TIME Dealer of the Year

Liberty Subaru's Rick DeSilva, Jr. is TIME's 2021 Dealer of the Year!

Here at Liberty Subaru, we're proud to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of Rick DeSilva, Jr.  He is named the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year for his dedication to our Subaru dealership, as well as his commitment to staying involved in the community and supporting our customers and employees in everything that they do.

Out of 40 dealer nominees from across the country, Rick was chosen for his strong involvement in the community and a dedication to customer service that is second to none.

About Rick DeSilva

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      Contact: TIME Dealer of the Year Hotline (203) 912-1257

Jim Appleton

New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers

(609) 883-5056 ext. 330




Rick DeSilva Jr. Wins National Recognition for Community Service

and Industry Accomplishments at NADA Show


(New York, NY, February 9, 2021) - Rick DeSilva Jr., owner of Liberty Subaru in Emerson, New Jersey, was named the 2021 TIME Dealer of the Year today. 


DeSilva received this highest honor out of a select group of 40 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 104th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show being held virtually February 9-11, 2021. The announcement of this year's annual award was made by Viktoria Degtar, Global Chief Revenue Officer, TIME, and Doug Timmerman, president of Auto Finance for Ally Financial.


The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry's most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation's most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. DeSilva, 45, was chosen to represent the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers in the national competition - one of only 40 auto dealers nominated for the 52nd annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.


"There are so many aspects of my career that I find rewarding, but the best part is being

in the grocery store or at a restaurant wearing something with a Liberty Subaru logo and

having people stop me to tell me about a great experience they had buying or servicing their car with us," nominee DeSilva said. "For customers to have such strong, positive feelings about buying or servicing a car tells me that the extra effort we make to do things right is paying off."


DeSilva, a 1993 graduate of Mahwah High School in Mahwah, New Jersey, earned a B.S. in marketing from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, in 1997. He always knew he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and run an auto dealership.


"When I was in first grade, my teacher asked us to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up, and make a picture of us doing it," he said. "Mine says 'car dealer' below a picture of me driving a car. When my mom found the picture in the basement a few years ago, she framed it and now it proudly hangs in my office."


DeSilva grew up working in his family's Subaru dealership, sweeping the shop, detailing cars, stocking parts - whatever needed to be done. While in college, he had the opportunity to intern for Subaru Distributors Corp. in Orangeburg, New York.


"I got to see the other side the business," he said. "I traveled with the sales and fixed operations reps and worked in sales and marketing. They even sent me to the port facility in Boston, where I worked as part of their yard crew, inspecting cars as they came off of ships and trains."


After college, DeSilva entered a management training program with Toyota Motor Sales,

USA and moved to California and then Boston, learning about customer service, sales and fixed operations. That experience would prove invaluable when he returned to the family business in 2003 to open Liberty Hyundai in Mahwah with his father and brother.


"My brother ran the sales floor, and I established our parts and service operations," he said. "We built the business from scratch."


In 2008, DeSilva took over daily operations at the flagship Subaru store and oversaw the dealership's move to a new location, as well as renovations and expansions. "Sales volume has tripled, and revenue has quadrupled, while we have continued to build a loyal customer base," he said. Today, the Liberty Family of Dealerships also includes Liberty Kia in Ramsey, New Jersey, and Genesis of Mahwah.


"I've always wanted to do what I'm doing right now, and I put in the work to truly learn every aspect of this business," he said. "But I would never have been able to take advantage of these opportunities without the support of my family. I am blessed to have a wife who understands the hours involved in doing what I do, a brother and partner who is willing to hold down the fort when I am advocating for our industry, and supportive parents who - like my first-grade self - think that being a car dealer is a pretty important job."


An active member of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, DeSilva has served on the Association's Board of trustees since 2008 and served as Chairman in 2017. He is most proud of co-founding the group's NextGen Committee, a network of young dealers in the state. "We've been successful in getting a new generation of dealers involved in our association's mission of advocacy," he said. "Now we make regular trips to visit our New Jersey delegation on Capitol Hill and lobby for our state's franchised car and truck dealers."


In the area of community service, DeSilva has worked hard to further the cause of education in Mahwah, the town where he grew up and currently resides. He was elected to the Mahwah Board of Education in 2012 and continues to serve the group, currently as First Vice President.


"Over the past 8 years, I have been involved in successfully negotiating labor contracts, hiring Superintendents, expanding bus service to an underserved area of town and improving facilities, including the creation of a new STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics] center," he said. "Most recently, the Board was involved in plans to safely bring students and staff back to school during the current pandemic."


A recipient of the Subaru Love Promise Customer & Community Commitment Award since the program's inception, DeSilva's dealership hosts annual pet adoption events and has supported Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon; Special Olympics New Jersey Torch Run; Jersey Cares Coat Drive; the Valerie Fund (aids children with cancer and blood disorders); Ramapo College Foundation; New York-New Jersey Trail Conference; Bergen Highlands Ramsey Rotary Gift of Life, and other organizations.


Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. 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. Four finalists will receive $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity.


In its tenth year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will also 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.


"The TIME Dealer of the Year award celebrates the country's top dealers who understand that their businesses thrive when they give back and help their communities grow," Timmerman said. "In short, the award recognizes dealers who do it right in their businesses and in their communities."


DeSilva was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Jim Appleton, president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers. He and his wife, Michelle, have three children.


that reaches a combined audience of more than 100 million around the world, including over 40 million digital visitors each month and 45 million social followers. A trusted destination for reporting and insight, TIME's mission is to tell the stories that matter most, to lead conversations that change the world and to deepen understanding of the ideas and events that define our time. With unparalleled access to the world's most influential people, the immeasurable trust of consumers globally, an unrivaled power to convene, TIME is one of the world's most recognizable media brands with renowned franchises that include the TIME 100 Most Influential People, Person of the Year, Firsts, Best Inventions, World's Greatest Places and premium events including the TIME 100 Summit and Gala, TIME 100 Health Summit, TIME 100 Next and more.

About Ally Financial Inc.
Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a leading digital financial-services company with $182.2 billion in assets as of December 31, 2020.As a customer-centric company with passionate customer service and innovative financial solutions, we are relentlessly focused on "Doing it Right" and being a trusted financial-services provider to our consumer, commercial, and corporate customers. We are one of the largest full-service automotive-finance operations in the country and offer a wide range of financial services and insurance products to automotive dealerships and consumers. Our award-winning online bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) offers mortgage lending, personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products, including savings, money-market, and checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Additionally, we offer securities-brokerage and investment-advisory services through Ally Invest. Our robust corporate finance business offers capital for equity sponsors and middle-market companies.

 For more information and disclosures about Ally, visit https://www.ally.com/#disclosures.


About the NADA Show
The annual NADA Show brings together more than 20,000 franchised dealers and their employees, industry leaders, manufacturers and exhibitors to learn about the latest auto industry tools, trends, products and technologies.