Asian brands account for more than 60 per­cent of the His­panic mar­ket; Toy­ota holds strong lead among demographic

Toy­ota, Honda and Nis­san dom­i­nate new vehi­cle pref­er­ences among His­pan­ics in the U.S., accord­ing to Polk. The three com­pa­nies account for 46.4 per­cent of the His­panic mar­ket based on an analy­sis of new vehi­cle reg­is­tra­tions for the first nine months of 2010.  Toy­ota leads the mar­ket by far with more than 20 per­cent share of the His­panic mar­ket, and 46 per­cent greater vol­ume in reg­is­tra­tions than its next clos­est com­peti­tor.  Hyundai, Mazda and Kia are also included in the top 10 list based on reg­is­tra­tions by vol­ume to His­pan­ics (See Table A).

Only three domes­tic automak­ers are in the top 10, accord­ing to Polk.  Chevro­let, Ford and Dodge rep­re­sent a com­bined 21.2 per­cent of the His­panic mar­ket.  Euro­pean brands have mixed per­for­mance with His­pan­ics, led by Volk­swa­gen, with 2.8 per­cent of the His­panic market.

Asian brands have grown in pop­u­lar­ity among the His­panic mar­ket over the past 10 years and many are grow­ing their sales to His­pan­ics faster than sales to the over­all pop­u­la­tion. This is a sig­nif­i­cant devel­op­ment in the mar­ket.  Man­u­fac­tur­ers have been engag­ing in increas­ingly impor­tant mar­ket­ing pro­grams geared specif­i­cally toward this audi­ence, accord­ing to Polk.

“Toy­ota, Honda and Nis­san all have spe­cific His­panic mar­ket­ing strate­gies and agen­cies that focus their mar­ket­ing efforts to His­pan­ics,” said Mark Pauze, senior solu­tions con­sul­tant at Polk. “Track­ing sales to this grow­ing demo­graphic and their loy­alty, cou­pled with a spe­cific mar­ket­ing strat­egy has an impact.”

His­panic Mar­ket Shows Most Sig­nif­i­cant Growth for Buick; Euro­pean Brands Lagging

The His­panic auto­mo­tive mar­ket in the U.S. increased 6.5 per­cent dur­ing the first nine months of 2010, accord­ing to Polk, out­pac­ing the over­all U.S. auto mar­ket, which grew just four per­cent in the same time period.

His­panic pur­chases now account for 8.7 per­cent of the total U.S. vehi­cle mar­ket, up from 8.5 per­cent just a year ago.  His­pan­ics reached 10.6 per­cent of the mar­ket in 2006, but their share and vol­ume decreased with the col­lapse of the auto­mo­tive mar­ket in 2008.  The His­panic mar­ket has been recov­er­ing more quickly than the over­all mar­ket in 2010.

Buick’s sales to His­pan­ics increased 83 per­cent in the past year, accord­ing to Polk.  “Buick has focused on His­pan­ics because they pre­fer com­fort and ameni­ties in a fam­ily car at a rea­son­able price – a sweet spot for Buick.  Their atten­tion to this mar­ket is pay­ing off for them,” said Pauze.

Growth within this mar­ket is sig­nif­i­cantly higher than Buick’s over­all growth of 49.7 per­cent, and Chevro­let, Hyundai, Mazda and Kia also expe­ri­enced more growth within the His­panic mar­ket than over­all for their respec­tive brands.  In addi­tion, Cadil­lac, Hyundai, GMC, Kia and Infiniti also expe­ri­enced more than 25 per­cent growth in their sales to the His­panic mar­ket.  Ford and GMC are not keep­ing pace in the His­panic mar­ket, with over­all growth for those brands exceed­ing His­panic growth.

Half of the major Euro­pean brands are grow­ing or main­tain­ing their sales to His­panic con­sumers, Polk’s analy­sis shows.  Volk­swa­gen, MINI and BMW lead, and Audi increased its sales to His­pan­ics 23.4 per­cent in the past year, though it con­tin­ues to rep­re­sent less than one per­cent of the mar­ket.  About half of the Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers are declin­ing in His­panic mar­ket share and none are grow­ing more with His­pan­ics than the gen­eral population.

The U.S. Cen­sus Bureau projects the His­panic pop­u­la­tion in the U.S. will grow to 20 per­cent by 2030.  To remain com­pet­i­tive with their Asian coun­ter­parts, domes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers should be work­ing to estab­lish their brands with this impor­tant grow­ing demo­graphic group as it increases in size and influence.


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