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‘A Big Part of Who We Are’: General Manager Explains Why Diversity Is a Priority at Audi Dominion

Published September 21, 2022

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Sheryll Poe

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Audi Dominion and its staff are a true reflection of the community that the local dealership serves. And that’s no coincidence, says General Manager Martin Silva.

“The Hispanic community is ever growing—whether it be in San Antonio or nationwide,” Silva said in this NADA video. “We obviously have employees who speak Spanish here, whether it be in sales or service. It’s the primary thing we’re looking at, making sure our clients feel comfortable.”

San Antonio, which the Census Bureau ranked as the fastest-growing U.S. city in terms of numeric population growth between 2021 and 2022, is 63 percent Latino, or Hispanic, with 57 percent of the population identifying as being of Mexican descent.

“San Antonio, Texas has a wide range of diversity when it comes to, especially, the Hispanic community,” Silva said. “When people come to San Antonio, it becomes a welcoming center for introducing people to the culture, and the Hispanic community in San Antonio is far and away one of the best things about living here.”

Audi Dominion is part of the Cavender Auto Group, founded by a family with deep roots in San Antonio. “The Cavender Auto family has been in San Antonio selling cars for four generations. [They’re] not only part of the community but they’re from here, and they want to participate not only in employment and expansion opportunities but also in philanthropy and being part of the community. It’s a big part of who we are,” Silva noted.

Making the Customer Comfortable

Silva’s family also has deep roots in Texas—his great grandfather came from Mexico and settled in El Paso. “My great grandfather used to push around [a cart of] beef in the Segundo Barrio, a section of El Paso near the border,” he explained.

Over time, Silva’s family opened a small corner store selling produce and other staples, which eventually turned into Silva’s Supermarket, a 101-year old fixture in the neighborhood before it closed in 2019. “I believe because of the community that they were in, [my family] realized that the people they were serving, the clients were the most important thing.”

To better serve their Hispanic customers, Audi Dominion puts out a weekly infomercial that goes over the dealership’s inventory in Spanish, “so that our Spanish-speaking community feels a connection to Audi Dominion and the Cavender Auto Family by making sure they have attention provided to them on media, television, radio,” Silva said. “Most importantly, when they actually come to the dealership there’s someone here who speaks their language. It’s a huge priority for us.” 

While diversity is important to any organization doing business today, for Audi Dominion, it’s about more than a competitive advantage. “Here at Audi Dominion, we know that it is equally important that we reflect and serve our community. Our community is extremely diverse. We want our staff to be extremely diverse. Why? Because it puts us in a position to be the best that we can. We want to make sure that diversity is a reflection of our community and we’re devoted to it,” Silva said.

In conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15), this article is part of a series celebrating the Hispanic voices working in the auto retail industry.

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