To the Editor:
I have been a General Motors minority dealer for 25 years. Without the GM Minority Dealer Association program, I would not have been a Chevrolet dealer for the past eight years. I have served on the GM Minority Dealer Advisory Council for four years and was a board member for the minority dealer association for six years.
GM has provided more opportunities to minorities than some other manufacturers. GM can offer only dealership opportunities that are available. If a candidate doesn't see an opportunity as viable, he can turn the opportunity down. It is the candidate's responsibility to be a hands-on dealer, choose his own management team and make the opportunity successful. Manufacturers are not in the retail business; we are.
Sheila Vaden-Williams and Jay Park of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers owe an apology to GM CEO Rick Wagoner and the advisory council for their irresponsible letter ("NAMAD: GM removes minority dealers," Nov. 14). They never contacted the advisory council, which represents all GM minorities and knows their issues and concerns with GM.
There are hundreds of happy minority dealers who are thankful to GM for providing them with an opportunity.
In 15 years, I have never seen Park at a Profit Enhancement Program session, where he could share his vision and ideas for success with anybody in the group.
Manufacturers make many models and hope for all of them to be successful. Some models are discontinued because consumers don't like them and they don't sell.
Dealers candidates are viewed in much the same way. If we don't perform, whatever the reason, we must be replaced. We must look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we didn't do to make the opportunity successful and not blame the manufacturer or others.