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The U.S. retail automotive industry added 110 minority-owned stores in 2022, NAMAD data shows

According to the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), the automobile industry added an impressive 110 minority-owned stores in 2022. Minority-owned stores now total 1,476 stores scattered throughout the U.S., which is almost 9% of all franchised dealers. Stellantis contributed the most to the increase, adding 32 minority-owned stores while General Motors added 26 minority-owned stores. Ford and Nissan followed, opening 19 and 17 minority-owned stores, respectively. 

General Motors Director of Dealer Diversity Relations, Tia Hardman, commented on the increase in minority-owned stores, stating that GM is “dedicated to growing a performance-driven, customer-focused and profitable dealer network by attracting highly qualified minority dealer candidates to ensure that [GM’s] retailers reflect the communities and the customers that [GM] serve[s].” GM has been actively looking to increase the number of minority-owned stores since 1972 when it created its Minority Dealer Development Program. 

The Head of Network Development for Stellantis, Phillip Langley, expressed pride regarding the automaker’s ongoing success in increasing minority-owned stores and told Automotive News that Stellantis is “always looking to grow [its] bench of candidates, so [Stellantis’s] work will persist on this important initiative, as [Stellantis’s] mission is to continue to improve network diversity and strive for Stellantis to be the OEM of choice.”

The executive director of the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association, Mitch Mitchell, also noted that Stellantis dedicates resources to finding and training potential minority dealers through the National Automobile Dealers Association’s Dealer Academy. “For us to lead the way, that’s an even greater feather in the cap to show that we’re definitely trying to do the right thing as far as ethnic diversity is concerned to put dealers in place to reflect the communities where our dealers sell and service vehicles and where customers buy those vehicles,” he said. 

Mitchell also pointed out the rising cost of franchise opportunities and that finding capital can be difficult for potential minority dealers. Many minority dealers also decide to retire and/or sell their stores to non-minority dealers, which reduces the total number of minority-owned dealerships. To overcome these potential drawbacks, Mitchell said that Stellantis is “hold[ing] on to the existing franchises that [it has] while trying to gain more.”

The Vice Chair of NAMAD, Damon Lester, told Automotive News that strong leadership within automakers has contributed greatly to the increase in minority-owned stores. This reportedly includes active efforts to increase diversity such as the addition of Lottie Holland as the Diversity and Inclusion Chief for Stellantis. “As leadership continues to stay stable, meaning the presidents and CEOs of these entities have not switched hands, or retirements or things like that, we do tend to fare well when that happens,” he stated. 

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Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News, with over a decade of experience specializing in automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing. She enjoys working with industry professionals throughout the world to develop engaging, and accurate content.

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