulders to see what they’re doing there,” Ehlen said of White River. “By every measure, they’re improving. They’re a volume dealership, and they’re pulling from all over the area. And they’re doing a good job in keeping Toyota No. 1 in their market area.”

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A small-town Toyota store is challenging the norm — and succeeding

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