Eric Gibby got an early start in the car business, going to auctions with his father while still in elementary school.
Over the years from selling cars with his father and later owning his own dealership Gibby’s Auto Pros, LLC, in Sevierville, Tenn., and running it with his sons Justin and Noah and brother Michael, his appreciation for the industry has only grown.
“I just grew up around the business my whole life and been in it,” Gibby said. “Getting to duplicate that and do it with my sons, it’s just a blessing. We love this business. I’ve heard people say, if you really love what you do, you would do it for free. Being an independent dealer, we have certainly done that at times.”
On July 26, the Tennessee Independent Automobile Dealers Association honored Gibby as its 2023 Tennessee Quality Dealer of the Year at the Dealers Auto Auction in Johnson City.
“It’s very unexpected. We’re just honored to be named amongst our peers as a quality dealer of the year,” Gibby said. “We try to do things the right way, and we’re proud that we got the recognition for it. It just sets the benchmark for us to strive even harder.”
Gibby started selling cars right out of high school with his father. He took a break from the industry after his father passed away. He spent more than three years selling timeshares.
“It actually really helped sharpen me, especially overcoming objections,” Gibby said.
Rejuvenated, he rejoined the industry. In 2015, he opened Riteway Auto with James Fultz. They sold the business in 2016 to Todd Bacon and he stayed on as the general manager for Sevierville Auto Parts. In 2020 when Bacon passed away, the Gibbys took over the dealership and opened up as Gibby’s Auto Pros.
Since opening, the dealership has been top of the market for lender Credit Acceptance and in the top 10 in the state.
Noah Gibby points out the dealership’s transparent pricing and the 110-point inspection of each vehicle sold have resonated with customers.
The Gibbys have also pitched in to help their community. During COVID-19, they donated more than 100 pizzas to the community. They have contributed to the Good Shepard Clinic, which provides healthcare to the uninsured.
Gibby tries to give back to the industry. He enjoys passing along knowledge to his fellow dealers at auctions.
“Somebody walks up and asks, ‘How do you do this or that? Where do you source inventory? What are you doing about this?’” Gibby said. “The next thing you know, there’s two or three dealers that I don’t know around listening. I’ve got some dealer friends that I have never met but talk with on an every-other-day basis through social media and texts. We’ve reached out to people in different parts of the state to share ideas. That’s something I’m passionate about. I like finding people who are just as passionate about the business. Maybe they didn’t grow up in it. Maybe I can answer questions for them or point them to somebody that knows.”