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Univision and GfK Reveal Insights on Why Hispanics Are Fueling Auto Sales Growth

In 2015, new vehicle sales to Hispanics grew at nearly triple the rate of the total market. This is just one fact that quantifies the impact the Hispanic consumer has on the automotive industry. With this influence at heart, it has become an annual tradition for Univision’s Hispanic 411 webinar series to spotlight the Hispanic automotive marketplace.

For this year’s installment, we teamed up with Automotive News for a webinar titled Hispanic Growth: Are You Capturing Your Share? Jeff Campana, SVP of GfK Automotive, joined me in revealing findings from our 4Q 2015 Upper Funnel Brand Tracker and Lower Funnel Intentions and Shopping proprietary surveys on the U.S. Hispanic auto shopper. Following are key insights:

Near-Term Buyers

Hispanics purchased 13 of every 100 new vehicles sold in 2015. More importantly, Hispanics represented 34% of total new vehicle sales growth! And this phenomenal growth is projected to continue. The Lower Funnel study revealed that Hispanic new vehicle intenders are 15% more likely than Non-Hispanics (NH) to purchase within the next year. Hispanics are also 35% more likely to be a first time new vehicle buyer. And Spanish-only intenders are twice as likely to be buying their first new vehicle when compared to bilingual Hispanics.

Since Hispanics have less overall auto brand awareness, and are significantly more likely to be first time buyers, they consider more models during the car buying process (3.2 versus 2.8 vehicles for NH). And what are they buying? 54% of new vehicle sales are Compact Cars, Compact CUVS, and Midsize Cars.

Financially Viable Consumers

Hispanic income is rising significantly and this has a direct impact on new vehicle sales. According to Polk, in 2015 the average Hispanic base MSRP for a new vehicle was $29,500 (vs. $31,800 for NH). Lease penetration, a key indicator of financial viability, is 26% for Hispanics vs. 28% for Total Market. Leasing is a popular option for those who prefer a brand new vehicle every 3-4 years. This is especially true for Hispanics who speak Spanish-only at home. 51% of Spanish-only intenders prefer leasing in order to acquire a new vehicle, every 3 -4 years (vs. 39% of HP and 34% of NH).

Aspirational Luxury Market

Hispanics love luxury brands!  In 2015, Hispanics purchased 10 of every 100 new luxury vehicles sold and represented 27% of total new luxury sales growth! Plus they are 52% more likely to leapfrog purchasing a mass market brand as their first new vehicle and jump right into luxury (41% Hispanics vs. 27% Total.) A noteworthy finding is that Spanish-only intenders are more likely to have a luxury model as their first choice vehicle preference (14% vs. 12% for NH) and 31% shopped for a luxury vehicle in the past 90 days (vs. 25% for NH).

In summary, Hispanic consumers are more likely to:
  • Be near-term auto intenders
  • Intend to lease a new vehicle every 3-4 years
  • Shop for luxury and have a luxury model as their first choice
  • Additionally, Spanish-only Hispanics outpace Hispanics and Non-Hispanics in all of the above!

Invite this growth driving consumer through relevant, in-language communications and it can pay dividends for your business. Are you capturing your share?

Sources: IHS Automotive Driven by Polk, New Vehicle Personal Registrations (Sales & leases) Enhanced Ethnic Data, CY15 vs. CY14; U.S.  GfK Hispanic Lower Funnel Auto Tracker Q4 2015 © GfK Custom Research, LLC

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