Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Jones Chevrolet in Sumter SC

Jones Chevrolet Cadillac: it's a 50-year family tradition

From the left, John T. Jones III, John T. Jones Jr. and Robert C. Jones take pride in celebrating the 50th anniversary of having their family name on the local Chevrolet and Cadillac dealership.

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and CHEVROLET was the epitome of American life in the late '60s and early '70s. Jones Chevrolet Cadillac opened its doors in 1966 in Sumter, South Carolina and its family's history is a true American story spanning four generations.

After working for years in his father's dealership in Greensboro, North Carolina, John T. Jones Sr. was offered a chance to purchase a Sumter dealership in 1966. Very early on, the Jones family began its legacy of providing exceptional customer service as well as becoming a vital part of the Sumter community.

In 1975, John T. Jones Sr. received the highly coveted honor as TIME magazine's "Dealer of the Year." TIME presents the award in conjunction the National Automobile Dealers Association to successful auto dealers who must demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

"My dad (John T. Jones Sr.) taught me a long time ago, community isn't just where you live; it is where you grow; and a customer isn't someone who buys a car from you, a customer is someone who just became your business partner," son John T. Jones Jr., explains. "And that is someone special."

John T. Jones Jr., current president of Jones Chevrolet Cadillac, said the dealership still focuses on building personal relationships with clients, providing excellent customer service and giving back to the community. The legacy continues, as 39 years later, John T. Jones Jr. was awarded the TIME "Dealer of the Year" award again in 2014.

"Dad didn't make us get into the business, he gave us an opportunity to get into it," Jones Jr. said, "and we recognize what an honor and a blessing this is.

"We're not working for a large corporation," said Jones Jr. "It's our name on the sign; it's our reputation; yesterday, today and tomorrow."