Peter Smith Nominated for Community Service and Industry Accomplishments

Peter Smith

(New York, NY, October 18, 2023) - The nomination of Peter Smith, dealer and general manager at Bob Smith Toyota in La Crescenta, California, for the 2024 TIME Dealer of the Year award was announced today by TIME.

Smith is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 107th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 3, 2024.

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. Smith was chosen to represent the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.

"Carrying on a remarkable family tradition in the automotive business has been most rewarding to me," nominee Smith said. "As the fourth generation in the Smith family to own and operate a franchise, I am grateful for the wisdom and leadership of generations before me."

And it all began in 1917, when Smith's great grandfather opened car dealerships in and around San Francisco. He later moved to southern California in the 1930s and over the years, the dealership group and the family expanded. In the 1960s, Smith's father, Mike, ran the Volkswagen/Porsche/Audi store in Hollywood and that's where Smith fell in love with the auto business.

"As a young boy, I dreamed of working with my dad at his car dealership," he said. "By the age of six, I had already made up my mind about a career."

Smith started washing cars, stocking parts, cleaning the services bays, and training on the sales floor during high school and on college breaks. "I learned the business by stepping into each role at the dealership," he said. "Sales was my favorite as I loved matching a customer's needs and wants with the different products and services we offered and figuring out the best way to make the numbers work."

When he graduated from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, with a B.A. in history in 1992, he decided to stay on the east coast to be with his college sweetheart, Christine, who later became his wife. During that time, he worked at MetLife in Bridgewater, New Jersey, but he never gave up on his dream.

In 1995, the couple returned to California and Smith officially began his career at the new Toyota store that his father established in La Crescenta upon selling the Hollywood store. He returned to sales and rose to new-car manager, general sales manager, general manager, and then dealer principal and owner of Bob Smith Toyota in 2011.

"It was the pinnacle of my automotive career and an honor to continue my family's legacy," Smith said. "With each generation, our commitment to providing exceptional service, ethical practices, and a deep connection to our community has grown stronger."

He also credits the unwavering support and dedication of his employees for the dealership's continued growth and success.

With such a long and storied history in California's retail automotive market, Smith is passionate about advocating for fellow dealers to keep the industry strong. He has served on the board of the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association for more than 13 years and has played a key role in the group's workforce development initiatives, from mentoring dealers to nurturing young technicians.

Giving back to the community that has supported his family for a century is part of Smith's corporate ethos and his DNA. He is on the board of the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce and actively supports local schools, youth sports, area events, and fundraisers. As a member of the Crescenta Valley Fireworks Association, he has contributed to this longstanding tradition that brings joy to the community each year on the Fourth of July.

In support of the Dolores Mission School, a Catholic parish grade school in Los Angeles, Bob Smith Toyota sponsors the annual Jesuit Charities Golf Tournament which raises funds for scholarships.

"These scholarships cover a portion or the entirety of tuition costs, making quality education accessible to low-income families and underserved students," he said.

Smith is also a board member of the YMCA Quarterback Club, which raises funds through weekly luncheons during football season and other donations to support football programs and scholarships for student athletes at area schools.

Additionally, Bob Smith Toyota supports Verbum Dei High School's corporate work study program. As a Verbum Dei Jesuit partner, young men from this South Los Angeles high school are employed on a part time basis at the dealership and in turn, gain valuable career experience along with responsibility and commitment as well as tuition assistance.

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 13th 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, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.

"At TIME, we are proud to uphold the decades-long tradition of honoring automotive dealers who make a positive impact and show dedication to their communities through our TIME Dealer of the Year award," said TIME CEO Jessica Sibley. "We are excited to keep this tradition of applauding these community contributions together with our partners at Ally." Doug Timmerman, president of dealer financial services, Ally, said, "Auto dealers nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to not only the industry but to their respective communities through volunteerism, sponsorships, and supporting charitable causes, no matter the market climate. Whether their clients are purchasing a first car or upgrading for a growing family, these selected dealers have successfully extended their relationships beyond the showroom and have been steadfast in driving their communities forward." Smith was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Bob Smith, executive director of the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association. He and his wife, Christine, have three children.

The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealer Association is Proud to Support the Workforce Development of Los Angeles County

The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealer Association and its factory-franchised dealer members are proud contributors to the economy of Los Angeles County and the well-being and growth of their individual communities.

Through GLANCDA's philanthropic giving, the organization continues to elevate the importance of workforce development and training opportunities available throughout the greater Los Angeles region. There is a severe shortage of qualified workers to fill the many rewarding jobs in the auto industry and auto tech fields. Communicating this important narrative has been and will remain a priority of GLANCDA.

From July 2021 through February 2022, GLANCDA donated a total of $250,000, including $130,000 to support local community colleges in support of their automotive technology training programs and $120,000 to various community organizations.

Take a look at some of our recent philanthropy efforts:

Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association Hosts Local Community College and High School Students at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show to Nurture Career Interest and Workforce Growth

Rio Hondo Donation Los Angeles Trade Technical College Donation Pasadena College Donation LA Auto Show

Los Angeles, Calif. - Over 500 students from 16 high schools and community colleges attended The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA) Career Fair at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®), held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles. The Career Fair, hosted for the fourth consecutive year, is a major demonstration of GLANCDA's ongoing commitment to grow a skilled workforce in the automotive service sector of new car dealerships.

"Promoting lucrative career offerings with continuous training and support at new car dealerships in Los Angeles County is a major focus for the association," said Evan Ellis, GLANCDA board member and general manager of Fiat and Alfa Romeo of Glendale, addressing the students at the career fair. "One of the association's highest priorities is making sure that money and resources are directed to our community college partners across the region."

GLANCDA invited aspiring automotive technology workers from local community colleges and high schools, introducing them to active industry members seeking to expand their workforce. Students who attended the career fair had face-to-face interactions with new car dealership managers to discuss potential work opportunities. After the career fair, students were able to walk the show floors and learn about the latest technology in the automotive industry.

"I was able to meet a lot of new people and give them information about myself," said Charlie Mendes, an automotive technology student at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. "[One hiring dealer] said they were very interested in me because of the certificates I have. I'm hoping to get a call from them in the future and work for the dealership."

With the unprecedented demand for service employees at new car dealerships, wages for service employees are rising at a faster pace than sales employees. Currently, the average dealership employee earns $75,000 per year.

"This opportunity is extremely important for our students. The industry is looking for automotive technicians at every level, whether it be entry level, mid-level, or even management," said Steve Tomory, automotive technology instructor at Rio Hondo College. "I'm so glad to be here with my students and have GLANCDA recognize the community colleges and especially the students in this field of great opportunity."

As of November 2022, there are over 1,500 open technician positions across Southern California while dealerships are selling and servicing more vehicles in Southern California alone than most states.

"I tell my students all the time, one door opens another," said Dean Tedtaotao, instructor at Cerritos College and shop superintendent in the fleet division of the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works. "The fact that students make it here, on their own, and they're talking face-to-face with [active industry members], not on Zoom, is invaluable."

Additionally, with California's focus on electric vehicles and goal to eliminate new internal combustion engines by 2035, the demand for service technicians will grow even greater. According to the State of California Energy Commission, in the first three fiscal quarters of 2022, over 1.4 million zero emission vehicles were sold in California. Ensuring there is a specialized workforce that can properly service electric vehicles will be a high priority for new car dealers for decades to come.

GLANCDA is working to ensure this demand is met. At the career fair, GLANCDA announced grants of $10,000 each to the automotive technology programs at Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Pasadena College, and Rio Hondo College. Over the years, GLANCDA and its franchise dealer members have supported local educational institutions and their automotive training programs by giving more than $500,000 in donations used for student scholarships, program enhancements, facility upgrades, and other related initiatives.

"The auto industry continues to grow and innovate, and that means a skilled workforce is needed to meet the demand for services and support the changing technology in modern vehicles," said Bob Smith, Executive Director of GLANCDA. "GLANCDA understands this need for skilled workers and has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to supporting college programs and students pursuing auto industry careers."

About the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association
Originally founded in 1907, the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA) provides valuable educational and philanthropic benefits to the Los Angeles Community. GLANCDA is comprised of factory-franchised dealers who are committed to serving the communities of Greater Los Angeles County by promoting professionalism within the retail automotive industry. GLANCDA members are individuals, partnerships, or corporations owning and operating a franchised motor vehicle dealership engaged in the sales of automobiles or trucks licensed by the State of California and located within the Los Angeles County area. For more information, visit

About the Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®)
Founded in 1907, the Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®) is widely recognized as one of the most influential shows globally. Reflective of its location, the show celebrates the love affair Angelenos have with their cars and offers a global platform to industry technology and innovation, synonymous with California.

The show runs for 10 full days over the Thanksgiving period and is a must-attend destination for many industry influencers, car enthusiasts and families wanting to enjoy a day out over the holiday season. Held annually at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the LA Auto Show contributes several hundred million dollars to the local economy, stimulates the local job market, and is the number one revenue generator for the LA Convention Center

Taking place on November 17, AutoMobility LA media and industry day will include a range of groundbreaking industry announcements and reveals. Doors open to the public November 18-27. LA Auto Show is owned and operated by ANSA Productions. To receive the latest show news and information, follow the LA Auto Show on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and sign up for alerts at

GLANCDA Supports Local Charities Across the Region


The YMCA of Glendale, in partnership with Gregg Bussjaeger Memorial Foundation, hosted their annual golf tournament on October 14. The YMCA of Glendale is a nonprofit that has been serving the surrounding community since 1922. "The Y" is committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

The tournament, which was attended by GLANCDA member dealers, helped raise money for YMCA youth programs at the Glendale YMCA location.

Villa Esperanza Services hosted their annual Tournament of Hope on October 24. Villa Esperanza has been supporting the Los Angeles region for 60 years, supporting intellectually/developmentally disabled individuals by offering individualized programs and a continuum of care over the course of a lifetime.

The Tournament of Hope, hosted at San Gabriel Country Club each fall, benefits the diverse programs that Villa provides for children, adults, and seniors with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Pierce College Celebrates Ribbon Cutting for the Advanced Automotive Technology Building

Pierce College

In recognition of 75 years of service in the West San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Pierce College hosted a celebration and ribbon cutting for the Advanced Automotive Technology Building — Pierce College's latest achievement in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) bond program.

The building will be the premier automotive fundamentals training center in the San Fernando Valley for clean energy systems, preparing Auto Tech students for jobs in the era of Alternative Fuel Vehicles.

Pierce's new Advanced Automotive Technology Building features three automotive double bay laboratories specifically designed to teach cutting-edge curriculum in the areas of alternative fuel, advanced diagnostics, and hybrid & electric vehicle technologies.

GLANCDA was proud to support development of the Advanced Automotive Technology Building, donating $40,000 last Spring to support the college's automotive service technology program. Pierce College intends to use the funds to invest in used vehicle training aids, including OBD II compliant vehicles from wholesale auction lots and stick shift vehicles for manual transmission workshops and instruction, such as driving a stick shift in a dealer environment

Click here to learn more about Pierce College.

GLANCDA to Host Career Fair and Career Pathway Event at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show

LA Auto Show

GLANCDA will be hosting a Career Fair and Career Pathways event at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show (LA Auto Show®), held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles. GLANCDA invited aspiring automotive technology workers from local community colleges, as well as kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and Boys & Girls Clubs located throughout greater Los Angeles.

"GLANCDA and its member dealers have long been dedicated supporters of growing the automotive workforce in the Los Angeles region and it is now more important than ever to help support the training for the next generation of auto technology workers," said Bob Smith, executive director of GLANCDA. "We're very excited to introduce these kids and students to the many exciting opportunities available in the auto industry"

GLANCDA will be hosting the Career Fair and Career Pathways event during the first two public days of the auto show on November 18th and 19th. Attendees of the career event will have the opportunity to engage with exhibitors who are focusing on electrification, culture, future mobility, and connectivity.

Founded in 1907 and hosted each fall, the LA Auto Show is one of the most influential and best-attended automotive shows globally. With over 1 million square feet of show space dedicated to the Auto Show, attendees of the GLACNDA Career Fair and Career Pathways event will have the opportunity to explore the larger event, experience the latest in automotive technology, meet influential industry members, and become motivated to pursue a variety of career opportunities in the industry.

If you're attending the LA Auto Show and want to meet the aspiring auto workers of tomorrow, send an email to GLACNDA Executive Director Bob Smith at

Los Angeles Pierce College

Los Angeles Pierce College

Pierce College was the recipient of a $40,000 donation from the GLANDCA to support the college's automotive service technology program. Bob Smith, GLANCDA executive director, presented the check to Pierce College automotive service technology professors Alex Villalta and Tom Fortune in April of 2022.

College of the Canyons

College of the Canyons

College of the Canyons was the recipient of a $10,000 donation from the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA), to support the college's automotive technology program. GLANCDA board member, Jeannie Brewer, who is the owner/general manager of Acura of Glendale, presented the check to Nadia Cottie, dean of applied technology at the college, and Gary Sornberger, professor of automotive technology and department chair.

College of the Canyons intends to use the funds to invest in electric vehicle training aids. Professor Sornberger also noted the significant need for skilled automotive technicians and expressed appreciation for the new training opportunities these funds will bring to students exploring this career path.

Life Steps Foundation

Life Steps Foundation

Life Steps Foundation SoCal Adult Services was the recipient of a $20,000 donation from the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association (GLANCDA), to enhance services provided to their clients with developmental disabilities. GLANCDA board member, Ian Thomas, who is the dealer principal at Thomas Acura in Covina, presented the check to Bob Turner, program coordinator for the foundation.

Life Steps Adult Services programs empower their clients to become involved in their life management, make informed choices, and participate in self-advocacy. Their service model recognizes the unique challenges that people with developmental disabilities encounter and their programs address them all, from independent living and personal fulfillment to parenting and family preservation

Greater Los Angeles
New Car Dealers Association
2233 Honolulu Avenue #303
Montrose, CA 91020
Phone: 213.748.0240
Fax: 916.924.7323.