The award is given annually based on strict performance criteria to only one of the more than 260 International dealers and distributors throughout the world. The Dealer of the Year must be exceptional in all facets of the truck distribution business - sales, used truck, and leasing. And they must achieve strong growth in parts sales and offer superior service to their market. The International Dealer of the Year is also characterized by their distinguished level of investment back into their businesses - including investments in personnel, business processes and facilities.
"For more than 30 years, Drew Linn has demonstrated exceptional commitment to his customers, his employees and the International brand," said John Whitnell, International's vice president, Dealer Operations. "Truck manufacturers face tough competition in the marketplace and we are fortunate to have dealers like Drew who know how to succeed in all economic climates. In 2008, Southland International delivered more trucks than any other dealer in the global International dealer network. Drew and all the employees of Southland International have earned this prestigious recognition as the 2008 International Dealer of the Year."
Linn began his professional career in truck sales and management working for International Harvester Company which later became Navistar. He left the company to become an International dealer in 1977. Using business skills he honed during his years as a company executive, Linn began acquiring franchises in Alabama starting with Tuscaloosa in 1977. In 1986, Linn acquired Birmingham and Montgomery and he incorporated his business under the name Southland International Trucks, Inc. The dealership currently has six locations in Tuscaloosa, Huntsville, Montgomery, Homewood, Birmingham and Decatur, Alabama. Linn is a past chairman of the Alabama Trucking Association and he serves on their Workers Compensation Fund Board. Linn currently serves on the International Dealer Council and has been a Circle of Excellence winner for nine years.