It’s been widely reported that women influence over 85 percent of today’s car sales. Still, this group only owns 975 out of the approximate 20,000 new-car dealerships in America.
Ethnic minority women account for even a smaller percentage of dealerships, owning only 56 of them.
And when the ethnic numbers are divvied up, 6 black women are found to be steering the wheel of 15 today’s new-car dealerships. Which leaves this group with owning less than 1 percent of all new-car franchises, according to the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers latest census report.
Ironically, in the African American household women are responsible for 51 percent of last year’s new-vehicle registrations, slightly outpacing men.
More importantly, black women have surpassed other ethnic and non-ethnic household new vehicle registrations by women by a whopping 11 percentage points – according to Marc Bland of IHS Automotive.
Despite the latest numbers showing black women dominating new-vehicle purchases in their household and when compared to other women, for black women, finding a dealer who looks like them to support and purchase a vehicle from is like locating a needle in a haystack.
Fairhurst, like the handful of other black women in her tight-nit car sorority, have beat the odds by quietly squeezing through every closed door they have encountered in this male dominated industry.
Fairhurst, who was the first and continues to be the only ethnic minority female to own a Lexus franchise, also wears the title of being the first black dealer to secure an Infiniti franchise.
In a rare interview, the elder stateswoman of this sorority, who is actively engaged in the day-to-today decisions of her store, shares how television steered her in the late sixties toward a career in corporate America.
And also how marriage sidelined her initial corporate career path to how she acquired the funds to purchase her first non luxury dealership. Then how she became the first black woman to acquire two highly desirable luxury new-vehicle franchises.
Saturday, March 19 and 26
Auto Trends with JeffCars.com
3:15 pm EST/12:15 a.m. PCT
For smartphone and tablets, access the free KXEG App & TuneIn App
About Auto Trends with JeffCars.com and Jeff Fortson
Auto Trends with JeffCars.com is a Phoenix-based radio show executive produced by Jeff Fortson, editor and founder, of JeffCars.com, an online educational car-buying website.
The 30-minute automotive show, which airs every Saturday, includes in-depth interviews with some of today’s industry influencers and pioneers. The show also highlights the latest recalls and new car reviews too.
Fortson has over 25 years of both automotive corporate and retail experience. He has also penned several extensive car-buying guides for both Black Enterprise and Essence, two of the premier magazines in the black community.
In April 2009, Essence recognized Jeff a “The Top Guru for Sound Car-Buying Advice.” His contributions and articles have also appeared in The Washington Post, Ebony, Jet, BlackAmericaWeb.com and AOL.com. Added to that, Jeff has appeared on such programs as CNN and NPR, serving in the role of an automotive analyst.