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Website Brings Auto Dealers, African American Consumers Together
By Jennifer Bihm (Contributing Writer)
Published October 4, 2007

“I have about ten or fifteen dealers who all travel the world,” said Kimatni Rawlins, president and publisher of www.automotiverhythms.com, an online magazine that focuses on providing the urban African American community with everything they need to know about cars.

“We have a very intimate knowledge of not only the vehicles we test but also the competition. That gives us the edge.” [People know what car they’re purchasing but also why it’s better or worse than other cars.]

That way, he added, people are empowered when they go into dealerships. They know exactly what they’re looking for, they know pricing and what to expect from the vehicle [they’re purchasing]. Rawlins and his team take readers beyond the dealership and that’s what gives them the edge.

“Each year we kind of out do ourselves because we want to be ahead of the industry for consumers,” Rawlins explained.

“The industry changes, for example safety, fuel maintenance. When you think about maintenance of a vehicle, many people just… when they buy a car go by the looks, especially the urban African American community. We’re very tangible oriented. If it looks great, we want to go out and purchase it. We don’t think about the long term ramifications of ownership like insurance, durability… any of that stuff…”

Rawlins started out with a column in about fifteen different publications about the automotive experience, which became very popular, spawning the idea for Automotive Rhythms, now an international company.

“Under that umbrella, we have a few other companies [such as] Automotive Rhythms TV, which is our [Website] where we do everything just as the magazine but we do it on video,” Rawlins said.

“We have Bike Rhythms.com, where we evaluate the new bikes, whether it’s sports bikes, choppers or cruisers for the urban bike community. And through that we promote rider safety, proper maintenance for bikes (like using high quality fuel, etc.). We attend a lot of bike conventions because that community is very loyal.

“It’s a market that many kind of ignore because they have one image of the biker mentality. It’s mostly untrue. They’re very community activated. Their loyalists and they do a lot of promotions in the community so we tap into that as well.

“We [also] have Automotive Rhythms the magazine,” he continued, “which is a quarterly magazine mainly for the events that we attend. It’s a free copy in terms of auto information, lifestyles behind cars, entertainment aspects and it directs you back to the website. We think of ourselves basically as a one stop shop for all automotive needs.”

Categories: Business

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