MB dealer Gregory Baranco says ‘manufacturers need to step up’ their diversity efforts

Gregory Baranco

While there are over 18,000 dealers in the country, only 265 dealerships are owned by African Americans. The lack of black representation and the growth of diversity in automotive has hindered the industry generation after generation. Today, we’re joined by Gregory Baranco, President and CEO of Baranco Automotive Group here in Atlanta, who has a rich history in automotive, to discuss the state of the industry as well as how it is faring with diversity from his perspective.

In this segment, Baranco and anchor Jim Fitzpatrick first discuss his journey in the auto industry, what franchises he owns today, and how his dealerships are working through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pair also tackle minority representation in the automotive dealer body, and what it is like being a successful black dealer in today’s industry.

Then, Baranco shares what he believes needs to change in this industry in order for African Americans and other minorities to garner more of the share of franchise dealerships. Lastly, Baranco discusses the lack of African-American representation at the OEM / manufacturers level, and why these organizations do not grant more dealerships to minorities.

Gregory Branco began his career in the auto retail industry working for Audubon Ford in the early 1970s. He became the finance manager and was accepted into the General Motors Dealer Development Program. In the program, he trained to be the general manager of a dealership and eventually founded Baranco Pontiac with his wife Juanita. Baranco then turned his focus to luxury cars and opened Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young. Branco was named a Best of the Best Dealer of the Year by Mercedes-Benz USA in 2012, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers in 2010. He also served as the president of the Metropolitan Atlanta Automobile Dealers Association.

Did you enjoy this interview with dealer Gregory Baranco? Please share your thoughts, comments, or questions regarding this topic with host Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date or catch-up on all of our podcasts on demand.

While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our email newsletter for all the latest auto industry news from CBT News.