DETROIT — General Motors paced the industry in 2016 with 17 net additions to its U.S. minority dealer base. It's looking to top that number this year.
The automaker finished 2016 with 248 minority rooftops, the most of any brand, according to the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers' 2016 census. GM's minority dealer roster accounts for 22 percent of all minority-owned stores.
The company has shifted focus from looking at gross appointments of minority dealers to net appointments, said Maurice Williams, GM's general manager of sales support, during a panel discussion at the Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit here. Williams said this shift has led to better vetting of minority candidates who have the tools to last in the business.
The panel, which included Nissan and Toyota executives, examined how the automakers are working to improve minority representation among their dealer ranks and draw a more diverse crowd to the auto business in general. Williams was joined by Alva Adams-Mason, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s director of multicultural business alliance and strategy, and Toby Perry, Nissan North America's director of dealer network development.