The auto industry is officially back in black. Sales fell below 10 million during the Great Recession but according to Business Insider, sales in 2015 of 17.5 million vehicles set a new benchmark, besting the last record sales year of 2000 with 17.4 million vehicles sold.
Latinos bought many of these vehicles, particularly from Honda and Toyota. Both brands received the Diversity Volume Leadership Award this year given by the National Association of Minority Automotive Dealers and IHS Automotive. Based on new vehicle registrations of more than 13 million women, minorities and millennials, the Toyota Corolla won for top overall volume leader among Latinos, the Lexus IS won for top selling luxury vehicle among Latinos, and the Honda Accord for top-selling vehicle to ethnic millennials.
Ford is the leader in truck sales to Latinos with the F-Series.
While Latinos clearly share the same love affair with the car as most Americans, they also play a role in vehicle production. From Torrance to Detroit, Latinos play a role in what products are available for consumers, making decisions about how to market to Latino consumers, as well as providing opportunities for these companies to give back to the Latino community.
Here's a snapshot of just a few Latinos working behind the scenes in the auto industry.
In 2012, Nissan overtook General Motors as the top-selling brand in Mexico. Much of the credit went to then president of Nissan Mexicana, Jose Munoz. Shortly after this coups, Munoz was appointed executive vice president, of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and when constructing his new team, he selected several who worked with him in Mexico, including, Claudia Marquez.
The former marketing director for Nissan's Mexican and Latin American markets, she became senior director of Sales Operations, Infiniti USA, in April 2015. In this role, Marquez is responsible for sales operations, strategy, customer experience, and aftersales.
The Mexican native brings a wealth of knowledge to the job with more than 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. Her career began in 1995 at BMW where she served as regional operations manager.
Marquez holds an associate's degree in administration from Alexander von Humboldt German School and a bachelor's degree in marketing and international commerce from University La Salle in Mexico.
Nissan maintains a twelve percent market share among Latino car...