TAMPA, Fla. -- Dealerships willing to advertise and post videos in Spanish face little competition reaching a growing number of Latino car buyers, said Ricky Lopez, Internet director at David Maus Toyota in Sanford, Fla.
Lopez said his dealership expects to dramatically increase sales to Latino buyers by the end of the year, largely by advertising in Spanish. He also is improving processes to ensure that Spanish shoppers are matched with the right salespeople.
Lopez joined the store about two months ago. He said that by Christmas, three of every four car buyers at the store will be Latino vs. about one in three today. He spoke at the sidelines of the Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition here.
Lopez said Latinos tend to become loyal buyers once they “trust you, like you and come to like your dealership.”
David Maus Toyota, part of the Berkshire Hathaway Automotive group, sells about 500 new and used vehicles per month.
This morning, Lopez sat on a keynote panel on selling to Latinos with Google executive Peter Leto and Mat Koenig, CEO and founding partner of a Spanish-language vehicle shopping site, BuscadorDeAuto.com.
Leto showed Google data about the force that Latinos have become in auto retailing.
The stats say that Latinos are expected to purchase 1.9 million new vehicles in the United States in the next 12 months, or 18 percent of total expected new car sales. Latinos make up about the same percentage of the U.S. population.
Google statistics shared by Leto showed that the average Latino new-car buyer is 39 vs. 51 for the average buyer in the U.S. That means there’s an opportunity to sell three more vehicles to that person over his or her lifetime compared with the 51-year-old, Leto said.
Moreover, Latinos tend to bring their families to the dealership to make the purchase, offering the dealership an opportunity to sell additional vehicles and service to family members, Lopez said.
Koenig said it’s crucial to reach Latinos in the language of their choice. Consequently, dealerships should advertise on Google, Facebook and other digital formats in English and Spanish to cater to those preferences, he said.
Latinos on average tend to use their mobile devices and watch videos while shopping to a much greater degree than the average population, Koenig said. That means marketing must be mobile-friendly and include a good mix of videos, he said.
Few dealerships today are advertising in Spanish, Koenig said. Of 200 people attending the panel, including many tech-savvy dealership staffers, only a half-dozen raised their hands when asked whether they were advertising in Spanish.
Leto, a Google automotive industry strategist, said it is free to upload videos to Google-owned YouTube. Latinos frequent YouTube more than average car shoppers during their online shopping journey, marketing research shows.