Automobile sales entrepreneur Damian Mills was born on August 16, 1973 in Garyville, Louisiana to Carol and Joseph Mills. He graduated from East Saint John High School in Reserve, Louisiana in 1991. Mills, a business economics major, started in the auto industry in 1992 as a salesperson while attending North Carolina A&T State University, in Greensboro, North Carolina. He worked for Crown Automotive Group, where he became one of the top sales associates within the company. He was then promoted to finance and insurance manager, and became the youngest general manager of Crown Dodge. He was then made partner in 1998 at the age of twenty-five.
In 2000, Asbury Automotive, one of the largest automotive groups in the country, acquired Crown Automotive, and promoted Mills to sales director where he was responsible for over twenty-two dealerships in three states. In 2004, Mills became a dealership owner, leaving Asbury and purchasing Classic Ford of Smithfield, in North Carolina. He later established Mills Automotive Group in Smithfield, North Carolina in 2008. The Mills Automotive Group expanded to include: two South Carolina stores; Classic Lincoln of Columbia and Stateline Fiat of Fort Mill; and three North Carolina locations: Classic Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Pineville, Classic Ford-Lincoln of Shelby and Classic Hyundai of Wilkesboro. In 2013, he opened his seventh dealership, Classic Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Goldsboro, N.C, and followed with the opening in 2014 of Classic Kia of Ellicott City, Maryland, the eighth member of his auto stores group.
Mills was credited for his efforts to establish the Chrysler Minority Dealer Association Future Dealers Alliance, to mentor and nurture future minority dealership managers. In 2010, Mills Automotive Group was ranked 224 on the Black Enterprise African American Business Enterprises list. In 2013, Damian Mills was recognized for his auto industry achievements, in the Automotive News “40 under 40” issue. In 2014, he was elected president of the Chrysler Minority Dealers Association, the national trade association representing ethnic minority owners of Fiat Chrysler Automobile dealerships, and he served in this role through 2016. The Mills Automotive Group was ranked 7th on the Black Enterprise BE100 Auto Dealer List in 2014, 6th in 2016, and 5th in 2017.
Damian Mills and his wife Beverly have three adult children including Cierra, Michala and Chancellor.
Damian Mills was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 11, 2018.