Ally says auto dealers “play a vital role in the economic fabric of the country.”

But this year’s TIME Dealer of the Year Award celebrates dealers’ “ingenuity and leadership in the face of incredible challenges,” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ally Auto Finance president Doug Timmerman said in a news release.

Ally and TIME on Friday nominated 40 auto dealers for the annual TIME Dealer of the Year Award, which they described as “the most prestigious award in the automotive dealer industry.”

The companies recognized the nominees for 2021 based on leadership in navigating their businesses and supporting their local communities during “unprecedented times.”

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