Ethnic Car Buying Trend Revealed

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The United States is a country populated by a collage of citizens from different parts of the world. Considered the melting pot of different cultures, the United States' different aspects of daily living is affected by various factors. As the number of Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans continue to grow, it is also expected that they would have their own preferences which creates a trend.

In the auto market, it can be determined from data which brands or models are preferred by a particular ethnic group. A recent study conducted by R.L. Polk reveals these trends. One of the data made public by the firm is that the number of new cars bought by members of ethnic groups in the United States increased. From 2003 to 2006, it is reported that 11 percent more new cars are sold to Asians, Hispanics, African Americans and other groups.

In contrast to the increase in the number of new vehicles bought by minority groups, the data made public by R.L. Polk shows that non-ethnic new vehicle registration declined. For the same three-year period, the number of new vehicles sold to non-ethnic groups went down by seven percent.

The importance of the study is that it tells automakers that ethnic groups have a profound impact on the auto market. With these groups buying more cars than non-ethnic groups, catering to the preference of Asians, Hispanics, or African Americans should be considered carefully by automakers.

Mark Pauze, a solutions consultant for R.L. Polk, pointed this out saying: "Auto manufacturers can no longer afford to ignore ethnic markets or assume that they will respond to mainstream marketing."

"Manufacturers that focus on these markets and measure their progress are making important inroads with them. Polk works with many manufacturers to identify opportunities in the ethnic markets and to track their performance," Pauze furthermore commented.

This trend does not only apply to buying vehicles. It is also true to other aspects of car ownership. The choice made by members of ethnic groups can be likened to the way consumers choose parts from .

The study conducted by Polk shows that the culture of different ethnic groups greatly affects their choice of vehicles. Asians may prefer Asian-made vehicles. Other ethnic groups would buy a vehicle for its connection to their neighborhood or their culture. The data gathered by Polk will give automakers pertinent information which can be used to enhance their offering for ethnic groups.

"By targeting minority customers with messages that resonate with their own unique heritage and culture, automakers and auto dealers can strengthen relationships, create deeper bonds with customers and sell more vehicles," said Pauze. "Polk's new methods for tracking minority customers will allow automotive marketers to analyze the ethnicity of eight major ethnic groups and up to 287 individual ethnic backgrounds. Polk's new ethnic coding system has increased our coverage and accuracy in identifying ethnic households across the board."

This study will not only benefit automakers but also members of different ethnic groups. With the knowledge of the buying trend of major ethnic groups, automakers can offer vehicles tailored for a particular ethnic group. For consumers, this will make their car buying trips easier. Turning this to reality though will take a long time. But with the trend showing a steady increase, automakers are sure to take steps to take advantage of the data gathered by Polk.

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