Younger, Faster and Indulgent: Latino Consumers Drive Auto Growth

By Sara Hasson Univision Communications Archives

In 2016 U.S. new vehicle sales hit a record high. With a mature market comes the pressure to find organic areas for growth, and no other segment of the population is driving more positive growth in the auto industry than U.S. Hispanics. As Jennifer Leonard, the Multicultural lead for Nissan at Fluent 360, stated at Univision's 2016 Leading the Change conference, "[Hispanic is] a larger piece of a shrinking pie, and therefore it's much more important to everyone."

Consider that last year, new vehicles sold to Hispanics reached a new high of 1.9 million units -- more than double the units sold in 2010 (802K). 1 This doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who understands and embraces that the Hispanic market is made of upwardly mobile consumers and is increasingly financially viable. Hispanic lease penetration is at par with Total Market (29% Hispanic vs. 30% Non-Hispanic) and the average base MSRP price paid for a new vehicle is only slightly less ($29,900 Hispanic vs. $32,100 Total Market).2 

Furthermore, Hispanic consumers have proven aspirational spending habits, putting more disposable income towards new car purchases.  In fact, Hispanics are 49% more likely to buy a luxury brand as their first new vehicle than Non-Hispanics. As Brian Bolain, General Manager for Lexus Marketing states, "There's definitely money, and growing money, in this segment so you absolutely cannot ignore it."

An important consideration for the Hispanic consumer is his or her age. On average, Hispanics are 12 years younger than Non-Hispanics4 and return to buy new vehicles at the same rate as Total Market, every 3.4 years5. Therefore, Hispanics have the potential to buy 3+ more new vehicles in their lifetime.

Univision Communications Inc. and GfK will share additional insights about the strong Hispanic auto opportunity during a free webinar "Win with Hispanics: Impact Your Bottom Line" on Wednesday, April 12 at 2:00pm ET. Register to gain insights from the latest research in their proprietary Hispanic Brand Tracker and Intention & Shopping studies.

1. IHS Automotive Driven by Polk, New Vehicle Retail Registrations (Sales and Leases), Enhanced Ethnic Data, CY16 vs. CY10, U.S.

2. IHS Automotive Driven by Polk, New Vehicle Registrations (Personal Retail includes Leases) Enhanced Ethnic Data, CY16, U.S.

3. IHS Automotive Driven by Polk, Loyalty Analytics Tool, New Vehicle Retail Registrations (Sales and Leases), Enhanced Ethnic Data, CY16, U.S.

4. Source: Median aged based on The Nielsen Company, 2017 TV Universe Estimates.

5. IHS Automotive Driven by Polk, Custom Study; New Vehicle Retail Registrations (Sales and Leases), Enhanced Ethnic Data, 1-2Q CY16.

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