There were six African-American Chrysler dealers in attendance at the NAMAD May 31, 1980 meeting. They also concluded there was a need to establish their own organization to represent themselves on issues unique to Chrysler. Although their numbers in comparison to both Ford and GM were, and continue to be, small in number, they believed it important to have their own 'voice'.
The Chrysler Black Dealer Association was established. Those dealers in attendance were:
|Keith Bullard||Chrysler-Plymouth-1978/Philadelphi, Pa.|
|Todd Cochran||Dodge-1968/San Francisco, California|
|Jesse Jones||Dodge-1980/Ferndale, Michigan|
|Doug Lambert||Chrysler-Plymouth-1971/Coatsville, Pa.,|
|Franklin Perry||Chrysler-Plymouth- 1979/South Hill, Va.|
|Fred Rhodes||Chrysler-Plymouth-1973/Tuskegee, Ala.|
Bullard was elected the Association's first president and initial dialogue was held with Chrysler management. Recognizing the need to be all inclusive, the Association, in 1983, was renamed the Chrysler Minority Dealer Association (CMDA) and welcomed all ethnic minorities to the organization.
However, in the summer of 1984, there were concerns that black dealer issues were not receiving sufficient attention. Several dealers, including Bullard and Jones, established the Black Chrysler Dealer Council which met with Tom Pappert, Vice President-Sales, on a frequent basis to discuss key issues affecting African-American dealers.
In 1986, the decision was made to re-establish Chrysler's Minority Dealer Association realizing the importance of having just one organization to represent all minority dealers. At this juncture, Bullard had resigned his C-P franchise in Philadelphia and Jesse Jones became the central figure in Association issues.
When Chrysler Corporation merged with Daimler Motors, the minority dealer association became known as the DCMDA. (Today, with the sale of Chrysler, the association representing minority dealer issues has been re-established again as the Chrysler Minority Dealer Association (CMDA). The CMDA remains in place today and meets with Chrysler management at least twice a year and at the annual NADA meeting.
For additional information, go to www.cmda.org