The driving force behind diversity in the automotive industry – Damon Lester, Pres. of NAMAD

How do we hold these companies accountable?

Recently, CBT News was on-site at the 2021 (NAMAD) National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers Convention. In this interview, Jim sits down with the President of NAMAD, Damon Lester. The pair discusses diversity in the automotive industry.

The horrific death of George Floyd shocked the world. Lester says this caused corporate America, individually and collectively, to make a change. He says one of the questions they continue to ask was, how do we hold these companies accountable? Lester stated that Attorney Ben Crump shed some light that the “fight will continue”. The goal of equality has to stay at the forefront not just for the people of color but for everyone.

There are 18,000 dealerships, 265 have black dealers, 580 plus have Hispanic dealers, and 260 have Asian American dealers. Ninety-four percent of all dealerships purchased are owned by non-minorities. Lester says there has to be a need, a want, and a plan. With NAMAD, 99% of the organization dealerships are first-generation. He says we need to have people continually take a chance.

Historically, Lester says the challenge has been having the access to capital, to be able to operate and get stores, when they become available.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2021 NAMAD Convention!

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