More stories related to Chicago Auto ShowCHICAGO – General Motors Corp. chooses the U.S.’s third-largest Hispanic market to launch a program aimed at hiring bilingual sales consultants at its dealerships.

Called Bilingual Employee Sales Training (BEST), the initiative will provide extensive career training, mentoring and ongoing support to select candidates.

BEST will create 200 jobs in the Chicago area and will be rolled out quickly to other U.S. cities, according to GM North America President Gary Cowger here at the Chicago Auto Show. “We’re going to ramp that up fairly quickly,” he says.

“The U.S. Hispanic population represents a huge growth market, with projected annual spending power of $926 billion by 2007,” Cowger says.

Armando Ojeda, president and CEO-U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says GM is a leader in reaching out to Latinos.

“Through BEST, GM will be able to better serve Hispanics in Chicago by having more sales representatives who understand the language, the culture and the needs of the community,” Ojeda says. “GM is positioning itself to grow in the Latino market and doing it in a way that helps both the company and the community.”

bcorbett@primediabusiness.com