DaimlerChrysler's minority deal- er group is doing well and the company is ready to help it do even better, Ted Cunningham told members of the DaimlerChrysler Minority Dealer Association.
Cunningham, vice president of global sales and marketing, was the keynote speaker at the minority dealer group's annual awards banquet in conjunction with the NADA convention. He applauded the members for posting healthy average profits and selling an average of 1,017 units per dealership.
He also congratulated the members because 45 percent of them have achieved Five Star status. The group includes Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge and Jeep dealers. Five Star dealers meet various customer service and operational standards.
Cunningham said DaimlerChrysler is committed to increasing the number of minority dealerships. It added six dealerships in 1999 and plans to add at least six this year. The company has 126 minority-owned dealerships, up from 123 a year ago. The group includes black, Hispanic, Asian-American and American Indian dealers.
Cecil Ward, general senior manager of minority retail dealer development at the company, said 93 percent of DaimlerChrysler's minority dealers are profitable compared with 90 percent at this time last year.
'We attribute that to the quality of the candidate, the quality of the dealership location and the quality of the product,' Ward said.
Sandford Woods, president of the dealer group, said 1999 was a great year for his members. Woods owns Brandon Dodge in Tampa, Fla., and Toyota of Stuart in Stuart, Fla.
Said Woods: 'DaimlerChrysler has been phenomenal. They've got great product and our guys have matured. You have to remember we're first-generation entrepreneurs.'