A diversity specialist who found weaknesses in General Motors' minority dealership program in the late 1990s is studying the program again.
GM hired attorney Weldon Latham to review its program, which has attracted complaints from minority dealers. Latham, 59, is a senior partner with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. He is chairman of his firm's corporate diversity counseling group, which works with many of the nation's largest companies.
GM spokeswoman Deborah Silverman says Latham is scheduled to deliver a preliminary review this spring and a final report by year end.
The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers has criticized GM for removing dealers from failing stores. Many minority dealers cannot survive in a "chaotic environment" created by GM, NAMAD alleges.
Latham says he will study whether the poor performance of some minority-owned GM dealerships reflects larger problems in the domestic auto industry.
"Some people have suggested that is the case," Latham told Automotive News. "We want to look deeper."