Friday, May 29, 2009

Is Dealergate About Politics and Racism? (Update June 5th)

When I first came across Doug Ross' thread on the closing of Chrysler dealerships, my instinct told me that Doug Ross was on to something when you look at the dealerships who were forced to close and their political ties.

Ross has been diligent in investigating the theme on GOP donors here, here and here.

From Doug Ross' thread, I remembered what Rep. Maxine Waters had said about Chrysler and small businesses being closed and her concern on minority businesses being closed.

The hearings that dealt with the closing of the dealerships and Maxine Waters' comments should alert one to any policies that may be geared to addressing those concerns.

While the GOP dealership closures have received much attention, the focus on this website has been on minority owned dealerships, because I believe that there is an underlying foundation in reason for the closings and it comes from the Obama Administration and possibly from groups like the Chrysler Minority Dealers Assoc.

Both are speculative opinions at this time, but at the time when I wrote the thread on if Obama and some in his Task Force would be sued as well as Chrysler on the way the dealerships were closed, instinct told me that we may see the Obama Task Force as a defendant as well as Chrysler in a civil rights lawsuit.

If a civil lawsuit does come to fruition, how far will it go? To the United States Supreme Court?

What brings me closer to this conclusion is the following video of Randy Henderson who is on the board of directors for the Chrysler Minority Dealers Assoc.

A pattern of accusations has been established and the accusations can go off in all different directions and the accusations have a way of growing.



What is interesting is; Webster Chrysler dealership was forced to close, but Chrysler had been trying to close the dealership before the list came out. So it is difficult to tell how the closing of Webster Chrysler plays into the thesis that politics is involved in this closing.

As pointed out before, Webster donated to NADA but, at the time of the post, no other data was found.

The video does show how Henderson feels that racism played into the closing of the dealership, but the actions to close the dealership happened before the list of closings came out.

So from a legal standpoint, this lawsuit could go in a few directions. And from a standpoint of a P.R. campaign, it is worthy to note the couching of the race card when in fact, Chrysler backed-off on how many minority owned dealerships it was originally going to close.

As told in this story about Henderson, he wanted to resolve the suit because he also has a Ford dealership and wants to move on.

At this point in time, it is worthy to continue to look at the closing of minority dealerships and actually breakdown the closings by race, to see if there is a pattern similar to the pattern of GOP dealers having their dealerships closed at a greater rate.


Affirmative Action in a Business Plan 158 Minority Owned Dealers - 32 to 38 Were Closed

I am going to do a breakdown on minority owned businesses and see how many dealers were closed within a minority race. It will be an on-going process with additions and subtractions according to the most recent and accurate data.

The Obama task force stated that about 25% of non-minority dealerships would be closed and to achieve parity, 25% of minority dealerships would be closed.

First to a short story from the past.

News that DaimlerChrysler AG would sell Chrysler Group to a private equity firm was met with relief and optimism by African American Chrysler dealers who expect the deal will bring much-needed stability to the organization.


As stated on a previous thread, because most minority owned dealerships were single brand, Chrysler had plans to close more than 100 minority owned dealerships, but Chrysler backed off on that.

The reason why? That is the $65,000 question.

The following list is African American owned Chrysler dealerships. (not complete)


1. SOUTHLAND CHRYSLER John Roy Southaven Closed - Filed for bankruptcy before Chrysler came up with list.

2. THE HARRELL H. COMPANIES Steve Harrell Open

3. MARTIN AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Cornelius A. Martin Open

4. BOYLAND AUTO GROUP Dorian Boyland Open

5. SOUTHGATE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Fred J. Poe Open

6. SOUTH CHARLOTTE CHRYSLER JEEP Reginald T. Hubbard Closed

Update June 1st 2009:

On May 18th there was astory about Reginald Hubbard, head of the Chrysler Minority Dealerships Association. He is facing felony charges for not paying taxes... So now it seems you have 3 out 4 dealerships closing because of bankruptcy proceedings that started last year or one dealer has felony charges against him for not paying taxes on a Honda dealership.

7. SPALDING AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Alan Reeves Open

8. BRANDON DODGE Sanford L. Woods Open

9. WINSTON PITTMAN ENTERPRISES Winston R. Pittman Sr. Open

10. PANHANDLE AUTOMOTIVE Inc. Leon Daggs Jr. Open

11. BARANCO AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Gregory T. Baranco Open
GROUP

12. UNIVERSITY AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Ronald L. Hill Open

13. LONG AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Monti M. Long Open

14. FITZPATRICK DEALERSHIP GROUP Ed Fitzpatrick Open

15. MIDFIELD DODGE INC. Jordan Frazier Open

16. BROOKDALE DODGE INC. Perry Watson III Open

17. DODGE, CHRYSLER, JEEP OF VACAVILLE Clarence A. Williams Jr. Open

18. BARRINGTON DODGE Inc. Shirley L. Gross-Moore Open

19. WILSON AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Sidney Wilson Jr. Open

20. KIRKLAND-CHRYSLER JEEP Inc. William E. McIntosh Open

21. BRADLEY AUTOMOTIVE JEEP James H. Bradley Open

22. DEERBROOK FOREST CHRYSLER JEEP E. Dale Early Open

23. HUNTSVILLE DODGE Inc. Ellenae Fairhurst Open

24. CROSS ROAD CHRYSLER Jesse J. Greathouse Jr. Open

25. PARK DODGE CHRYSLER Jerome Dillard Open

26. VICKSBURG CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Monti Long Open

27. MARTIN CHRYSLER Gail Martin Open

28. ADVANTAGE CHRYSLER Desmond Roberts Open

29. ED CORLEY CHRYSLER Eddie Corley Open

30. DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP OF TULSA Yvonne Hovell Open

31. SUPERSTITION SPRINGS CHRYSLER Alfonzo Smith Open

32. WEBSTER CHRYSLER Randolph Henderson Closed - Chrysler sought to close his doors before coming out with a list. Henderson filed suit claiming racism.

34. JORDAN FRAZIER Jordan Frazier Open
CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE

35. STONE MOUNTAIN Darryl Ford Open

36. STATELINE CHRYSLER Damian Mills Open

37. RAINER DODGE Gene Johnson Open

38. GOLDSBORO CHRYLSER Hal Howard (Closed)
JEEP DODGE

39. Branson, MO Tri-Lakes Motors (RLJ owned) (Open) Robert L. Johnson
This is considered to be a minority owned company. This group has been looked at extensively at Doug Ross' website. Here is another tid-bit. Bob Johnson opens car dealership: plans to provide a bridge to create more minority owners.(B.E. 100s)

40. Bentonville, AR Landers-McLarty (RLJ owned)(Open)

41. Huntsville, AL Landers McCarty D-C-J (RLJ Owned)(Open)

42. Lee's Summit Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep (Lee's Summit, MO)(RLJ Owned)(Open)

43. Bossier City, LA Landers DCJ (RLJ owned)(Open)

44. ROD JAMES CHRYSLER JEEP Rod James Closed

45. GULFGATE DODGE James Davis Open

46. ED MOSES DODGE Ed Moses Open

47. OUTTEN COUNTY CHRYSLER Willie Outten Open

48. NEUWIRTH MOTORS John Gillilan


Update:

I am inserting an update at the end of this list to keep some of the numbers flowing and not break the continuity in each group.

According to the linked article, in 2007 there were only 52 African American owned Chrylser dealerships. At this time it is not known how many more African American dealers closed before the list came out on May 14th. I am still searching for more opened or closed dealers and I am focused on the metro Detroit area since there were no minority owned dealerships closed there.

I am begining to wonder how many actual minority owned Chrysler dealerships there were.


Update:

In looking at the data and the reported account of 52 African American dealerships in 2007 and the substantial decrease in dealerships in 2008, it seems that most of the remaining balance of 32-38 closures will fall on either Hispanics or Asian owned dealers. There are only 4 African American dealerships closed with the latest update and two of the closures started last year.

Update June 1st, 2009

Blogger Jeff Fortson asks if minority dealers are fading away.

In his thread he states that:


Prior to this month's announcement Chrysler had 47 black dealers (44 men and 3 women) and now they'll dwindle down to 37 (35 men and 2 women). Overall the market share for the minority and black dealer population for Chrysler remains the same as of today, before the cuts, 5 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. To the surprise of many, critics were expecting more minority dealers to be sliced.


Fortson qualifies what I have felt and that is last years tally of African American owned Chrysler dealers were less than the previous year but he doesn't give a breakdown of the dealers that were closed. He is saying that 10 dealers out of the 47are being closed. He also states there were 3 African American women who owned dealerships and one was closed. I count 4 at this time and none were closed.

Right now as it stands, there are 4 that are closing (valid reasons explained for their closing)and the tally is still at 43 and I am still searching.


Update June 3rd:

The peak of minority owned dealerships was in 2002 - 2003 and declined from there.

Today there is approximately 1200 minority dealerships. (Source: Blackpower.com)

It is reported Chrysler had 170 minority owned dealers in 2006, that figure has been used in today‘s news.

It was reported in 2006 that there were 59 African American dealers.(Source: black press.usa Black Dealers put Ford on Notice by Marcus Amick)

But in 2007 it went down to 52, then in 2008 it went down to an estimated 47 African American dealers

It is reported that in 2006, GM had approximately 350 minority owned dealerships and of those dealerships, 92 African American dealers were reported.(Source: black press.usa Black Dealers put Ford on Notice by Marcus Amick)

It is reported in 2006 Ford had 352 minority owned dealers and of those dealerships, Ford had 180 African American dealerships. (Source: black press.usa Black Dealers put Ford on Notice by Marcus Amick)

The figures on minority owned Chrysler dealerships looks to be inflated as well as the number of closings. In 2002 there were a total of 381 Hispanic owned dealerships and that number has declined. I am still looking at how many Hispanic owned dealerships Chrysler had.


Update June 5th.

Link

In mid-May, Chrysler announced that it would axe a quarter of its 3,200 dealers by June 9. Thirty-eight of those 789 dropped dealerships are minority-owned, nine of which are owned by Hispanics. (About 50 Hispanic-owned Chrysler dealerships remain, Lester said.)


That puts the number of Hispanic and African American dealers just about even with each other.

Of the 43 African American dealers, there were only 4 African American dealers that (that I could find so far) have been closed.

The total of African American dealers was estimated to be around 47 total.

The story has a total of 38 minority dealerships that were closed. That figure does not add up when you consider:

African American 4 closings so far.

Hispanic 8-9 closings so far.

Asians 2 closings so far.

The closing figure that is listed in the article may not be true. I am still searching for more closings.

But at any rate, Hispanic closings are at a higher rate.


The following is a list of Hispanic owned Chrysler dealerships. (not complete)

Again, first to a short story from the past.

Hispanic Business Magazine named nine Hispanic-owned Chrysler LLC dealers to its 2008 annual “Top 500” U.S. Hispanic-owned companies list. Dealers made the list based on the following criteria: revenue dollars; Hispanic ownership of at least 51 percent; and fully operational for the 2007 calendar year.

Hispanic Business Magazine’s list included three Chrysler dealers in the top 10. The top dealer, ranked No. 3, was Lloyd Chavez Jr. of the Burt Automotive Network in Centennial, Colo., which includes Burt Chrysler Jeep® Dodge of Parker, Colo., and other franchises. The dealership group boasted $2.12 billion in revenue last year. The second dealer was Ernesto Ancira Jr. of Ancira Enterprises Inc., which was ranked No. 7 and grossed $691.26 million. Ancira Enterprises includes Ancira 281 North Chrysler Jeep; Ancira Dodge; and Ancira Motor Co., among its many franchises. Also on the list was Frank Rodriguez of Greenway Ford Inc., at No. 9, which grossed $520.13 million. Rodriguez's franchises include Greenway Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Orlando, Fla.; and Atlanta Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Atlanta.


As was stated before, Burt Chrysler was being bought by Vail business man Gillett Jr. who was a Democrat donor.


1. BURT DODGE, CHEVY, JEEP IN COLORADO L.G. Chavez Closed

2. GREENWAY CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE IN ORLANDO Frank Rodriguez Closed

3. SIGNATURE JEEP Irma Elder Closed

4. PRIDE CHRYSLER JEEP Alfredo M Dos Anjos Closed

5. SANDOVAL DODGE Rudolph Sandoval Closed

6. STILLWATER MOTOR Co, Patricia Raduenz Closed

7. CARDIENAS MOTORS Inc. R.E. Cardienas Closed

8. ANCIRA ENTERPRISES Ernesto Ancira Jr. Open

9. TAMIAMI CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Carlos Planas Closed

10. LOVE CHRYSLER Marion Luna Open

11. GONZALES AUTOMOTIVE SOUTH GATE Silvestre Gonzales Open

12. A & D AUTOMOTIVE Dino Velaquez Open

13. VARELA AUTO GROUP Fernando Varela Open

14. FOLSOM LAKE DODGE Carlos Hildago Open

15. RIDGEWOOD MOTORS George Rico Open

16. SPRING CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Alfred Flores Open

17. LONG BEACH CHRYSLER JEEP Ernie Caluza Open

18. VIVA MOTORS Frances Fratello Open

19. DODGE CITY IN MCKINNEY Gus Rodruigez Open

20. VAN DYKE DODGE Frank Galeana Open

21. GALEANA CHRYSLER JEEP Frank Galeana Open
Columbia, S.C.

22. GALEANA CHRYSLER JEEP Frank Galeana Open
Fort Myers, Florida

23. PAUL YOUNG'S AUTOMOTIVE GROUP Paul Young Open

24. COURTESY MOTORS AUTO CENTER Ronald Faria Closed

25. MAURO MOTORS Cecelia Mauro Closed

26. VERGARA GROUP Jaime Vergra Closed

27. HAYWARD CHRYSLER JEEP Miguel D. Silva Open

28. CHRYSLER JEEP OF ELK GROVE Carlos Hildago Open

29. GRAPEVINE CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Thomas Quintana Open

30. WILKES-BARRE DODGE William Rosado Open


The following is a list of Asian owned Chrysler dealerships. (not complete)

1. PRESTON CHRYSLER JEEP Gary Lau Closed

2. UNION CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Charles Lee Closed

3. CARS PLUS CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Joeseph Crisotomo Open

4. DADELAND DODGE CHRYSLER JEEP Jay Rivchin Open

5. KITAGAWA MOTORS Roy M Kitagawa Closed

6. MIDWAY MOTORS Inc. Nai N Ko Closed

7. T & K AUTOMOTIVE INVESTMENTS Antonio Ma Closed

8. ALHAMBRA CHRYSLER JEEP DODGE Jae Kim Open

9. BROOKLYN DODGE Lester Wu Open


The following is a list of American Native owned dealerships. (not complete)


Update:

If the trend continues on the closures of African American dealerships versus Hispanic ones, then you are looking at a civil rights lawsuit.

Affirmative action for African American owned dealerships and not for Hispanic owned dealerships does not work out too well.

Add a Hispanic owned dealer with a caucasian owned dealer together and you have the ingredients for a lawsuit to be shot down by a Hispanic Judge who would rule against a person of her own heritage to gain favors perhaps or hold onto an ideology?

Everyday I go to work I gotta pin this lieutenant's badge on me," Marcarelli said. "It reminds me I got screwed out of a captain's badge because of the color of my skin."

Lieutenant Marcarelli studied hard and got the top score on a promotions exam. But then New Haven noticed of the 118 firefighters taking that test, none of the 28 black firefighters scored high enough to be promoted.

"It looked like the exam might have been discriminatory against some of the minority test takers. And that was certainly a red flag for the city under the law," Victor Bolden, New Haven City Lawyer said.

The black test-takers cried foul.


(...)

Still, fearing the black firefighters would sue, New Haven threw out the test results and promoted no one.

But then one Hispanic and 17 white firefighters sued, saying it was a case of reverse discrimination. They lost their first court battle in 2006, appealed and ended up before Sonia Sotomayor and two other judges on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2007.

The three quickly dismissed the firefighters' claims and their 2,000 pages of court papers and filings with a one paragraph ruling.


You had Randy Henderson talking racism in his lawsuit against Chrysler and Chrysler backed off on closing minority owned dealerships.

So the pattern has been set, but the outcome may not be what African American dealers like Henderson bargained for if the trend continues on Hispanic dealerships being closed at a higher rate than African American owned ones.


Update:

As an aside to the numbers on how many closed dealerships to opened ones there are; Reuters had published a market analysis of minorities and what car was the preferred car.

The headline: Why Are African Americans Five Times More Likely to Purchase a Chrysler 300 Than...


Why Are African Americans Five Times More Likely to Purchase a Chrysler 300 Than Other Ethnic Groups? ''It's in their vehicle DNA,'' says Strategic Vision

SAN DIEGO--(Business Wire)--"Driver's desires, needs and attribute priorities are called the customer's vehicle DNA," according to Alexander Edwards, Strategic Vision President of Automotive. "When you understand the emotional payoff delivered by each vehicle attribute measured against the customer's vehicle DNA, you will know why an African American views the Chrysler 300 as a vehicle of choice while an Asian American chooses an Acura MDX or BMW 3-Series (accounting for price). This understanding can provide automotive manufacturers with the knowledge of how to create the right product and communicate the right messages that will sell more vehicles, build brand equity, increase customer advocacy and develop future loyalty and retention."

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