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Why Hispanic Auto Buyers are Top of Mind at the North American International Auto Show and NADA Conference

Every year, January’s chill is offset by the radiating electricity of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the National Auto Dealers’ Association (NADA) conference, where the hottest new vehicles and trends in automotive take center stage to spark excitement across the industry.

From connected cars and eco-tech to innovative full-size pick-ups and motorized unicycles, brands revealed big developments sure to draw excitement from tech-savvy Hispanic shoppers.  Accordingly, Univision’s Auto Team and Univision News were on hand to cover the announcements, hearing first-hand from some of the leading executives at major manufacturers, like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, GM, Ford and more about their biggest news.

Given the fact that Hispanic population growth continues to climb at staggering rates, the importance of the Hispanic consumer is on many auto executives’ lips.  Mark Fields, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, recognizes the value of the pace of Hispanic population growth to Ford’s business: “When you look at the population and the demographics, it’s the fastest growing demographic. And we have worked very hard… to make sure that we have the right emphasis on this great community [of Hispanics].”

But even more than population growth, the most recent Polk Hispanic registration data (January-October 2014) shows that across the industry and across segments Hispanics continue to be a huge driver of industry acceleration:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 incremental new vehicles sold is to a Hispanic consumer (28%)
  • Toyota and Nissan hold the #1 and #2 spots in new vehicle sales to Hispanics, with one-third of each brand’s incremental growth coming from Hispanics
  • Automakers revealed new full size half-ton pickups this year, promising great traction with the Hispanic consumer, who delivered +16% growth in the segment in 1-3Q CY2014
  • Luxury brands like #1 BMW and #2 Lexus continue to see Hispanic sales growth – in fact Lexus saw 46% growth in Hispanic sales in 1-3Q CY2014
  • Even more staggering, the luxury compact segment is seeing 100% of its growth from Hispanic sales

These numbers are hard to ignore, and smart marketers know that much of their future growth lies with Hispanic consumers.  Chevrolet Global CMO Tim Mahoney is among them: “If we want to find new roads and grow as a brand,” he said, “we want to grow with the Hispanic community.”

Source: Polk New Vehicle Registrations (Personal including Lease): Enhanced Ethnic Data; U.S.; Jan-OctCY13, Jan-Oct CY14; (Note: All figures based on Jan-Oct CY14 performance unless otherwise noted; All Rankings based on Hispanic New Vehicle Registrations)

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