(Hardin, Montana) – Never underestimate the power of a woman. Based on a 2010 womendrivers.com report, women buy more than half of the new cars in the US and spend over $200 billion on new cars and mechanical servicing of vehicles each year. Yet, when it comes to owning and staffing automotive dealerships, the numbers do not reflect marketplace reality.
Recognizing the incongruity, 10 years ago, General Motors implemented the Women’s Retail Initiative, which has grown to become the Women’s Retail Network (WRN). As many network members will attest, being part of a group is invigorating, rewarding and valuable.
“I feel fortunate to be part of the GM Women’s Retail Network – a powerful group that offers support, camaraderie, education and insight,” said Karen Miskimins, Dealer, Hardin Chevrolet. “Additionally, while 10 years is quite a milestone, we’re focused on the future – strengthening the network and its capabilities as well as strengthening and improving the retail experience for consumers.”
Since implementing a process to more systematically include and recruit women in the automotive retail sphere, GM is able to maintain a strong presence of women dealers. Importantly, these women retailers are generating solid results – contributing about $4.7 billion in sales every year.
“The power of women in the automotive marketplace is remarkable,”
As the sole automaker with a process to develop and attract women dealers, GM has realized gains from its commitment. In 2001, about 2.6 percent of GM dealers were women. Today, the number of GM women dealers has grown to 4.2 percent.
Quite simply, the Mission of the WRN is to attract more women into GM retail organizations as dealer operators, general managers and employees – as well as make the dealership environment more inviting to female customers. This year, GM adds a scholarship program as another way to attract and grow the number of women in automotive retail careers.
Celebrating 10 years, while in part a culmination of efforts by a great many people, serves as a solid foundation for the next 10 years and beyond. With programs dedicated to enhancing women’s consumer experience in the showroom and service bays, recruiting new women into the retail fold and improving profit opportunity, WRN is actively pursuing its potential.
For more information, please contact:
Karen Miskimins, Dealer
(Karen Miskimins is a partner with Jamey Eisenbarth at Hardin Chevrolet; serving Hardin MT, Billings MT, Sheridan WY and the surrounding areas with Chevrolet sales and Chevrolet service).