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Dealers benefit with multilingual staffs

November 22, 2010
The percentage of Hispanics and African-Americans employed by dealerships doubled from 1990 to 2004 to nearly 15 percent of the workforce, according to CNW Marketing Research. The percentage of Asian employees was flat. But the dealers most successful at luring ethnic customers go beyond learning the language. "It's learning about the culture, values and purchasing preferences of specific ethnic groups," said Marianne McInerney, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. Some dealers are adding aftermarket accessories to tailor cars to young Hispanics. Paying attention to ethnic customers "is a smart thing for anyone selling cars to do," says Lisa Navarrete, spokeswoman for the National Councilof La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group. "It's a growing market."