This year will go down as one of the worst in history. Words like "new normal," "pivot," "distancing," "national shutdown" and even "mask" all took on new meanings in the American lexicon in 2020.

Auto dealers, like many organizations, took it right on the chin financially and otherwise. Dealerships grappled with shifting definitions of the word "essential." The service lane was usually OK, but the sales floor often was not. Or it was, but only with appointments. Changes in what was allowed month to month and state by state presented unique challenges for retailers.

Our firm was thrilled again to partner with Automotive News to research and determine 2020's Best Dealerships to Work For. We conducted the employer questionnaire and the employee surveys, the results of which determined the winners. The deadline to register for this program was March 20. Yup, March 20. That was pretty much when we all realized that we were going into a deep, dark place, as establishments started shutting down and going remote — if they could. It flung this program into uncertainty as dealerships had to withdraw from the process to focus on survival.

We delayed the survey for four months. By that time, many dealerships had regained a bit of footing and could go through the process.

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