SAN FRANCISCO — Tim Smith has won the 2008 Time Magazine Dealer of the Year award.
Smith, president of Bob Smith BMW-Mini, of Calabasas, Calif., was scheduled to receive the award Saturday, Feb. 9, at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here.
Fifty-one auto dealers were nominated.
The Time Magazine Dealer of the Year award honors new-vehicle dealers for exceptional performance in their dealerships and distinguished community service. In the past, the honor was called the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award.
The award is sponsored by Time in association with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Smith is a third-generation car dealer: His grandfather, R.A. Smith, became a Chevrolet distributor in 1917 in San Francisco.
Tim's father, Bob Smith, owned a dealership where Tim began working after eighth grade.
After graduating from Santa Clara University, Tim began selling new cars at Bob Smith Volkswagen-Porsche in Hollywood.
Bob Smith BMW opened in 1973. Tim Smith's two daughters now work at the dealership.
Tim Smith was chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association in 2003 and has been a major benefactor of schools and organizations that support church and child welfare. He says being a trustee for the Catholic Education Foundation is his most meaningful civic contribution.
The other finalists for the Time Dealer of the Year Award were:
-- Harry Brown, dealer principal and president of National Dodge (Dodge-Volkswagen-Subaru) in Jacksonville, N.C.
-- Franklin Downing Jr., CEO of Towne BMW in Williamsville, N.Y.
-- Mark Olinyk, president of Mark Motors Automotive Inc. (Toyota-Scion) in Plover, Wis.