Enterprise Fleet Services has recently expanded its Spanish language capabilities in response to growing customer demand for bilingual communication. The Mexican Embassy and its 48 consulates in the United States have been taking advantage of the service since its inception in January 2003. The service is designed to allow clients to discuss fleet issues and concerns with an Enterprise representative in Spanish. The representative can also communicate more effectively with automotive service repair shops in predominately Spanish-speaking communities where customers may take their fleet vehicles. Al Medina, an administrative assistant at the Embassy, said consulate employees responsible for vehicle care and maintenance have often utilized the Spanish language service. “Many employees speak a little English, but it can be hard to explain something more complicated,” Medina said. “For example, if you have an accident or need to know where to take a car for service or if you need to get directions, it’s very helpful to have someone tell you what to do in Spanish.” Medina’s responsibilities involve detailed tracking of all leased vehicles. He handles license plates, registration, insurance, and monitors service records to ensure nothing expires or becomes overdue. Employees who feel uncomfortable speaking English may be more likely to report an accident or get a vehicle serviced promptly if they can speak to someone in Spanish, Medina said. A familiar language can reduce anxiety and put a person more at ease. The Embassy currently leases about 179 vehicles of their 220-vehicle fleet from Enterprise. Fleet vehicles range from luxury cars to trucks and minivans and are used to transport ambassadors and other visiting diplomats as well as to conduct normal day-to-day government business. After purchasing vehicles for many years, Medina said the Embassy decided to try leasing instead and has been pleased with the results. “We lease cars for 36 months. After three years they begin to break down and we need fairly good cars,” Medina said. “It’s nice that we can just trade them in for something new.” The Spanish language service is available in 46 Enterprise offices nationwide. Approximately 15 percent of these offices are located in states with large Hispanic populations, including Arizona, Florida, California, and Texas, as well as cities such as New York and Chicago. Enterprise plans to continue adding bilingual service technicians as demand necessitates.
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