The graduation for the first class of Chrysler Group dealership managers who are being trained by minority dealers is scheduled to take place in the middle of 2012, according to Peter Grady, the company’s vice president of network development and fleet. Chrysler expects this program to help minority dealers become mentors.
The classes began last April but there will be a second class composed of around 10 trainees that will begin this January. The program seeks to equip managers and trainees so that they could become private capital partners in Chrysler stores.
As a result, the number of minority-owned dealerships will increase with no investment from Chrysler beyond the mentoring program. At the annual Rainbow-PUSH auto summit, Grady said that those who undergo the training will be “better prepared” to run a dealership.
Grady explained that while Chrysler has several open points, it generally aims to put the partners in existing dealerships that are for sale whether it’s due to dealers entering retirement or dealership groups wanting to divest their stores.
He clarified that these stores may be located anywhere but he mentioned that there are many opportunities in California and Texas. This year, Chrysler added 27 minority-owned dealerships, raising the number to 135 or nearly 6% of its total dealership network of 2,328. Fiat stores comprise 22 of these recently awarded dealerships. [source: Autonews]