BRADENTON -- For the second time in three years, Cox Chevrolet is one of Chevrolet's dealers of the year.
The 88-year-old dealership learned of its latest dealer of the year award this week when Chevrolet officials called to notify members of the Cox family. A combination of sales volume and customer satisfaction ratings distinguished Cox. It is one of 30 dealerships nationwide to win the award. Cox last won the award in 2011.
Forty-four members of the sales staff combined to sell more than 3,500 vehicles in 2013, said Cox general manager John Rudd. The dealership employs a total of 157 people.
Rudd credited every member of his staff, and the dealership's customers, for their parts in winning the award. Chevrolet's judging criteria apply to both the sales and service sides of the business. Customer satisfaction surveys are also part of the judging.
"The award is kinda like winning the super bowl," Rudd said. "It's not something that just happens."
Founded in 1926 in downtown Bradenton, the family-owned dealership has been at its current 2900 Cortez Road location since 1978. Cox sells new and used cars. In addition to being a Chevrolet dealer, Cox also has a Mazda dealership.
The dealership keeps an inventory of about 1,000 cars on its 16-acre lot.
Rudd said the dealership's customer base extends be
yond Bradenton and Sarasota. Its market includes the entire state of Florida and parts of Georgia.
Chevrolet representatives visited the dealership on Friday to congratulate members of the Cox family. A Cox family member will travel to Detroit in April to accept the actual award.
Rudd said the dealership is beginning a leadership transition. Members of the fifth generation of the Cox family are expected to take over ownership and leadership positions at the dealership starting this year.