News Column

Corner Office: The Great Recovery

Nov. 18, 2009

Jesús Chavarría--Editor & Publisher, Hispanic Business Magazine

Jesús Chavarría introduces the Auto and Media-focused November issue of Hispanic Business Magazine

As the nation approaches the holiday season of one of the most challenging years in memory due to the Great Recession, entire industries and the unemployed look toward the future with guarded but hopeful expectations.

With credit remaining tight and October unemployment at 10.2 percent (and much higher in states such as California and Ohio), many entrepreneurs continue to fear a lack of available credit and unemployment could choke off the Great Recovery. Economists such as Paul Krugman continue to believe a full recovery will require more substantive federal spending.

Still, there are hopeful signs that consumers are mustering wherewithal to buck naysayers. Ford, Toyota and GM reported positive sales trends in October. At the same time the stock market is currently setting a vigorous growth trend. Yet automotive dealers remain hopeful but also concerned about markets remaining burdened with tight credit and high unemployment. Mike Shaw, proprietor of Mike Shaw Automotive in Denver, which sells Chevrolet and Saab vehicles, describes his 2010 forecast succinctly: "It's going to be better than 2009, but it's not going to be Boomstown USA again."

Without a doubt the American auto industry is among the most challenged sectors hit by the recession. Between 2007 and 2009, General Motors transformed from being the world leader in auto sales to becoming majority-owned by taxpayers in the U.S. and Canada. "Th e first thing that needs to be corrected is for people to have a job and an income," affirms Chrysler Jeep dealer Dino Velazquez, based in Dothan, Alabama. Can't get more basic than that.

Tony Batarse of Lloyd A. Wise Inc. an auto dealer in the California Bay area that sells Nissan, Honda, Chrysler and other brands, talks about a new business model for auto dealers and expects the auto industry to emerge from Recession even stronger than before.

There's no question the Great Recession will create a lot of change in its wake. In this issue we also focus the spotlight on Hispanic ad agencies, which are embracing New Media with Great Expectations moving into 2010. There's some evidence Hispanic ad agencies have fared comparatively better from the recession than the larger ad shops. Acento Advertising in Los Angeles reports growing its staff in the last 2 years from 27 to 56, and revenues are on track in 2009 to be up 30 percent for the year.

Meanwhile, Daisy Exposito-Ulla, principal of d Exposito & Partners in New York City, sums up the recession quite positively: "It's been an excellent year for us."

So, while HispanicBusiness magazine wraps up the year with this issue, keep visiting daily (and many times daily!) for some of the best reporting available on U.S. Hispanic markets and their day-to-day response to the Great Recovery.

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

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