Dealerships that want to increase communication with growing populations of non-native English speakers have an opportunity to also grow market share, Chura said.
"If they're not thinking about this and their competitors are, then who's a Spanish[-speaking] customer going to go to?" he said. "It's becoming a necessity."
At Longo Toyota in El Monte, Calif., employees speak multiple languages, including Spanish, Chinese and Korean, to mirror the population of neighboring Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, said Brendan Harrington, COO of Penske Motor Group, a subsidiary of Penske Corp. that owns five dealerships in California and Texas, including Longo Toyota.
Before Roadster came out with its Spanish option, customers who spoke the language largely needed to come to the dealership to meet in person with a Spanish-speaking salesperson, said Harrington.
Now, customers can research vehicles at home and discuss options with family members before coming into the store, he said. It also improves dealership transparency, Harrington said — when customers understand what they're reading, it reduces the perception that the dealership didn't give them all the information.
Longo Toyota previously launched a Spanish-language version of its dealership website.
"Anytime you meet people in their native language, it feels better, right?" Harrington said. "Anytime you can improve the knowledge of your customer, improve the transaction and improve the feeling of transparency, it's a huge win for both the consumer and for the dealer."