BY RICH JONES
ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR
Phil Bachman Toyota Scion celebrated the grand opening of its new building in Johnson City on Oct. 29.
The dealership is located at 3124 Bristol Hwy.
As owner, Bachman, a Greeneville resident, has been selling Toyotas in Johnson City since 1976.
One of the highlights of the grand opening celebration was the presentation to him of a Japanese Katana, sometimes referred to as a samurai sword.
The presentation was made by Scott Wracher, General Manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
The Japanese automaker awards the Katana to dealers who make a significant investment in their facility to better serve customers and dealership associates.
A longtime new-car dealer in several East Tennessee markets, Bachman is principal owner of a number of automotive dealerships.
The dealerships include Bachman-Bernard Chevrolet, Buick, GMC Cadillac and Bachman-Bernard Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Nissan, in Greeneville.
STORY OF THE KATANA
Information provided by Toyota describes the time-honored and traditional significance of the award.
The Japanese warrior class, known as the samurai, was formed during the 9th through 12th centuries.
The samurai were the Japanese ruling class until their decline in the late 1800s.
The code of the samurai followed "Bushido," the "way of the warrior."
Bushido emphasized loyalty, justice, respect, pride, and honor.
As great warriors, the samurai were skilled in martial arts and the use of weapons.
Their favored weapon was the Japanese sword called the Katana.
Forged by master craftsmen, the Katana is known for its power and finesse which have made it a nearly-invincible weapon, the information stated.
In addition, samurai carried their Katana as a symbol of status as a warrior, and their commitment to the code of Bushido.
It was considered a great honor to receive the sword from one's master or ally.
Representative of these traits, the Katana is now considered an artistic masterpiece and a family treasure.
Toyota presented the Katana to Bachman as a symbol of the strength, quality and integrity of the relationship between Toyota dealers and Toyota, and for the partnership and commitment-to-success of the Toyota franchise in Johnson City.
'WORLD-CLASS' PRODUCT AND EMPLOYEES
Bachman provided the following response to the honor:
"I recognized early on that Toyota would one day be a leading manufacturer in the automotive world.
"It was my good fortune to acquire the former Dan Plank Toyota in Johnson City in 1976, and since that time our dealership has grown beyond all my expectations.
"When you have a world-class product such as Toyota, combined with a world-class group of employees, you have a combination that just can't be beat.
"In more than 35 years as a Toyota dealer in the Tri-Cities area, we have expanded the size of our dealership twice, and now today I am so proud to be in our new dealership, the newest, most modern Toyota facility in East Tennessee."
Among family members and others from Greeneville attending the grand opening and the special presentation to Phil Bachman were Martha Bachman, his wife; P.B. and Amanda Bachman, his son and daughter-in-law; Myron Bernard, his co-owner in the Greeneville dealerships, and Bernard's wife, Robin, and their daughter Elizabeth.
Russ Rogers, General Manager of Phil Bachman Scion, served as master of ceremonies and coordinated the event.
Also speaking at was Jim Stauffer, Vice President of Operations for the Bachman group and a lifelong friend of Phil Bachman.