NIADA Names Quality Dealer of the Year

By Jeffrey Bellant July 18, 2018


ORLANDO, Fla. –Alabama’s Randy Crump won the National Quality Dealer Award here during the 72nd annual National Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s annual convention.

Crump, owner of Friendly Auto Sales in Jasper, Ala., beat out more than a dozen other State Quality Dealers for the top honor, becoming the 43rd dealer to win the award since its inception in 1976.

Steve Jordan, NIADA’s CEO, presented the award, describing Crump as a “big success in a small town.”

After receiving his award, Crump said he was actually late to the pre-event meeting to let the nominees know what they were supposed to do. At that meeting, they encouraged nominees to write something down “just in case you win.”

Crump took that advice and it paid off.

“I can’t tell you how honored I am and what this means to me,” he said. He also thanked the committee, the sponsors and the NIADA for the event.

“I want to thank (Alabama IADA executive director) Randy Jones and the staff of our local Alabama chapter. He’s done such a great job.”

Crump also wanted to thank his dad.

“Most importantly, I want to thank my father,” he said. “I’m a second-generation car dealer. He’s given me the knowledge, the opportunity and the work ethic that’s required in today’s business.”

He closed his speech by saying it was a great honor and by thanking the attendees.

He started out at 7 years old, working on his father’s car lot, sweeping and cleaning. He worked his way up through all the departments and even worked there for his high school co-op program.

After graduating from Northwood University, Crump went to work at a Mazda dealership but later opened up his own lot in 1999.

His business and his reputation have grown so much that in a town with a population of only 14,000, he has almost 12,000 Facebook friends.

Crump also closes the dealership on Wednesdays, so his employees can have family time during the week.

He’s an active twenty group member and a long-time member of NIADA.

But Crump almost never entered the quality dealer contest

Alabama’s Henry Mullinax, NIADA president-elect who is a wholesaler in Anniston, Ala., said he had to strong-arm Crump just to get him to enter the competition in the first place.

He said for weeks he nagged Crump, who kept declining.

“Then finally he asked me, ‘Do you really think I have a chance to win?’” Mullinax said. “When he asked me that, I knew I had him.”

Crump confirmed the story
and said it was a big commitment
to be a part of the application process.

He said as he waited for the announcement and Jordan started to talk about the winner, he thought it sounded like Jordan was describing him.

“Then my wife, Barlane, was popping me in the back,” he said. “My wife may be more thrilled than I am.”

Crump said he’s dedicated his whole life to the car business.

In recognition of this award,
NextGear Capital and Cox Automotive will donate an emergency response vehicle to the dealer’s local American Red Cross chapter.

This will be the sixth emergency vehicle donated to the American Red Cross through Cox Automotive.

NIADA also named two runners-up for the award.

First runner-up was Jerry Padrick Jr. of M&M Auto Sales in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Padrick actually started out in the oil business before joining his father and brother in the car business.

In 2015, they opened up a second location.

He is a member of his local chamber of commerce and church. He also coaches local youth baseball and soccer teams.

Among other charitable endeavors, Padrick also provides Christmas presents for underprivileged youth.

Colorado’s Mike Zavislan of Southwest Motors was second runner-up.

Zavislan started out with a few cars but by 2017 he sold more than 4,000 cars.

He holds 20 percent of the market share of used cars sold in his metro area.

Zavislan’s charitable activities include being involved in a local Entrepreneurship Contest to the YMCA and 4-H state fair.

His dealership also rehabilitates local police vehicles.

He has been recognized as a top 10 independent dealer for three years running and was named best auto dealer in Pueblo.Continued on page 10



Last modified on Wednesday, 18 July 2018 20:27