Ford, Toyota top diversity scorecard
Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. received the Rainbow PUSH Coalition's top ratings among 12 automakers surveyed for their ethnic diversity and inclusion efforts.
Other automakers' ratings in the Automotive Diversity Scorecard suffered in part because they returned incomplete surveys, Rainbow PUSH said. The group criticized Mercedes-Benz USA for failing to reply to the survey.
The scorecard rated each automaker green, yellow or red in six categories: employment, advertising, marketing, procurement, minority dealer development and philanthropy.
A green rating meant that the automaker exhibited best practices for diversity; fully disclosed goals, initiatives and dollar investments; and showed accountability and growth in tracking those figures.
Yellow meant that the automaker showed signs of diversity, but failed to fully answer questions such as those on dollar investments.
Red meant that diversity initiatives and investments were well below the norm and/or the company did not provide enough information for scoring.
Ford and Toyota, the only companies that fully responded, received five green ratings and one yellow.
General Motors followed with four green ratings and two yellow, while Chrysler Group had three green and three yellow.
Rainbow PUSH and the Citizen Education Fund sent the survey to automakers in April.
"All of them got the notice to respond. Some chose to, some chose not to," Rainbow PUSH President Jesse Jackson said during a news conference in Detroit in conjunction with the Detroit auto show. "And we'll put much more public focus on those who chose not to."
Mercedes-Benz USA, in response to a query from Automotive News, said it is a diverse company that supports many organizations, including Rainbow PUSH, and did not respond because the survey asked for confidential information.
"Diversity and inclusion are integral parts of MBUSA's corporate culture and business strategy and we strongly believe that our very success in this market is dependent on embracing, and leveraging the assets of, the various cultures, nationalities and convictions of our associates and stakeholders," a Mercedes spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail.
Mercedes-Benz USA said it was providing courtesy vehicles and other items for use during Rainbow PUSH's Wall Street Project Economic Summit last week in New York.
But Rainbow PUSH said it had declined the vehicles and was returning pens the automaker had sent for use during the event.
Rainbow PUSH has sent follow-up letters to automakers requesting meetings to review their ratings and develop plans for progress.
Most of those meetings probably will be in February, a Rainbow PUSH spokesman said, and the organization hopes that Mercedes will participate. The group has met with GM.