The Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA) is a driving force for change, that has already left an indelible effect on the automotive and mobility industry in Michigan. The nonprofit organization provides the tools and resources necessary to promote systemic change, support leadership and advocate for diverse talent in the automotive industry. By 2030, CADIA aspires to double the number of diverse industry leaders, resulting in a stronger talent pool and improved business outcomes for organizations of all sizes.

Membership is open to all automotive-related companies, with retailers being no exception. Dealers are found in a unique business position, interacting directly with a diverse public with differing purchase expectations. Employee turnover and engagement are common problems for dealers, making an inclusive culture all the more crucial, yet difficult. By offering a positive and inclusive work environment, the dealer has an advantage when it comes to talent and employee retention. CADIA supports single dealers and large-scale dealer groups on their journey in understanding, embracing and leveraging Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices at the retail level by providing best practices and solutions for a more efficient workforce.

This retail programming is supported by ESI Trends, which works with CADIA to promote DEI initiatives in the automotive retail arena. Retail companies have access to the newly launched DEI Champions Council for Retail in Automotive—a forum for the open exchange of insights and best practices for automotive retail organizations. All dealer organizations are welcome to participate and can even attend a council meeting to participate and learn more. The council meetings are focused on issues most important to dealers and their organizations, such as connecting cultural transformation to the bottom line, generating accountability for DEI objectives, and cultivating and retaining diverse talent, among others. To further benefit dealers, CADIA is also launching an employee survey for retailers on employee engagement and DEI in the workplace.

“We are beyond inspired by the many dealership groups that have already joined the council as founding members,” said Fleming Ford, vice president at ESI Trends. “There is a strong commitment from each member to facilitate the progress of diversity and inclusivity in their stores and organizations, but most importantly, the automotive industry. It is an incredible privilege to work with all of these amazing members and be part of their DEI strategy.”

CADIA provides tailored offerings to automotive organizations of all types and sizes, either as a member or on a consultative basis. Corporate, individual and professional memberships are offered. Among the services available are:

  • Catered seminars: The CADIA D&I Roundtable Series, The Executive Level Set
  • CADIA Certification for Automotive Professionals – 12-week DEI course
  • Corporate workshops, training, coaching and advisory services
  • Assessments to provide a snapshot of an organizations current state with go-forward recommendations
  • Educational events, free and low-cost training, and workforce development activities

For more information on CADIA, visit or email