Dearborn dealership sues General Motors, alleging racist comments and practices

Dealership owners say they were subject to racist language

Dearborn dealership sues General Motors, alleging racist comments and practices
Dearborn dealership sues General Motors, alleging racist comments and practices

DEARBORN, Mich. – A Dearborn Buick dealership, owned by Chaldeans, is suing General Motors over comments and policies they claim were racist.

Inside the lawsuit, Bas and Tanya Robin, the owners of Superior Buick, said they were subject to racist language and racial targeted by executives at GM despite being top sellers for the last four years.

According to the suit, the Robins were questioned beginning in the spring of 2019 about its use of family discount codes. The Robins allege that in one meeting with GM executives, they had been selling vehicles to “too many to Arabs with GMS codes.”

In another instance, they allege another executive questioned the relationship of two family members not of the same race allegedly saying, “If I’m white and your black, that is an automatic reason to question whether you qualify” for the discount.

Although the Robins do say some of their employees were misusing the discount codes, they maintain the issue was resolved prior to the questioning from GM. They also allege GM engaged in racist practices restricting the Robins’ ability to sell vehicles by requiring customers to provide official documents to prove they were related to a salesperson. In the suit, the Robins said “customers felt insulted and falsely targeted,” even providing proof to GM on how the practice had an effect on sales. Ultimately, the Robins claim they had been “shut off” from GM and are asking for upwards of $100,000,000 in damages.

A spokesperson for General Motors said the dealership fell out of compliance with key parts of their contract and plans to file a motion to withdraw the suit and seek damages.

“GM has an excellent record for diversity and inclusion, and GM possesses the industry’s most comprehensive program for minority dealer development. GM intends to vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit and seek relief,” GM spokesperson Jim Cain said.

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