As Martin Luther King Jr. Day was recently recognized and the country educates and celebrates his great dream of a vibrant and united multicultural nation, a first ever Diversity Volume Leadership Awards ceremony showed the tremendous impact that ethnic car buyers have on the economy and brought awareness to the lack of diversity that still remains present in the automotive industry.

“Thirty percent of new vehicle purchases are made by multicultural consumers but only 6% of dealerships are minority owned,” said NAMAD President, Damon Lester. “That means 18,000 dealerships exist in the USA and 1,100 are minority owned.”

With ethnic car buyers growing at rapid rates, the dealer body is still lacking accurate representation from minorities. The National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) and IHS Automotive, partnered to celebrate brands that are driving sales leadership with ethnic consumers while also addressing and educating the industry about the necessity  of dealer ownership increasing to  reflect a diverse population during the Diversity Volume Leadership Awards (DVL Awards) on January 10, 2016 in Cobo Center. The private ceremony was hosted by Dariany Santana and brought together over 200 of the top automotive executives including Perry Watson, Chairman at NAMAD, Drew Slaven, Chief Marketing Officer at Mercedes-Benz, Marc Burt, Assistant Vice President of Inclusion & Diversity at Honda, and Bill Faye, Group Vice President and General Manager at Toyota.

Winners of the prestigious DVL Awards demonstrated the highest new vehicle registrations with ethnic, women, and millennial consumers. This year’s awards were based on an analysis of more than 13 million personal new vehicle registrations.

“Minorities are changing the course of events in the automotive industry,” said Watson. “This is the first of many initiatives to inform ethnic consumers which automotive brands are helping and which are not.”

This year, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and IHS Automotive honored Toyota Motor Sales with the “Top Overall Ethnic Vehicle” DVL Award. “Top Overall Ethnic Vehicle” is the most sought-after Diversity Volume Leadership honor for automotive brands dedicated to driving sales leadership with Asian, Native American, Hispanic and African American car buyers. Toyota also took home 10 of 20 DVL Awards earned that night. It is not by coincidence that Toyota’s sales leadership with ethnic consumers is also reflected in the amount of minority owned Toyota dealerships that exist. Bill Faye, Group Vice President and General Manager at Toyota, Alva Mason, Diversity Strategy, Corporate Communications at Toyota and Jim Colon, Vice President of African American Business Strategy at Toyota were present to accept their awards.

NAMAD and IHS Automotive also presented awards for sales leadership in the following categories: Ethnic Volume Leaders by IHS Automotive Regions, Volume Leaders with Millennials and Women, and Volume Leaders by Ethnic Consumer Group.

“What if the automotive industry kept up with ethnic growth?’ said Bland. “There would be an incremental value of $20 billion.”


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