Foreign Markets Businesses Cater to Ethnic Groups
Halton, Beau, The Florida Times Union
Vladimir Lozovsky and Alex Khmyrov have determined that, in
the ruthless world of auto sales, Russians can be the most
"They're different," Lozovsky said. "They're all looking for a
good deal, and they're very priceconscious. Selling to them is a
lot of work. It can be a headache.
"They've worked hard for their money," he said, "and they don't
want to part with it if they don't have to."
Nevertheless, Buddy Hutchinson Toyota-Pontiac on Jacksonville's
Southside, where Lozovsky and Khmyrov work as salesmen, has
placed advertisements in Russian, trying to tap the small but
growing ethnic group, which numbers about 5,000 in Jacksonville.
Buddy Hutchinson, which also advertises in Spanish, is just one
of a number of Jacksonville businesses that are recognizing
ethnic groups as valuable markets.
At least one other auto dealer, Frank Griffin Jeep Eagle
Chrysler Plymouth, also is advertising in languages other than
English. Some banks, especially those with branches in
neighborhoods with large numbers of a particular ethnic group,
target those groups as customers. Insurance companies are doing
the same. The Chamber of Commerce is including ethnic groups in
its program identifying specialized markets, a spokeswoman said.
Thomas Maloney, general manager for John Hancock Mutual Life
Insurance Co. in Jacksonville, said the city's ethnic groups
aren't large enough yet to justify hiring sales representatives
specifically for those markets, but it's on the horizon.
"On the national level, the company is really interested in
carving out those market segments that have enough people,"
Maloney said. "We've scripted contracts in other languages here,
but Jacksonville doesn't have the numbers just yet [to hire
sales people specifically for ethnic groups]."
The 1990 Census counted about 17,500 Hispanics in Jacksonville
and 13,000 Asians, the largest of the city's general ethnic
groups. But those groups, as well as Russians and
Eastern Europeans, have grown since then, when the metro area's
population was tabbed at 673,000 compared with its current 1