Michigan General Motors Dealers Sue Company Over Racial Discrimination

The owners of Superior Buick GMC in Dearborn, Michigan are suing General Motors over claims of wrongful termination of floorplan agreements and racial discrimination.

According to Automotive News, GM Financial requested immediate payment for 30 GMC Yukons that had been sold by Superior Buick GMC in February of last year, which had been delayed due to a flood in the area. The dealership did not immediately pay the floorplan lender, so GM Financial deemed them to be in violation of their contract agreement.

This caused GM Financial to further scrutinize the dealership’s business practices, with the automaker then accusing the dealership of violating the terms of its family discount program. GM Financial said that some customers and their supposed “family members” as claimed in Superior Buick GMC’s family discount documents were of different races or had last names of different ethnic origin. The automaker said this lead them to believe it was misusing the family discount program.

GM Financial then began requiring Superior customers to get approval for the family discount program by providing a birth certificate, marriage certificate, Social Security numbers and other documentation. Super Buick GMC’s lawsuit claims this caused sales to plummet from 281 new vehicles in June of 2018 to just 66 vehicles in June of 2019, as customers expressed concern over privacy issues and identity theft due to the stringent screening process. General Motors also terminated its floorplan agreements with the dealer shortly after this, leaving the store unable to purchase vehicles or parts from GM.

The owners of Superior Buick GMC, Tanya and Basam Robin, are now seeking damages of $10 million through the suit. GM denies the allegations and says it plans to fight the claims in court.

“These particular dealers failed and refused to adhere to the terms of their agreements and violated requirements established to prevent abuse of a GM incentive program,” a General Motors spokesperson told AN over email this week. “GM has an excelled record for diversity and inclusion and GM possesses the industry’s most comprehensive program for minority dealer development. GM intense to vigorously defend itself against the meritless lawsuit and seek relief.”

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Sam McEachern: Sam loves to write and has a passion for auto racing, karting and performance driving of all types.

View Comments (8)

  • Guess who the owners are of this business.

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  • Wow when Wally Swartz had that store none of that nonsense ever went on, I wonder what he thinks of all this, I wonder if he ever fully got all his money from the sell or if he still owns a portion.

  • It was pretty common knowledge what was going on over there with GMS abuse, as many of those same customers would come into our dealership asking us to help them buy GMS numbers. Feel bad for the employees that are losing their jobs but man I'm glad to see that place go, they've been a huge part of the problems that have made it so much more difficult for employees to get access to their discounts.

  • They should talk to the employees on what they were informed to do over the last 10 years by Tanya and Bas his son Preston! Put that on the stand you will see that the practices of this family is not in line with the great business plan that General Motors has four it’s a dealers!

  • I find this rich considering they done nothing but be the worst people I have worked for in my career. Their lack of professionalism is like none I've ever seen. They can not be bothered to talk to their employees when they bother to visit, they are dismissive and demeaning, they have lied over and over again to all of us in regards to the store and its future. They owe half of us money, they reached out a whopping 1 time during COVID 19, can't be bothered to return emails, none of their employees know where they stand job wise, they have shut off our emails and fired our GM with no word to us at all and they repeatedly use practices that are far from above board. I could go on and on. I can think of many employees past and present that would back GM if need be to show the true side of the Robin's.

  • Do you wanna know the truth about the dealers? Talk to the employees! If anyone should be sued it’s the dealer. Trust me I would testify in court. And I will be guaranteed!

  • This seems pretty clear cut. Contracts have terms and conditions that spell out in great detail, how these things work and the dealership is in compliance or they’re not these sails can be examined very easily.