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Black Consumers' Perceptions of Auto Brands - US - March 2017

"Black consumers have strong opinions about car brands – the ones they currently drive as well as their dream car. Most Black consumers’ opinions are driven by pragmatic criteria, but subjective characteristics shape their preferences and desire to upgrade to something better within their price range."

- Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Analyst

This report is looking at the following areas:

  • Domestic mid-tier brands deliver the best value, which is the leading purchase driver
  • Foreign brands own positive attributes across the board, but may be perceived as expensive
  • Black consumers associate foreign cars with base- and advanced-level attributes more than domestic
  • Car sites and inner circle provide trusted information

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

          • The issues
            • Domestic mid-tier brands deliver the best value, which is the leading purchase driver
              • Figure 1: Correspondence analysis – Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic auto brands, November 2016
            • Foreign brands own positive attributes across the board, but may be perceived as expensive
              • Figure 2: Correspondence analysis – Black consumers’ perceptions of foreign auto brands, November 2016
            • Black consumers associate foreign cars with base- and advanced-level attributes more than domestic
              • Figure 3: Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic and foreign auto brands – None, November 2016
            • Car sites and inner circle provide trusted information
              • Figure 4: Blacks’ trusted information sources, November 2016
            • The opportunities
              • Mid-tier brands should highlight both practical and abstract attributes
                • Figure 5: Blacks’ purchase influences, top influences (nets), November 2016
              • Meet the consumer where they are looking for more information
                • Maintain communication with buyers post sale to increase brand loyalty
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • Blacks over index on used vs new car purchases
                      • Blacks gravitate more toward cars vs any other type of auto
                        • Consumer confidence is rising for most Americans, except for Blacks
                        • The Black Population by the Numbers

                          • Black population growth expected to remain steady
                            • Figure 6: Population projections, by race, 2012-22
                          • Black population generational distribution mirrors the total US
                            • Figure 7: Black and total US population percentages, by generation, 2017
                        • Market Perspective

                          • Fewer Blacks own cars across all income strata
                            • Figure 8: Vehicle ownership – any car, by Black and household income, index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                          • Black auto ownership outside of standard cars varies greatly
                            • Figure 9: Vehicle ownership – type, by Black and all, index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                          • Blacks over index on buying used cars, especially luxury
                            • Figure 10: Non-premium and premium ownership and method of acquisition, by Black and all, July 2015-August 2016
                          • Blacks link prestige and trends to their car preferences
                            • Figure 11: Attitudes about autos, by Black and index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                        • Market Factors

                          • Consumer confidence increasing, but Blacks don’t share the same sentiment
                            • Figure 12: Consumer confidence and unemployment, Black and total US, 2000-January 2017
                          • Percentage of middle-income Black households on par with other groups
                            • Figure 13: Household income distribution, by race/ Hispanic origin of householder, 2015
                          • Gas prices experience slight uptick at the end of 2016 due to expected decrease in oil production
                            • Figure 14: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-January 2017
                          • Light truck and SUV sales surged in 2016, but 2017 estimates in flux
                            • Figure 15: Seasonally adjusted domestic and foreign auto and truck sales, January 2016-January 2017
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Practicality competes with attraction
                            • Ride-sharing services poised to impact Blacks’ car ownership
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Millennials hold more favorable opinions on domestic cars vs older generations
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Blacks want high-tech auto features, but can live without them
                                  • Black Millennials’ loyalty to car brands is minimal
                                  • What’s Next?

                                    • Future auto manufacturer preferences tied to ride-sharing economy
                                      • Figure 16: Lyft’s “June: Life is Better When You Share the Ride,” short film, December 2016
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Blacks more likely to link positive attributes to foreign over domestic cars
                                      • Black Millennials focus on features, older Blacks on brand identity
                                        • Price rules among car purchase drivers, but expected product quality and value are close behind
                                          • Blacks trust car-specific sites to shape their opinion on cars
                                          • Blacks’ Perceptions of Domestic Auto Brands

                                              • Blacks’ purchase considerations guide their brand perceptions of domestic cars
                                                • Figure 17: Correspondence analysis – Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic auto brands, November 2016
                                              • GM brands have the greatest association across product attributes
                                                  • Figure 18: Chevrolet “Mo’ne Davis: Throw Like a Girl – Chevy Baseball,” short film, October 2014
                                                  • Figure 19: Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic auto brands, November 2016
                                                • Chevrolet and Ford own good value marks among Blacks, but under index for ownership vs general market
                                                  • Figure 20: Domestic auto brand ownership, Black households and index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                • Muscle and truck brand attributes resonate among Black men
                                                  • Figure 21: GMC “Destination: Inspiration – A Day in the Life of June Ambrose (Episode 1),” online series, January 2017
                                                  • Figure 22: Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic auto brands – Trucks, November 2016
                                                • Upper-income Blacks assign positive attributes to standard and luxury brands
                                                  • Figure 23: Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic auto brands, by household income, November 2016
                                              • Blacks’ Perceptions of Foreign Auto Brands

                                                  • Foreign luxury brands embody desired attributes, but price weakens their value
                                                    • Figure 24: Correspondence analysis – Black consumers’ perceptions of foreign auto brands, November 2016
                                                  • Top-owned foreign brands provide the greatest value and safety, but average benefits in other areas
                                                    • Figure 25: Black consumers’ perceptions of foreign auto brands, November 2016
                                                  • Black ownership under represented among foreign brand volume leaders
                                                    • Figure 26: Top 10 foreign auto brand ownership, Black index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                  • Middle-income Blacks assign good value to mid-range brands
                                                    • Figure 27: Black consumers’ perceptions of foreign auto brands – Good value, by household income, November 2016
                                                  • Blacks assign desired auto attributes to foreign over domestic brands
                                                    • Figure 28: Black consumers’ perceptions of domestic and foreign auto brands – None, November 2016
                                                • Factors Influencing Blacks’ Perceptions of Car Brands

                                                    • Price is king, but product perception and attributes are important
                                                        • Figure 29: Factors influencing Blacks’ perceptions of car brands, November 2016
                                                      • Black Millennials rely on the most criteria for their car purchase
                                                        • Figure 30: Factors influencing Blacks’ perceptions of car brands, by generation, November 2016
                                                      • Middle-income buyers depend on outside sources, upper-income buyers rely on their experience
                                                        • Figure 31: Factors influencing Blacks’ perceptions of car brands, by household income, November 2016
                                                      • Black women express greater concern for safety ratings
                                                        • Figure 32: Factors influencing Blacks’ perceptions of car brands, by gender, November 2016
                                                    • Blacks’ Attitudes toward Car Brands

                                                        • Driving for Blacks is fun and an extension of their image
                                                          • Figure 33: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, November 2016
                                                        • Millennials continuously shop for cars while Baby Boomers demonstrate the greatest loyalty
                                                          • Figure 34: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, by generation, November 2016
                                                        • Middle-income Blacks focused on image, upper-income Blacks focused on value
                                                          • Figure 35: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, by household income, November 2016
                                                        • Black male Millennials are searching for their dream car, while Boomers are already driving it
                                                          • Figure 36: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, by male and generation, November 2016
                                                        • Foreign car recalls may have eroded quality measures in the minds of Black women
                                                          • Figure 37: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, by female and generation, November 2016
                                                        • Married Blacks are more loyal to car brands, perhaps because their criteria expands beyond just function
                                                          • Figure 38: Blacks’ attitudes toward car brands, by marital status, November 2016
                                                      • Reasons for Most Recent Auto Acquisition

                                                          • “You get what you pay for” and Blacks expect durability for their money
                                                            • Figure 39: Blacks’ reasons for most recent auto acquisition, November 2016
                                                          • Black women are influenced by traditional performance, but older women tend to value experience
                                                            • Figure 40: Blacks’ reasons for most recent auto acquisition, by female and generation, November 2016
                                                          • Black men, especially the younger ones, value advanced technology
                                                            • Figure 41: Blacks’ reasons for most recent auto acquisition, by male and generation, November 2016
                                                          • Safety and performance technology top Black parents’ concerns
                                                            • Figure 42: Blacks’ reasons for most recent auto acquisition – Safety and performance technology, by parental status, November 2016
                                                          • Advanced performance and technology drive purchase among upper- income Blacks
                                                            • Figure 43: Blacks’ reasons for most recent auto acquisition – Brand and performance, by household income, November 2016
                                                          • Blacks’ ownership of car features skews toward the basics
                                                            • Figure 44: Auto feature ownership, Black households vs all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                        • Blacks’ Trusted Information Sources

                                                            • Blacks go straight to car sources for product information
                                                              • Figure 45: Blacks’ trusted information sources, November 2016
                                                            • Young men most likely to trust their peers’ car knowledge
                                                              • Figure 46: Blacks’ trusted information sources – Select items, by male and generation, November 2016
                                                            • Black women across generations rely on family and friends
                                                              • Figure 47: Blacks’ trusted information sources – Select items, female and generation, November 2016
                                                            • Secondary sources vary across income strata
                                                              • Figure 48: Blacks’ trusted information sources – Media, by household income, November 2016
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Terms

                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Terms
                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                      • Figure 49: Vehicle ownership – Any car, by Black and household income, index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                                      • Figure 50: Vehicle ownership – Type, by Black and all, index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                                      • Figure 51: Non-premium and premium ownership and method of acquisition, by Black and all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                                      • Figure 52: Attitudes about autos, by Black and index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                                      • Figure 53: Domestic auto brand ownership, Black households and index to all, July 2015-August 2016
                                                                      • Figure 54: Foreign auto brand ownership, Black households and index to all, July 2015-August 2016

                                                                  Black Consumers' Perceptions of Auto Brands - US - March 2017

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