TAMPA, Fla. -- Ricky Lopez says the secret to selling cars to Hispanics is finding reliable contact information for them.
To do that, Lopez, Internet director at David Maus Toyota-Scion in Sanford, Fla., said he taps the databases of local Hispanic chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations to get email addresses and other information.
He said he emails offers and specials in Spanish knowing that 84 percent of all U.S. Hispanics either speak only Spanish or are bilingual.
"If you sign up [with a chamber], they'll give you databases for email blasts," Lopez said.
Lopez, 55, joined David Maus Toyota two months ago after helping Crown Automotive Group near Tampa, Fla., build its Hispanic customer base. David Maus Toyota is part of Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Group. It sells about 500 new and used vehicles per month.
Lopez said he is confident that by year end Hispanics will be buying three of every four cars sold at the store vs. one in three today.
The Orlando area where Sanford sits has a large Hispanic population that extends south to the city of Kissimmee, he said.
After a three-day Spanish-language email blast in March, the store sold 27 new and used vehicles to those recipients, Lopez said. Local chambers and Hispanic nonprofits provided the email addresses.
The email campaign cost $700 vs. $6,000 to $15,000 for an equivalent direct-mail campaign.
He knows how many vehicles the email campaign sold because he asked customers to print the email to get the vehicle discount offered or show the offer on their smartphones when they arrived at the store.
Lopez said he loves selling to Hispanics because they tend to come in with other family members.
And he said he never ceases to be amazed "how many times you can get another car deal out of it."