The Chrysler Group's 134 minority dealers generated $3.5 billion in sales and earned gross profits of $455 million in 2003, exceeding corporate averages in sales and revenue per outlet.
Per minority-owned dealerships, sales averaged 811 new vehicles; revenues, $31.9 million, says Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler's executive vice president of global sales and marketing.
“Chrysler Group's minority dealers are proving that not only can they sustain high levels of profitability in a difficult market environment, but in many cases, their performance is reaching benchmark levels,” he says.
Of the minority dealers, 50 are black, 49 Hispanic, 26 Asian and nine Native American.
They represent 3% of Chrysler Group's 4,200 dealers nationwide. They accounted for 7.2% of the group's total sales in 2003.
“We're definitely not where we want to be,” Eberhardt says, referring to the number of minority dealers. “We're working on it.”
Chrysler's Minority Retail Dealer Development Training Program began in 1983. The auto maker had 27 minority dealers at the time. Chrysler has invested $200 million in the program. It's designed to train candidates first as dealership general managers before they ultimately become dealer principals.