HOUSTON - Nissan says it plans to increase its minority dealer count by 25 percent by 2002.
Nissan Division General Manager Mike Seergy unveiled the plans Wednesday, June 10, at the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers annual meeting here.
Currently, 71 of Nissan's 1,080 dealers are minorities.
Also represented at the meeting were Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., American Honda Motor Co. Inc., Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America Inc., Chrysler Corp., General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
To help Nissan reach its goals, regional executive bonuses will be based on the field staff's success in matching the right minority dealer with the right dealership opportunity, Seergy said.
Will help minority dealers with debt structure.
Will hire a corporate diversity manager responsible for diversity issues for Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. affiliates.
Has appointed a manager of strategic representation who will focus on minority dealer appointments.
Has established a minority operator task force to help identify candidates.
Requires consideration of minority dealers for all open points.
Seergy said Nissan has two open points and is discussing them with two minority candidates.
On Sunday, June 14, Mike Dale, president of Jaguar Cars North America, was expected to announce that the company has signed a letter of intent with a minority dealer, said NAMAD Executive Director Sheila Vaden Williams.
Dealer reaction to the plans was mixed.
Martin Cumba, General Motors Minority Advisory Council chairman, said he is skeptical until he sees results. 'We've received a lot of promises in the past; those promises have been broken in the past,' said Cumba, owner of Fairfax Pontiac-GMC in Fairfax, Va., and Northtowne Chevrolet in Temperance, Mich., and a member of NAMAD's executive board.
Charles Harrell, president of NAMAD, said the dealer group is trying to be proactive and build relationships. 'It's not what happened in the past; it's what can we do now and in the future,' said Harrell, owner of Countryside Buick-Mazda in Countryside, Ill.