Bender Appointed Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville General Manager on February 1, Bill Priddy Becoming COO of Furrow Automotive

January 31st, 2015

As the Furrow Automotive Group of dealerships grow, new management is taking shape at Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville.

Jeff Bender will assume the position of General Manager at Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville on February 1. Current General Manager, Bill Priddy, will take on the full-time role of COO of Furrow Automotive Group, which owns Mercedes-Benz of Knoxvillle, Land Rover Knoxville, and Chattanooga dealerships including Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover and Infiniti of Chattanooga.

Bender brings a passion for the Mercedes-Benz brand and more than three decades of automotive experience to Knoxville. Bender is leaving Mercedes-Benz of Orange Park in Jacksonville, Fla., where he has been General Manager since April 2009. Prior to that, he was General Manager for Brumos Motor Cars, Inc., one of the top 10 Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the southern region.

He is relocating to Knoxville because of the reputation of Furrow Automotive and Sam Furrow, co-owner of Furrow Automotive Group.

“Sam and I met at an event several years ago. I’ve always been impressed by his love for his people, his love for his community and the Mercedes-Benz brand,” Bender said. “I have wanted to work for Sam and his group since that meeting.”

Furrow Automotive Co-Owner and CEO Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma welcomed Bender, saying, “We appreciate Jeff’s background in providing exceptional customer service and his high level of energy. We look forward to introducing him to all of our customers.”

In addition to his passion for the Mercedes brand, Bender enjoys finding new opportunities for employee and customer engagement, as well as keeping up with new offerings in the Mercedes product line. “There is always something new to learn,” he said.

Bender and his high school sweetheart, Kimberly, have been married for 32 years. They have two sons, ages 28 and 22.

For more information about Furrow Automotive Group, visit


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