How a Houston Ford Dealership Found Success by Focusing on the Hispanic Market

Catering your communication to speak to the language, culture and comfort of the people you’re trying to reach just makes good business sense.

By now, most businesses have heard about the rapid growth of the U.S. Hispanic audience and why focusing on this audience today is so important. Well, here’s a great example of what can happen when you make a concentrated effort to better connect with Hispanic customers…

Automotive News recently published this article about how an AutoNation Ford dealership in Houston, Texas, found success by focusing on the Hispanic market.

Despite the fact that Hispanics account for 44% of Houston’s two million residents (a percentage that is also growing at a rapid pace), the article notes that just four years ago the dealership only had one salesperson who spoke Spanish.

When Tania Eubanks, who speaks both Spanish and English herself, took over as general manager, she set out to help the dealership better reach Hispanic customers.

Fast-forward four years to today:

  • More than half of the 130-member staff is Hispanic
  • 75% of the employees are bilingual or speak only Spanish
  • Nearly all of the store’s managers speak Spanish
  • From sales to finance, every department has someone who speaks Spanish
  • The dealership sponsors and participates in events in the Hispanic community

The results speak for themselves:

  • Sales have more than doubled
  • Profits have quadrupled
  • The dealership went from being the 170th ranked Ford retailer in the country to the 20th
  • It is the 6th most profitable Ford dealership in the country
  • It won Ford’s Triple Crown award three years in a row

By looking at the potential the Hispanic audience offered in this community and making an effort to more effectively speak to them—both literally, and in terms of their wants and needs—the dealership was able to build relationships and trust, and tap into a significant source of new customers.

“One of the great things about Latinos is that if you treat them right they’re the kind of people who will share their experience with other people,” Eubanks says in the article. “You’re attracting everybody else that they surround themselves with.”