Randy Crump, president of Friendly Auto Sales in Jasper, was recently named the 2018 National Quality Dealer of the Year by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) during the …
Randy Crump, president of Friendly Auto Sales in Jasper, was recently named the 2018 National Quality Dealer of the Year by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) during the association's 72nd annual Convention and Expo in Orlando, Florida.
In a ceremony webcast live from the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort on NIADA.TV, Crump was chosen from the 13 State Quality Dealers nominated for highest honor given among NIADA’s dealer members. He is the seventh NQD from Alabama, tying Texas for the most from any state.
NIADA National Quality Dealer candidates are judged on a variety of factors, including contributions to the automotive industry, the association and community involvement.
This year’s winner was chosen by a selection committee comprised of some of the most distinguished names in the used vehicle industry.
The committee included AFC chief operating officer Joe Keadle, NextGear Capital senior vice president of operations Randy Dohse, NADA senior vice president and chief operating officer Mike Stanton, Black Book Automotive vice president and North American auction director Tim West, ADESA president John Hammer, NIADA Region IV vice president and 2013 National Quality Dealer Joe McCloskey of McCloskey Motors and Elgie Bright, chairman of the Automotive Marketing Department at Northwood University.
In accepting the award, Crump credited his father, John – whom he calls “Wolf” – for much of his success.
“I’m a second-generation car dealer,” Randy Crump said, “and he’s given me the knowledge, the opportunity and the work ethic that’s required in today’s business. I can’t thank you enough, Wolf.”
Crump, 52, is a true auto industry lifer, having begun his career at age 7, sweeping floors and keeping the store clean for 25 cents an hour at his father’s dealership, John Crump Toyota.
He wound up working in the dealership’s service department until high school, detailing cars and doing oil changes, and eventually served in every one of the operation’s departments through his high school’s co-op program. At 16, he sold his first vehicle, a 1981 Toyota Tercel.
After earning a degree in business management from Northwood University in 1990, Crump again went to work for his father as used car manager of a Mazda store, igniting a passion for the used vehicle business.
That passion helped fuel his decision to go out on his own. In 1999, he opened Friendly Auto Sales, a Buy Here-Pay Here operation that consisted of three people – Crump, a secretary and a car washer.
“I did all the buying and selling myself,” he recalled.
That’s no longer the case. In 2006, he was able to add a collector and a salesman. In 2008, he replaced his original building with a new facility that included a detail shop, which was later joined by a repair shop.
These days, Friendly Auto Sales has a staff of seven, including two certified technicians, a one-acre lot, and a town filled with loyal customers, many of whom said the staff treats them “like family.”
Crump said that family atmosphere fits his hometown of Jasper, whose population is 14,000.
“I like being from a small town,” he said. “To me, the best thing about this community is the mom and pop-type businesses that are established here.”
As the owner of one of those businesses, Crump is deeply embedded in his community through involvement in his church and organizations like the local Boy Scout council and the Salvation Army, working with area schools on various initiatives, including a job-shadowing program, volunteer work and charitable efforts such as donating vehicles to charitable organizations.
“I simply feel it is extremely important to give back to the community,” he said. “When I was in middle school, one of my reading assignments was "The Diary of Anne Frank." Something she said in her diary has always stuck with me: ‘No one has ever become poor from giving.’
“I have tried to emulate that philosophy and make it one of my guiding principles to live by.”
In keeping with that philosophy, NextGear Capital donated an emergency response vehicle in Crump’s name to his local chapter of the American Red Cross.
Crump is a member of the Alabama IADA board of directors, as well as a member of an NIADA Dealer 20 Group.