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U.S. Hispanic Auto Consumers and the Lower Funnel: Findings from New Purchase Process Research with GfK

04/11/14 . Sara Hasson

Last week, we shared Upper Sales Funnel research from the March 26th Webinar “Your Blueprint for Auto Growth with U.S. Hispanic Consumers” hosted by Univision and our research partner GfK.  This week we focus on the Lower Funnel Study: the new vehicle purchase process.  Hispanics are more vital than ever before to the success of the auto industry by generating 1 in 5 incremental new sales.  I am eager to share some highlights below from this portion of the study which includes key metrics like purchase time horizon, makes/models considered, first choice vehicle, makes/models shopped in the past 90 days, shopping activities and information sources and the vehicle financing process.

Hispanics Are More Likely to Be Buying Their First Vehicle

Hispanics are 60% more likely to be buying their first vehicle and 52% more likely to be adding a vehicle to their household fleet than are non-Hispanics.  This key metric illuminates the true opportunity and growth potential of the Hispanic consumer.  Among these first new vehicle intenders, Spanish-only intenders are 50% more likely than bilingual Hispanics to be buying their first vehicle which is largely due to the younger age of the Spanish-only intender.

Hispanics Prefer the Leading Japanese 3

When we asked respondents to list their first choice vehicle on an unaided basis, Hispanics have a higher first choice preference than do non-Hispanics for the three leading Japanese brands: Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  In fact, their first choice preference for the Japanese 3 was 29% higher than their non-Hispanic counterparts.  However, despite the strong performance of the Japanese 3, other brands are also gaining sales and share by maintaining a consistent marketing presence and engaging with these consumers with culturally relevant messages.

Hispanics Are More Likely to Be Active Shoppers

12% of Hispanic respondents have shopped for a vehicle in the past 90 days versus 10% for non-Hispanics.  GfK has taken shopping activity research one step further and categorized shoppers into three groups: active shoppers, information gatherers, and passive shoppers.  GfK defines an “active shopper” as one who has taken a test drive, asked a dealer for a price quote, or checked available vehicle inventory.  Hispanics are 24% more likely than non-Hispanics to be active shoppers which is a staggering number.  And, when looking at where these shoppers are going, the Japanese 3 brands have a higher share of shopping among Hispanics than non-Hispanics (40% vs. 33%).

Spanish-Language Marketing Is Important to Hispanics

GfK and Univision also looked at the most important shopping activities to Hispanics which were competitive prices, financing and trust in the dealership.   A glaringly vital finding of the study confirmed the importance of Spanish-language marketing to Spanish-only and bilingual buyers.  The Spanish language connects Hispanics to their roots, ensures they preserve their culture, and makes them feel comfortable especially when purchasing a high ticket item.  This explains why both Spanish-only and bilingual buyers cited the importance of Spanish-language marketing in dealership, in marketing materials and in advertising.

If you missed the webinar, you may view it on demand here.

 

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