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June 17, 2013

NAMAD, Jesse Jackson: GM needs more minority dealers -

DETROIT -- General Motors has too few minority-owned dealerships -- especially those owned by blacks -- civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said during GM's annual shareholders' meeting here this month.

GM CEO Dan Akerson said GM has 198 minority-owned dealerships, but called that "inadequate."

"We are making progress," he said. "We need to make greater progress."

Black dealers owned 36 GM dealerships at the end of 2012, Jackson said. Damon Lester, president of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, who also spoke during the meeting, said 25 dealers owned those dealerships. According to the Automotive News Data Center, GM had 4,355 dealerships on Jan. 1.

"We got the first African-American dealership in 1966, 40-plus years ago," Jackson told shareholders and GM executives at the meeting. "That's very slow progress."

At the end of 2012, Lester said, the 4 to 5 percent minority ownership of GM dealerships put the company fourth from the bottom among auto companies in terms of minority dealership representation.

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