Mazda of Gastonia celebrates new dealership

Local and national officials participated in the celebration

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The celebration is about to erupt as Mazda of Gastonia General Manager Stephen Simmons cuts the ribbon, with (from left) Lowell Councilman Ken Ervin, Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, Lowell Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Gillespie and Councilwoman Candy Funderburk, Jun Nagata (holding award) and Yogi Nukina. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board member Natasha Gilbert of Chick-fil-A Belmont and Chamber Board Chair Heath Jenkins of the Town of Stanley. In the small photo below, is Mazda Gastonia GM Stephen Simmons.

Chamber member businesses played a big role in the event

Mazda of Gastonia unveiled a spectacular new dealership and showroom with a massive grand opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a Chamber Network After Work reception on March 11, 2020.

General Manager Stephen Simmons welcomed Mazda representatives from around the country who came to Lowell to join in the celebration. Mazda North America Vice President of Sales Planning and Innovation Yogi Nukina spoke as did Jun Nagata, president of the group which owns the local Mazda dealership, and Regional General Manager Kimberly Walker of Jacksonville, FL.

Yogi Nukina said 2020 is the 100th anniversary of Mazda, which annually sells more than 1.5 million vehicles in more than 100 countries. He presented Jun Nagata a special award signifying prosperity in recognition of the dealership opening.

Local officials joined in the celebration, including Lowell Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Gillespie and Lowell City Council members Candy Funderburk and Ken Ervin, and Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, III.

Chamber member Sarah Duckworth Events coordinated the celebration, which included a DJ, large balloon displays, a red carpet and a photo booth. And Camber member H&M Catering provided an elaborate assortment of refreshments.

For more on Mazda of Gastonia, call 855.889.9834, or visit

Watch the Video

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Jun Nagata is explaining the meaning of the award, which features a large, wooden, engraved rice spoon that in Japan is a symbol of prosperity, to local leaders (from left) Lowell Planning Director Scott Attaway, Mayor Pro-Tem Thomas Gillespie and Councilman Ken Ervin, Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid and Lowell Councilwoman Candy Funderburk. 




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