WASHINGTON D.C. — Chrysler Financial and the ASPIRA Association, a national non-profit organization devoted to the education and leadership development of Latino youth, recently announced they are partnering to provide a financial education and vehicle financing education program catered to young Latinos.

The curriculum for The ABCs of Financing will be available online in both English and Spanish for use by ASPIRA, dealers and others who want to teach seminars on basic financial education-related topics.

The ABCs of Financing sessions, with participation from Chrysler Financial's experts, will be designed to bring a better understanding of why a good credit history is important in the financing process, the kinds of vehicle financing options available and how to select the best vehicle financing plan based on a person's needs.

The sessions are also slated to provide participants with information on career opportunities in the vehicle financing industry.

"The ABCs of Financing program will build and expand the financial education and entrepreneurship development resources ASPIRA offers to our community through our Community Wealth Development Initiative," explained Ronald Blackburn-Moreno, ASPIRA Association president and chief executive officer.

The objectives for the Chrysler Financial-ASPIRA proposed financial education and vehicle financing education program are:

—Increase awareness and understanding of Hispanic youth and their families regarding the importance of good credit and saving.

—Disseminate information, resources and effective strategies for managing credit.

—Provide online information on credit, budgeting, how to apply for vehicle loans and vehicle leasing.

—Disseminate information, resources and effective strategies designed to increase the number of youth pursuing post-secondary education in finance.

—Provide online information regarding opportunities for Latino professionals in finance.

"We are pleased to partner with an organization like ASPIRA who supports the Latino community and prepares young adults for a more prosperous financial future," said William Jones Jr., vice president of Chrysler Financial.

"This effort will help young people develop their financial skill set to start building a portfolio of financial knowledge and empowerment that will help them realize their dreams," he added.

Blackburn-Moreno added, "We applaud Chrysler Financial's efforts to offer up their financial guidance to support the development and financial well-being of the Latino community, especially our youth and their families."

DCX Financial Services Expands Call Center Ops for Hispanic U.S., Mexico Customers

In other recent news, DaimlerChrysler Financial Services announced it has expanded the operations of its newly established Spanish Americas Contact Center in Monterrey, Mexico, to include Hispanic customers in both Mexico and the United States.

According to officials, the step highlights the growing importance of Spanish-speaking customers in the vehicle and auto-finance industries.

DCX Financial Services recently opened a new 23,000-square-foot facility in Monterrey, Mexico's second-largest city. The customer service center is primarily dedicated to assisting customers of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles in Mexico and Spanish-speaking customers in the United States.

Executives said that the center anticipates an annual volume of about 2 million phone calls from and to Spanish-speaking customers.

"After more than a year of planning and in collaboration with the Mexican government, we are pleased to start serving our Spanish-speaking customers in both Mexico and the United States from our location in Monterrey," explained Paul Knauss, vice president of operations for DCX Financial Services Americas LLC and incoming president and chief executive officer of Chrysler Financial.

"We envision Chrysler Financial's new customer contact center to emerge as an international focal point in customer service excellence," he added.

Hispanic consumers represent the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. The company pointed out that by the year 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that about 25 percent of U.S. households will speak Spanish as their first language, up from only 13 percent just two years ago.

Citing data from the Selig Center for Economic Growth, DCX Financial Services said the buying power of Hispanic consumers is estimated to reach $1.2 trillion three years from now, up from $764 billion in 2005. In 2004, 8 percent of new-vehicle sales in the U.S. were attributed to Hispanic customers, executives noted.

The customer contact center employs more than 180 full- and part-time employees. Roughly two-thirds of the SACC workforce will manage calls from and to customers of primarily Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge passenger cars in Mexico; the remaining customer service representatives will assist Hispanic customers in the United States, officials reported.

The Spanish Americas Contact Center was set up to serve in conjunction with the company's service-related activities direct to Spanish-speaking customers in the U.S., including bilingual Web sites, contracts, a variety of collateral materials and financial education programs tailored to the needs of the Hispanic community.