With less than 6 percent of today’s nearly 17,000 new-vehicle dealerships being minority-owned, its literally like finding a needle in a haystack to come across a mother-daughter dealership team. More specifically, a mother-daughter squad who have a financial stake (and hold key positions) in 2 out of 7 of Mercedes-Benz’s black-owned dealerships. The family owned stores are located in Atlanta, Georgia and Covington, Louisiana.
According to the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), 95 percent of today’s minority owned dealerships are first-generation dealerships. However, when it comes to minority dealers, especially Black dealers, the numbers are grave. One means of creating general wealth is through owning dealerships. They are literally cash cows, if run properly. This prominent Atlanta family has made provisions to hand the keys off to one of their daughters, when the time becomes appropriate, as opposed to allowing the business to slip outside of their hands (into other communities).
While women influence 85 percent of today’s car sales, its rare to find them in the driver’s seat of most of today’s dealerships. In fact, most women employed by today’s dealerships usually find themselves steered toward positions in the office. Its few and far between to find women as technicians, service managers, service directors, sales managers, sales directors or general managers.
Ironically, according to the IHS Automotive, a Detroit-based data mining company, Black women register a slightly higher share of new vehicles titled in their names in traditional male-female households, when compared to other ethnic and non ethnic groups (despite being virtually invisible in terms of holding key dealership positions).
In a wide-ranging, two-part conversation, Juanita and Grene Baranco talks about the highs and lows their family-owned business has navigated and the instrumental roles they have played as women leading the business. This family’s entre into investing in automotive dealerships begun in the late seventies, when Gregory and Juanita Baranco acquired a Pontiac store. The power couple was amongst the first wave of Blacks who began to secure the keys to new-vehicle franchises from the automakers.
Furthermore, throughout the decades, this pioneering family has managed to navigate every bump and curve, including redlining, recessions and Covid-19. Today, the family holds the keys to not one, but two of what many would consider to be the crème de la crème of new car franchises – Mercedes-Benz.
To Tune In To Show One
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com on Saturday, March 12 thru Thursday, March 19. The program will air on SiriusXM 141 and on several FM radio outlets. To get the updated schedule, click here.
To Tune In To Show Two
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com on Saturday, March 20 thru Thursday, March 25 The program will air on SiriusXM 141 and on several FM radio outlets. To get the updated schedule, click here.
About Auto Trends with JeffCars.com: Jeff Fortson is the host of Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, the only multicultural syndicated automotive radio show on the airwaves. Its also the only automotive program airing on SiriusXM.
The 30-minute weekly show, which airs on SiriusXM 141 and a number of FM radio dials, includes one-on-one conversations with many of today’s pioneers and influencers. The engaging show, which goes beyond traditional car talk, can be heard via all mobile and stationary infotainment devices, clicking here.
Fortson is also the editor of a JeffCars.com, a comprehensive car-buying educational guide, which offers new car reviews, a new-vehicle pricing configurator, a car-payment calculator, steps to avoid predatory automotive lending practices, recall updates and other tools to aid in the purchase or service of a new or preowned vehicle.
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