SAN FRANCISCO -- After adding 17 female-owned dealerships last year, General Motors is setting up its second 20 group for female dealers, said Celeste Briggs, director of the GM Women's Retail Network.
At the end of 2014, women owned 225 GM dealerships, a net gain of 10 since the end of 2013, Briggs said. Many women who own GM dealerships took over their stores from husbands, fathers and other family members, she said.
"We want to make sure they have the resources to keep them in the business," Briggs told Automotive News during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here.
GM formed its first 20 group for female dealers and general managers in May 2013 and hopes to have the second group operational by May, depending on whether "we can pull together the required number of dealerships by that time," a spokeswoman said.
Briggs said some female dealers and managers have shied away from traditional 20 groups, which are dominated by men, because they either didn't fit in or didn't consider the groups a good environment in which "to learn and grow."
She said she is heartened that two dealers in the current 20 group bring their daughters to meetings.
"We are urging families to consider sending their female successors to the 20 groups," she said. "It's a training ground to help get them prepared. Our youngest member is 22. She is a daughter" of a dealer.