The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers has drawn a heavy line in the sand.
The Lanham, Md.,- based association wants manufacturers to award a minimum of 15 percent of their dealerships to ethnic minority dealers.
Though NAMAD has not set a timetable for the companies, it warned the Chrysler group and Audi Division, which it says have the lowest percentages of minority dealers among their dealership bodies, that all their dealerships could become boycott targets -- the first time NAMAD has issued such a stern challenge.
Adding injury to insult, Sheila Vaden-Williams, NAMAD's president, said the association has requested a meeting with Chrysler group CEO Dieter Zetsche to discuss the company's dealer diversity plans but has had no success.
"DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen-Audi, you have to do better," Steve Harrell, NAMAD's chairman and a Dodge dealer, said during a forum Feb. 2 in San Francisco, held in connection with the National Automobile Dealers Association convention.
"We are officially putting you on notice that your two companies are being targeted for a national information campaign in the ethnic minority communities, and this campaign is a prelude to a boycott of your products."
NAMAD is a non-profit organization with 550 members with a mission to increase opportunities for ethnic minorities in the automotive business. It has created minority dealer census information that it plans to distribute at minority dealerships and churches starting in the next two weeks so recipients "can make informed decisions about supporting companies that support us," Vaden-Williams said.