Pepsi D.C., Ryder team up

Pepsi D.C., Ryder team up – Pepsi-Cola of Washington, D.C.; Ryder Systems Inc

Eileen Davis

Pepsi-cola of Washington, D.C., L.P., the largest minority-owned Pepsi franchise in the country, recently signed a $1 million truck leasing agreement with Ryder Systems, Inc. Ryder will provide full-service leasing and maintenance services for Pepsi Washington’s 105-vehicle fleet.

Earl G. Graves, chairman and CEO of Pepsi Washington, says, “It is rewarding for me to do business with a major corporation like Ryder, which understands that black business and black consumer markets can be profitable if cultivated and respected.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Ryder will replace some of the franchise’s beverage delivery trucks and upgrade the remainder. In addition, Ryder will manage the Pepsi Washington’s truck maintenance facilities, located in Forestville, Md. Pepsi Washington, ranked No. 19 on the 1991 BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 with sales of $44.1 million, is the sole authorized distributor of Pepsi-Cola and related products in Washington, D.C., and parts of Maryland. Miami-based Ryder is the world’s largest truck leasing and rental company, grossing $5.1 billion in revenues in 1991.

Graves, who acquired the franchise in 1990 with his partner Earvin “Magic” Johnson, is also the publisher of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He and M. Anthony Burns, chairman, president and CEO of Ryder, signed the new agreement in June. Graves says that after examining bids from several trucking companies, he decided that Ryder offered the most “cost-effective” package to meet his franchise company’s needs. “It would have been very costly to modernize and upgrade the trucks. For us, deciding whether to lease or own was easy, particularly when leasing came with full service, relieving us of the headaches and costs of running a truck maintenance shop,” he says.

“We went after this business because [Pepsi Washington] is the kind of company we like to work for and grow with,” says Burns. “I hope this agreement will lead to growth in the volume of business we do with other minority-owned concerns in the greater Washington area and around the country.”

Washington, D.C., Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly says: “We hope other Fortune 500 firms will follow Ryder’s lead by doing more business in our community and with minority entrepreneurs. Job creation and economic development are the most effective cures for what ails our cities.”

COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group