Automotive Industry Revs up for Sales

Randall Anderson
March 29, 2012 — 1,234 views  
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The founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, revolutionized the American automobile industry with his innovation and techniques that promoted business efficiency. From making cars in only black to developing the assembly line, Ford marketed his products and unparalleled services and benefits to his employees that coined him his own economic and social system: Fordism. It is clear that Ford sold one product, in one style to a homogenously middle-class population in the very early American 20th century.

Since then, the melting pot known as the diverse United States population has grown into a myriad of races, people from different places and highly contrasting socio-economic backgrounds. It is no longer feasible to market one product that is as big an investment as a car to a group of people so diverse.

Exponential Growth

An exponential increase in the Hispanic population as shown by the 2010 Census has shown that 50.5 million or 16 percent of the 308.7 million people in the United States were of Hispanic or Latino origin. The Hispanic population increased from 35.3 million in 2000 when this group made up 13 percent of the total population, also according to the census. This means an increase of 15.2 million people of Hispanic or Latino origin between 2000 and 2010.

With jarring numbers like these, it is obvious that the automotive industry should market the Hispanic population and they have, with promising results. This year, according to data from Polk, Hispanics are projected to spend $18 billion on new vehicles. Even though that figure represents only 9% of total new vehicle sales in the United States, Hispanic auto buyers will account for 24% of the growth in new vehicle sales.

Start Your Engines

The kind of ads and car features the Hispanic community wants to see is based on language preferences. Sara Hasson, Vice President of Brand Solutions, Automotive at Univision Communications Inc. found that 78 percent of today’s Latinos choose to speak Spanish at home. It is imperative for OEMs and dealers to understand that language is a powerful tool – it connects this valuable consumer to culture, community and country of origin. Hispanics, including those who are bilingual, choose to consume Spanish-language media to fulfill their cultural appetite. "Something that is really important for a Hispanic consumer is that a car makes a statement," says Alvaro Cabal, multicultural communications manager for Ford. "Something that says, 'This is my car.'"

 

In accordance with how to market cars in a booming Hispanic automotive industry, what to market should take equal precedence.  Broos Campbell from HispanicBusiness.com found that according to Strategic Visions, a San Diego company that studies how consumers make buying decisions, says in its 2011 New Vehicle Experience Survey that the top three things Hispanic consumers look for in a vehicle are image, manufacturer reputation, and exterior styling. Cost, monthly payments, interest rates and credit terms all rate low on the list. Keeping in mind how to market and what specifically to market in terms of how the Hispanic community prioritizes their vehicle necessities is an important step to starting an effective marketing campaign.

Ready, Set, Engage!

To set your research in motion and engage your community of interest, it is imperative to understand the clear cultural differences in the auto-purchasing process between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. As stated above, the Hispanic community, as with any other community, values buying investments such as cars as an experience. Whether it’s a grand addition to their family life or a pain in the neck having to haggle for prices, the automotive industry thrives on specific communities to keep their engines running.

 

Randall Anderson

Listen Up Espanol

Randall is a dynamic professional with more than 15 years of leadership in service industry operations and account management. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Wyoming.