Automotive industry entrepreneur Rahim Hassanally takes a brief look at the history of NAMAD as the advocacy organization approaches its 40th year in operation.
Established in 1980, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers is America’s leading organization centered around advocacy for diversity and inclusion across all aspects of the nation’s automotive sector. Collaborating with manufacturers and policy-makers alike to establish meaningful, equitable, and sustainable business protocols for minority entrepreneurs and employees within America’s automotive industry, veteran NAMAD member Rahim Hassanally provides a closer look at the organization’s background.
“Collaborating with local, regional, and national policy-makers and domestic and international manufacturers, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers has been dedicated to establishing business protocols which are meaningful, equitable, and sustainable for America’s minority automotive industry entrepreneurs and employees since 1980,” explains Hassanally, himself a seasoned and well-respected automotive industry entrepreneur based between Texas and California.
The automotive industry has, he says, grown to become one of the single most important industries in the United States. “A recent report carried out by the Center for Automotive Research credits America’s automotive sector with contributing up to 3.5 percent of the nation’s overall GDP annually,” reveals Hassanally.
America’s automotive industry, he further goes on to explain, directly employs more than 1.7 million individuals across engineering, design, manufacturing, and the supply of components and parts to assemble, retail, and subsequently service new motor vehicles. “Unfortunately, however,” adds Hassanally, “minority representation in the industry has not maintained pace with changes in national demographics and consumer purchasing trends.”
This, the automotive industry veteran believes, applies particularly to the number of minority-owned dealerships currently operating in the United States. “Accordingly, the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers was established—and continues to thrive in its role—as a collaborator and advocate focused on sustainable business protocols tailored toward minority automotive industry entrepreneurs and staff throughout America,” reveals Hassanally.
“It’s an important consideration,” he continues, “when accounting for the U.S. Census Bureau’s recent projection that, by 2043, the nation’s current majority demographic will, in fact, become the minority population.”
Elsewhere, research carried out by NAMAD indicates that today, around 30 percent of all new vehicle purchases in the U.S. are made by minorities. “Despite this,” adds Hassanally, “only five percent of the nation’s automotive dealerships are minority-owned.”
The growth of minority-owned dealerships, suggests automotive industry expert Rahim Hassanally, has still yet to return to the rates of growth seen in the early and mid-2000s, prior to the global economic crisis.
“Much work still remains to drive diversity and inclusion higher across the automotive industry in America today,” he adds, wrapping up, “and, almost four decades on, NAMAD continues to take a vital leadership role in this ongoing process.”