Chicago Auto Show celebrates Hispanic heritage

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Friday was Hispanic Heritage Day at the Chicago Auto Show, celebrating diverse culture and of course cars. (WLS)

Friday was Hispanic Heritage Day at the Chicago Auto Show, celebrating diverse culture and of course cars.

Bilingual DJs, Zumba dancers and other performers pitched in at McCormick Place for the 11th annual event, which connects automakers with an increasingly important consumer demographic.

"Only growth in the market is coming from the Hispanic market," said Edna Uribe, a vice president of sales at Univision in Chicago.

Uribe works with advertisers to court a Spanish-speaking audience, one she believes will keep growing.

"You got younger families, you've got larger families and you've got a much bigger appetite to start purchasing bigger items as they enter the economy and start contributing to the workforce," she explained.

This has prompted car makers to include bilingual presentations on the show floors at the Chicago Auto Show. "Toyota Live," for example, is performed in both English and Spanish each day.

Nissan has one of the strongest footholds in the Hispanic market. Nissan Product Specialist Jimmy Rodriguez said Nissan uses a simple formula: advertising the same features and branding they do with everyone else.

"Just pitching it in a way that the Hispanic community can relate to," he said referencing social media and soccer sponsorships as examples.

Hispanic families, like Cristina Guzman's, noticed and appreciated the effort.

"That's awesome. You wouldn't have seen that in prior years...to see that my kids see that, that's important so that they know their Spanish is important. Not just English," Guzman said.

Some bilingual programming and all the other Chicago Auto Show fun continues through Monday, so be sure to visit before the cars race away.
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