Bailout Watch 57: Minority Dealers: "Where OUR $500m?"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 57 minority dealers where our 500m

When the [not always] Right Reverend Jesse Jackson weighed-in in favor of $25b worth of low-interest federal loans for Detroit’s automakers, I couldn’t quite peg JJ”s angle. Jackson blathered-on about economic catastrophe and kids not being able to go to school. Well, now we have an indication of the real reason that JJ voted aye for the bailout. Automotive News reports “Desmond Roberts, chairman of the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, says his group has been urging members of Congress for most of the summer to provide $500 million in direct loans and loan guarantees to help minority dealers.” Yes, you heard right: NAMAD was into bailouts before bailouts were cool. “We were asking before the manufacturers went with their request,” says Roberts, owner of Advantage Chevrolet, of Hodgkins, Ill. “What we’re asking now is if they are going to appropriate $25 billion, can’t they carve out $500 million for the dealers who are in dire straits, whose absolute existence is threatened today? We’re the forgotten component.” AN says GM has about 340 minority-owned dealerships out of 6,550, while 271 of Ford’s 4,056 dealerships are owned by minority dealers. No flames now, but can someone please explain to me why minority-owned car dealers should get federal assistance when non-minority-owned dealers don’t?

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  • Cgd Cgd on Sep 21, 2008

    There once was a place for affirmative action, but I believe that time has passed. Now we have a black man running for president, a woman running for VP of the right-wingers no less, and Oprah is one of the richest people in this country. I agree that it is a poverty issue rather than purely race.

  • That One Guy That One Guy on Sep 21, 2008

    Fine, but I want my 40 acres and mule back.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 21, 2008

    As far as the minority owned dealership programs go, my familiarity with them was that they were really a pretty good thing. Basically, successful minority business men from outside the industry were teamed up with experienced dealership guys, or minorities with experience, but without capital, were helped to find capital through investors or loans. This is the sort of affirmative action that actually makes sense. Instead of quotas, direct action was taken to increase the number of capable minority players in a sector that lacked them. Little downside except... ...when you get into some of the people involved they turn out to be entitlement demagogues who we can only now assume arrived at their positions using talents for politics over business acumen. Double shame on them for using their race as an excuse for government money when they have already arrived and should be making themselves into examples of how minorities can succeed.

  • CaliCarGuy CaliCarGuy on Sep 21, 2008

    its not a question of who deserves wat. it all goes back to the fact that minorities have been over looked because they are minority. say wat u will make all kind of excuses about it bein somethin else. they are asking for 500 million. thats cuhmp change compared to wat the automakers are asking for. i kno that it takes time for these kind of things. but it seems that the government has overlooked this being this is the first i have heard of this. and iam pretty sure many of u havent heard about this before today