Eight dealerships have been honored as one of Automotive News' Best Dealerships To Work For each of the five years the award has been given.
That's five straight years of ranking as one of the best of the best.
Of the eight, one -- Friendship Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram of Bristol (Tenn.) -- ranked No. 1 overall, in 2013.
But the eight haven't always ranked high on the list of 100. Four have never cracked the top 10. Patriot Subaru of Saco (Maine) claimed the No. 5 spot in 2012, the first year of the award, and slipped to No. 93 the following year.
Some folks might have said, "Forget it," and dropped out. Not Adam Arens, president of Patriot Subaru of Saco.
After sliding so far, he says, "without a doubt the challenge is to continually improve in an environment where people won't be so excited about where they ended up." But he adds: "I think constant improvement is the reason we stick with it."
"Everybody measures themselves and their organizations differently. This is a great opportunity to benchmark against the best," he says. "We're thrilled to be on the list."
Several of the five-peaters highlight the award on their websites. Maguire Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram-Fiat, of Ithaca, N.Y., displays the Best Dealership To Work For logo atop its page devoted to "Why Buy From Maguire?" and Patriot Subaru of Saco features it prominently on its "Employment Opportunities" page. Others show the award logo on the "About Our Dealership" section.
Friendship Family of Dealerships, which has two dealerships on the list of five-timers, sees internal and external benefits from the award.
"Having the Friendship dealerships earn the Best Dealerships To Work For honor the last five years really sets us apart in our market," says CEO Mitch Walters.
"Many of our customers comment about this distinction, as do auto manufacturers, lending institutions and other regional businesses, and of course our team members."
Maintaining the momentum isn't easy, he acknowledges. "We have always tried very hard to take great care of our team, but now with the bar set so high," he says, the company has to make a conscious effort "to always do the right thing."
Dave Wright, owner of Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru, of Hiawatha, Iowa, says repeatedly winning the honor not only helps to recruit employees for the growing dealership, it helps in their onboarding as well.
"We use the award in every help-wanted ad," Wright says, "and no question, candidates are always excited and recite it in interviews."
He adds, "I think the biggest impact of the award is as we grow and continue to add new employees, my current staff is eager to share our culture with those new employees. We have coined the phrase, "You are now part of the Dave Wright Nissan-Subaru family,' and this comes with obligations from us to you and from you to us."