(New York, NY, October 18, 2022) – The nomination of John Altman, chief operating officer for Jaguar Land Rover Alexandria in Alexandria, Virginia, for the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.
Altman is one of a select group of 48 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 106th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Dallas, Texas, on January 27, 2023.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. The award recognizes the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Altman was chosen to represent the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 48 auto dealers nominated for the 54th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“I am extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have been given by my family, who started this business in 1973,” nominee Altman said. “To this day, as the head of the group, I still work to earn the right to have this job and lead our team. And the harder I work, the more I love what I do.”
A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, Altman grew up within walking distance of his grandfather’s car dealership, Don Beyer Volvo, in Falls Church, Virginia. He would play in the showroom as a child and was immediately enamored with the team that worked there.
When Altman was 14, he asked his grandfather for a job. “He gave me a broom and told me to go sweep the five-acre back parking lot,” he said. “I spent an entire summer cleaning that lot in the sun, and I loved every minute of it. I enjoyed working, I loved cars, and I was always looking to impress my retired-Army grandfather with my work ethic.”
During summer and winter breaks from school, Altman worked his way through the different departments at the store under the supervision of his two uncles, Mike Beyer and Don Beyer Jr. “Washing cars was among my favorite jobs, and I learned so much from the other workers, all of them recent immigrants to the United States,” he said. “Those mentors in the wash bay taught me to enjoy doing good work and the equal value of every member of the dealership team.”
Altman sold cars for a few years after college and was then promoted to sales manager at the auto group’s new Volvo Subaru store in Alexandria. He attended the NADA Academy and at age 27 in 2004, he was named general manager of the Land Rover dealership, also in Alexandria.
“I committed every waking hour to making that store a success,” he said. And after eight years running the Land Rover business, his uncles asked him to take on the role of chief operating officer of their nine-franchise auto group.
“Since that time, the group has tripled the total sales dollars and profitability has increased tenfold,” Altman said.
An active member the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association, Altman has served on the board of directors since 2016 and was named treasurer in 2021 and secretary in 2022. He is also director of the association’s Automobile Dealer Education Institute, which invests in training and educational programs to bring young people into the auto industry. And he was recently named to the board of directors of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association.
“Trade associations are critical to the future of our industry,” Altman said. “With so many threats to our business model, these organizations need to be supported so they have the resources to fight for our livelihood.”
A recipient of the Northwood University Dealer Education Award in 2022, Altman is currently a board member for the Foundation for Applied Technical Education in Fairfax County Public Schools and an advisor to Marshall Academy’s automotive technology program in Falls Church.
In the area of community service, delivering Meals on Wheels is closest to his heart. “My grandmother, Nancy Beyer, delivered meals every week for most of her adult life,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in my early years with her visiting the elderly in Washington, D.C.”
Today, Altman honors his grandmother by supporting Meals on Wheels through his dealerships. “We ask our employees to volunteer to deliver meals on the clock and we encourage them to spend time with the seniors they visit,” he said. “Our team members fight for time slots to do meal runs and they always come back with a smile.”
Other organizations Altman supports include United Community’s Cynthia Hull Food Pantry in Alexandria and the Capital Area Food Bank with two locations in the Washington, D.C., area.
“I am the third generation to run the Beyer Auto Group and I hope there will be many more to come,” he said. “I currently supervise several family members that are growing in the business, and I work hard to mentor them as my grandfather and uncles did for me.”
Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year. Three finalists will receive $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity, donated by Ally.
In its 12th year as exclusive sponsor, Ally also will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
“For over 50 years, TIME has been committed to recognizing the impact of automotive dealers on their communities with the TIME Dealer of the Year award," said Edward Felsenthal, editor in chief and CEO, TIME. "We are proud to continue the legacy of honoring these works of service with our partners at Ally.”
Doug Timmerman, president of dealer financial services, Ally, said, “Auto dealers across the country who are nominated for this award each year are committed to not only doing it right and leading in a rapidly changing automotive industry but to strengthening their communities through giving back. The TIME Dealer of the Year program celebrates dealers who are the role models of the retail auto industry for their continuous efforts to lift up and support their employees, customers and communities.”
Altman was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by John P. O'Donnell, president and CEO of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Michelle, have two children.