Sanderson Ford takes top awards again

By: 
CAROLYN DRYER, Editor

Photo by Carolyn Dryer
Sanderson Ford president Dave Kimmerle, far right, stands among the 19 Ford Motor Co. awards along with longtime employees following a ceremony to honor the dealership for being the most awarded Ford dealership in 2017.

It’s getting to be old hat — Sanderson Ford received 19 awards this past year to ensure it remains America’s most awarded Ford dealership.
General Manager Mark Witthar said at a special ceremony July 12, “It’s fair to say, we’re pretty unique; 60 acres, 400 employees. We’re pretty straightforward and honest, just doing the right thing every day. We’re not only the most awarded, but the best.
“We build and sell tow trucks and refrigerated vehicles and handicap-equipped vehicles. We have the most sales volume and service. We close Sundays; always have, always will.”
Witthar continued listing all of the various charities and causes the dealership supports: Seats for Soldiers, which makes sure military members receive a free ticket to a sports event; gathering almost 1 million bottles of water over the past six years to deliver to The Salvation Army; title sponsor of the Shriner’s golf tournament.
Brad Jones, Ford Motor Co.’s regional manager in the Phoenix region for sales, service and parts, gave more accolades to Sanderson, saying, “This doesn’t happen by luck. It’s really in the DNA of the dealership. Dave (Kimmerle, president of Sanderson Ford) has established a foundation — the right thing every day.”
The awards represent all that happened in 2017:
• The President’s award. It recognizes only the best of the best, the top 45 in the West (all dealerships west of the Mississippi River). Only 19 have won it consecutive times. This is the 20th time Sanderson Ford has won the President’s award.
• Triple Crown. The elite and best of the West includes: the President’s award, Premier award and top 100 in retail sales and volumes. Only 87 of 3,000 dealerships have won the award; 31 won last year. No other dealer has won the Triple Crown as many times as Sanderson; it was the 14th time for Sanderson.
When Kimmerle finally stood at the podium, he said, “This is an amazing thing. These are amazing awards. There’s not one person on our team who is not significant.
“Over and above that, our partners. This isn’t a ‘look at me’ thing. It’s everybody here and our partners. What’s really important is it takes everyone to do this and everyone is significant in what they do.”
He credited all of the media outlets for their promotion of various causes Sanderson Ford has supported, saying, “Our partners are so important in the scheme of things.”
He also noted the support of the Phoenix Suns, Coyotes, Arizona Cardinals and Diamondbacks.
Kimmerle said his late father-in-law, Don Sanderson, started the dealership in 1955. Kimmerle said when he joined the dealership in 1961 as a teenager, Sanderson told him, “This dealership is dedicated to our employees and customers.”
Kimmerle called up several employees — one by one — to credit for the awards, noting many who had been with Sanderson 48 years, 41 years, 46 years, more than 30 years, more than 20 … the list went on and on.  He called them “the kingpins of everything we do.” He had all of the sales people stand up, then congratulated the manager of the quick lane, where people go to get their vehicles’ oil changed and sometimes a lube job.
Finally, he introduced his wife, Jill, a person he has known 47 years; they’ve been married two and a half years.
“She’s so thankful to be part of our community, supporting our team,” Kimmerle said.
“Last thing,” he said. “It’s all about relationships and I’m so thankful for the relationships we have in this room.”
Finally, he said since Don Sanderson started the Ford dealership, “we haven’t changed — just grown a lot.”

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