In 2005 there were 751 new car franchise-roof tops owned by African Americans.
In 2005 there were 751 new car franchise-rooftops1 owned by African Americans. As of December 2017, that number declined drastically to 270, out of a total of 19,284 American new car franchise-rooftops.
In 2005, black car dealers accumulated billions of dollars in wealth; unfortunately, they lost most of it when the recession ended in 2009. Yet African Americans continue to purchase new cars in record numbers. African Americans purchased 1,105,931 new cars in 2015, with gross revenue of $35,357,792,000, most of which went to white car dealers.
With an annual growth rate of 9.4%, it’s estimated that African Americans will purchase over 1.5 Million New Cars in 2020, with gross revenue surpassing $50 Billion! With African Americans owning only 1.4% of car dealerships nationwide, can we afford to give $50 Billion dollars of our hard-earned income every freaking year to folks who don’t look like us? Should African Americans allow automobile manufactures to continue this gross injustice annually?
Or should we call a timeout? Should we stop buying new cars until they allow us to own some franchises where we’ll be able to spend our $50 Billion dollars with folks who look like us? $50 Billion dollars circulating within the African American community can go a long way and will do wonders for African Americans! It will create jobs with fair incomes and will allow Blacks to purchase houses that appreciate in value instead of simply buying cars that depreciate. Ultimately, it will allow Blacks to build wealth. After all, it’s our damn money!
In September of 1992, at the age of 36, after a 10-year career as a Business Consultant for Ford Motor Company and a Ford Dealer Trainee, I joined the ranks of the Black car dealers in America and became the proud owner of a Lincoln Mercury franchise in St. Louis, Missouri. Five years later, like the majority of Black car dealers, I lost my franchise.
Were we all poor businessmen and women? Were we all victims of bad luck? Were we victims of social engineering that failed?2 Or were we part of a great business idea that lacked the support to overcome our unique business challenges? This book takes you on my journey of becoming a car dealer. It offers a bird’s-eye view of the automobile industry. It evaluates the conditions under which I and many other Black car dealers operate in order to determine why so many of us failed.
Dealing also chronicles the emotional highs and lows I experienced both before and after becoming a Black car dealer. I discuss some of the challenges I faced while climbing the corporate ladder at Ford and how I positioned myself to acquire a Ford Franchise. The experiences recorded in this book are based on recollection, interviews, and records I’ve retained over the years. As I share these experiences and opinions, please note that I have absolutely no intention of harming anyone or any institution; I do not wish to throw anyone under the bus.
These are simply my experiences, good, bad, and indifferent, and I am happy to share them with you. Please also note that in many instances, pseudonyms have been used to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. Although I share my experiences biographically, this book is a business book. Business students, young executives climbing the corporate ladder, young entrepreneurs, and consumers looking to purchase a car will enjoy reading this book.
I share a host of experiences and scenarios that offer insight into the automobile industry from the perspective of both manufacturing and retail.