Another Teddy Store Arrives on the Block - New Volkswagen Franchise to Create More Opportunities in the Bronx

After purchasing a closed-down business and turning it into New York City's top selling Nissan dealership in just two years, auto dealers Ted Bessen and Steven Risso are eager to recreate history under the Volkswagen name.

Dec 28, 2011, 11:46 ET from Teddy Nissan

NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Bronx businessmen Ted Bessen and Steven Risso did the seemingly impossible: in 2009, they purchased a Nissan dealership in the heart of the Bronx that had been closed for a year, and in two years' time, turned it into New York City's top Nissan dealership – poor economy and all. Along the way, Teddy Nissan ( became the source of 80 new jobs in the City's borough with the highest unemployment rate, bringing a lot of much-needed business and opportunity to the Bronx.

Earlier this year, Bessen and Risso set their sights on an ailing Volkswagen dealership right down Boston Road. The store celebrated its grand opening on December 19th operating under the Teddy name.

"We believe Volkswagen to be a brand on the move," said Risso, who acquired the Volkswagen dealership with Bessen on November 3rd. "Volkswagen has an aggressive plan to become the #1 manufacturer in the world over the next few years, and part of this strategy is to increase market share in the U.S.  The plan includes competing in the world's largest segment in the U.S., going head-to-head against the Camry and the Accord."

Risso refers to the 2012 Volkswagen Passat, winner of Motor Trend's Car of the Year, with its own dedicated plant recently opening in the U.S.

"The store is also directly across the street, so it is a perfect location to enjoy economies of scale," he adds.

In addition to adopting a new business model, the new Teddy Volkswagen will be undergoing renovations to create a more inviting space for customers, including new paint, interior and exterior signs, enhanced lighting, upgraded computers and phones, and remodeled waiting areas for guests.

"The general strategy is the same as any other business," says Bessen. "That is, to have a strong foundation centered on customer satisfaction and ensuring the entire team understands these goals."

It's a recipe that Bessen and Risso have proven to know and relay well. For now, the team Bessen refers to consists of 40 employees, with that figure positioned to grow, if Teddy Nissan's success is any example. When Teddy Nissan opened its doors in August 2009, the Bronx carried a 14% unemployment rate. As the dealership's operations grew, so did the opportunity for work, by 80 or so positions.

"We look for experience, friendliness and the ability to want to learn and be proactive in the position," explains Risso. "There are a lot of skilled people who live in the Bronx who happen to be out of a job. These are people who are eager to work, and who are extremely motivated to do the best they can. They just need the opportunity."

Risso asserts, "Our immediate goals are to capitalize on the success of Teddy Nissan and hit the ground running. We plan to be selling 100 cars a month within the first few months."

And in two years, to model sister dealership Teddy Nissan by becoming New York City's #1 selling Volkswagen franchise bearing the Teddy name.

About Teddy Nissan:
Located at 3660 Boston Road, Teddy Nissan offers one of the top brand cars in the Bronx that up until two years ago was not available in this borough of New York City. Teddy Nissan was founded on a vision of creating a world-class operation: a high volume, high customer satisfaction and profitable business. In just one year, the vision has become a reality – owners Ted Bessen and Steven Risso have pioneered one of the highest volume dealers in the northeast and one of the top customer satisfaction dealers in the state of New York. For more information, please call 718-515-1111 or visit

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SOURCE Teddy Nissan