At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, JeffCars.com had an opportunity to connect with Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD). Lester’s organization represents every ethnic-owned new-vehicle dealership in America. This group consists of women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and American Indians.
In 2009, at the height of the recession, there were 20,453 dealerships throughout America, 1,076 were NAMAD dealerships, representing 5 percent of new-vehicle dealerships. Conversely, in 2013, there were 15,800 dealerships, 1,074 were NAMAD dealerships, which represented only 6 percent of total dealerships.
Ideally, the U. S. dealer count should represent the demographics of America. According to the U. S. Census, minorities represent close to 30 percent of the population. In most cases, whether its pertaining to employment being provided by a major corporation, shaping the electorate or examining one’s household budget, if we don’t track things statistically we’ll never know when things are out of balance.
African American-Owned Dealerships
In 1980, there were 244 dealerships. This group peaked at 751 dealerships in 2005. Two years before the recession rolled around in 2007, the numbers dipped to 391. As of July 2013, there are only 262 dealerships, just slightly more than what they were in the 80s.