National Hispanic Automotive Consumer Advocacy Helping the Hispanic Community And The Individuals Who Live In Them
 

National Hispanic Automotive Consumer Group certifies dealerships that satisfy several conditions, said some auto dealers operate with the same disrespect that they gave his father.

May 3, 2005 -- The latest trend is auto dealerships advertising and marketing their businesses to Hispanic shoppers.

NHACA Chairmand David Medina has has some interesting things to say about the darker side of selling cars.

David Medina founded the Houston-based National Automotive Hispanic Consumer Advocacy group (www.nhaca.org) because of a story told to him by his father, an immigrant from Spain.

The story was about how he went to a dealership to buy a car and was treated badly, he said.

"I've remembered that my whole life," Medina said.

These days, Medina, whose group certifies dealerships that satisfy several conditions, said some auto dealers operate with the same disrespect that they gave his father.

Hispanic auto buyers often have targets on their heads, he said.

Medina says they often don't understand the auto-buying process. Many buyers are taken into the dealership's finance room and told they can get a loan at a rate that is way higher than the bank quotes, he said.

Fair practice is about 2% above the bank, he said. But some dealers will charge 15% for a loan when the bank is charging just 7%.

"It's a disclosure issue," Medina said.

Some dealers try to take advantage of the buyer's lack of English.

"It's poor business ethics," he quoted.

Some dealers also push extra warranties on Hispanic buyers, telling them they can't get a loan without one. That's not true, he said.

Dealers can make thousands in profits on warranties. In many cases, the finance manager gets commission or incentives for selling warranties, he said.

Medina's organization certifies auto dealers that have bilingual staff and fair lending practices, among other qualifications. The organization also checks dealerships' record of lawsuits.

About 30% of the certification costs go to Hispanic scholarships, he said.

 
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