Hispanics Typical Car Buyers in U.S., Say Dealers
Brian Benstock gets frustrated when people point out supposed differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic car buyers.
“We are consumers like everyone else, we buy what everyone else likes; features that make our lives better,” says the general manager and vice president of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura in Woodside, NY, outside of New York City.
“Why would you think we’re different from somebody else?” asks Benstock, son of a Puerto Rican mother.
Clay Cooley, the dealer principal for the 10-store Texas-based Clay Cooley Auto Group, agrees. “I have not found anything different about Hispanic consumers, other than most speak English today whereas that wasn’t so 10 years ago.”
Because purchasing a vehicle is a big-ticket item, many Hispanics prefer to conduct the transaction in Spanish, so for Cooley it is a business imperative to invite and welcome this consumer in Spanish.
His dealership has been marketing to Hispanic consumers in Spanish for the last 16 years. Today, 45% of his business is from Hispanic buyers.
“We mirror our English and Spanish TV ads so when viewers see these messages on English-language TV, they see the same on Spanish TV,” he says. “This is an important trust-building step because Hispanic viewers know they are getting the same deal and treatment as everyone else.”
In the F&I office, Hispanic buyers, like other consumers, buy what they value. That includes extended-service agreements, GAP insurance, prepaid maintenance and both finance and lease options.
Many dealers don’t realize the nationwide extent of Hispanic consumers, Benstock says. “The Hispanic community is everywhere, not just in Florida and Texas.” In his market, Hispanics make up 27% of the population.
Twenty-five percent of the populations of major markets are Hispanic, says Sara Hasson, Univision’s senior vice president-automotive strategy & insights.
In Miami, Hispanics represent more than 50% of the population. In Houston it’s 40%, Dallas; 34%.
Currently, 57 million Hispanics reside in the U.S., 18% of the population. That’s expected significantly increase in coming years.
Car down payments average $4,833 for Hispanics vs. $4,779 for non-Hispanics, Hasson says.
She says the average MSRP of a vehicle purchased by a Hispanic is $29,600 compared with $31,900 for the overall population
On average, Hispanics lease about 30% of the time and buy a vehicle every 3.4 years.
“It goes without saying, dealers who wish to appeal to this market will staff people who are bilingual – and will make them welcome and treat them no differently than they do any other buyer,” Cooley says. “Hispanic customers are very loyal to dealerships that respect them.”
For more information on the purchasing power of hispanics, you can read this article:
by Peter Kahn on 09/29/2016
Hispanic Heritage Month sets aside time to underline the important contributions the Hispanic community has made to the U.S. From an automotive perspective, it’s worth noting that their contribution goes beyond cultural — it’s also economic. In 2015, Hispanics alone accounted for 35 percent of new vehicle sales growth, and it was the biggest sales year to date.
The U.S. Hispanic population has a significant economic influence — 1.38 trillion dollars to be exact. But their economic influence doesn’t stop there. The current Hispanic population rests at about 17 percent of the total U.S. population, but it’s projected to reach 31 percent by 2060. As the population grows, their economic impact, and their impact on the automotive market, will continue to grow as well.
But it’s not just a growing population that should make us take notice. Their median household income continues to grow closer in parity to the general population. This trend translates into expectation for Hispanic populations: 81 percent said they expect their family’s financial situation to improve in the next year.
Needless to say, Hispanic shoppers should be a priority for dealers. Luxury dealers specifically need to hone in on this demographic. A quarter of Hispanic vehicle intenders have a luxury vehicle in their consideration set. Since 2000, there has been a 188 percent growth in Hispanic households earning $75,000 or more. With the increased opportunity to spend, Hispanics are increasingly buying luxury vehicles – luxury vehicle purchases have risen 16 percent from 2013 to 2015, compared to 5 percent for non-Hispanics.
The Hispanic population is also unique in that the median age is 30, a full decade younger than the national age average. This means that a majority of them are also Millennials, another group with significant buying power. As a result, many of the observations about Millennials’ buying habits also apply to Hispanics. Most noticeably, the importance of a strong digital presence is key to connecting with potential customers. Hispanic Millennials are also more likely to be married, have a child and have purchased their first home, putting them in a perfect position to move on to their next significant life event — buying a car.
Dealers who want to position themselves for success in the future need to align to the preferences and habits of their Hispanic shoppers. To read more about how to reach Hispanic shoppers, check out the white paper “Hispanic Car Buyers Matter — Now More Than Ever Before.”