Black dealers owned 36 GM dealerships at the end of 2012, Jackson said. Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, who also spoke during the meeting, said 25 dealers owned those dealerships. According to the Automotive News Data Center, GM had 4,355 dealerships on Jan. 1.
"We got the first African-American dealership in 1966, 40-plus years ago," Jackson told shareholders and GM executives at the meeting. "That's very slow progress."
At the end of 2012, Lester said, the 4 to 5 percent minority ownership of GM dealerships put the company fourth from the bottom among auto companies in terms of minority dealership representation.
At the end of 2012, Hispanics owned 100 GM dealerships, Asian-Americans owned 37 and Native Americans owned 25, NAMAD data indicate.
In an interview after the meeting, Lester said GM has not awarded a dealership to a black dealer in more than three years. He said GM should create a committee of company outsiders to help it craft a global diversity strategy.
He pointed to Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., which created an outside board to assist its diversity efforts in the early 2000s. At the end of last year, minority dealers owned 7 percent of the 1,233 Toyota-brand dealerships and 11 percent of Lexus' 232 dealerships, NAMAD data indicate.
"We urge you to come up with a strategy -- a global strategy that encompasses all types of diversity, marketing, dealerships, philanthropy and so on," Lester told the meeting. "This strategy needs to be in writing and to have a plan and a way we can execute it."
Mike Colias contributed to this report