Chevrolet also snared more honorees than its market shares would have indicated.
The brand had more stores on this year's Best Dealerships list than any other brand: 13. That tops Chevy's sales market share of 11.8 percent through September, and its 9.3 percent share of all U.S. franchises.
Five of the Chevy dealership honorees belong to AutoNation — the largest dealership group in the U.S. — and are in Florida and Texas. Kunes Country Auto Group adds three more: one store in Illinois and two in Wisconsin.
AutoNation has worked closely with Chevrolet to improve customer experience, "and our associates have embraced it," said Marc Cannon, AutoNation's chief marketing officer. "We have brought the fun back into retail."
He added, "AutoNation has invested into our Chevy stores with upgraded facilities and extensive product training."
Acura, Audi, Subaru, Nissan and Toyota also outperform in this year's Best Dealerships To Work For honorees. Audi has nine stores on the list, more than any other luxury brand. That contrasts with Audi's 0.9 percent share of all U.S. franchises and its sales market share of 1.2 percent through September.
In an email, Audi of America COO Cian O'Brien attributed the selection to "the mutual respect we have in this partnership" with Audi dealers and the "biggest product cadence in brand history."
Employees' "happiness is a barometer of not only our dealer partners' success, but ours as well."
Subaru had six honorees, down from 10 in 2016 and eight in 2015. Subaru has 2.0 percent of U.S. franchises, and a market share of 3.7 percent through September, up from 3.4 percent in the year-earlier period. The brand has been on an upward sales streak for the last 70 consecutive months.
"We're helped in that retailer employees, particularly in sales, prefer to work with our type of customers. It allows them to present the value of the product and not just a low payment," said a spokesman for Subaru of America.
Nissan and Toyota brands had seven stores each, double their share of U.S. franchises. But that tally lags their sales. Through September, Toyota's U.S. sales market share was 12.5 percent, while Nissan's was 8.4 percent.
"Nissan has made significant investments in its exciting lineup of vehicles and its dealer network," said Toby Perry, director of dealer network development at Nissan North America. "For example, Nissan has rethought its dealership design environment to offer a modern, transparent, open and welcoming space for customers and employees.
"Hiring and retaining great employees is a fundamental component in Nissan dealers' business success, and I give full credit to these stores that have been recognized for making their facility an appealing and rewarding place to work," said Perry.