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-owned business was started by Gregory and Juanita Baranco in the late seventies. A Pontiac dealership was the first brand that kicked off their portfolio of stores. The power coupe were 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 hold the keys to not one, but two of what the Baranco family term as being the crème de la crème of new car franchises – Mercedes-Benz.
To Tune In To Part One
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com on Saturday, July 31 thru Thursday, August 5. The program will air on SiriusXM 141 and on several FM radio outlets. To get the updated schedule, click here.
To Tune In To Part Two
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com on Saturday, August 7 thru Thursday, August 12 The program will air on SiriusXM 141 and on several FM radio outlets. To get the updated schedule, click here.