Hispanics' Attitudes toward Car Buying - US - June 2015
“As Hispanics become more acculturated, they tend to become more sophisticated car buyers. As they use more sources of information, they become more open to considering a wider variety of car types. As this change in their approach toward car buying takes place, car brands will benefit from partnering with dealers and train sales staff to provide more of a consulting approach rather than a sales approach when dealing with Hispanics.”
– Juan Ruiz, Senior Multicultural Analyst
This report covers the following areas:
- Domestic brands lack positioning and are bought mostly used
- Hispanics are pragmatic in their approach to car buying
- Dealers are the best source of information; power should be used wisely
4% of Hispanic households currently own at least one car. While Hispanics currently tend to buy used cars, as their household income increases and as they become more acculturated, there is a shift toward increased car ownership and buying new cars. These changes create opportunities and challenges for both car manufacturers and car dealerships. While car dealers are the best source of information for Hispanics when they are researching their next car purchase, they are becoming more sophisticated car buyers and incorporating more sources of information into their research. For these reasons, car dealers will benefit from having a consultant approach rather than a sales approach when dealing with Hispanic consumers. Hispanic consumers are reluctant to trust the car dealers they do business with, and while building that trust may take time, it may become a long-lasting source of differentiation when compared to other car dealers.
Hispanics are very down-to-earth in their approach to car buying. Their preference for used cars shows that they tend to be cautious and buy only what they need and what they are sure they can afford. As the main source of information, car dealers have a lot of influence throughout the entire process. However, they have to be careful to make good use of their time in front of Hispanic clients as second chances are scarce. Car dealers are the face of the car manufacturer in front of car buyers; how they handle the “moments of truth” when they are in front of Hispanic buyers will determine whether the sale can be made and whether there is any chance of a long-term relationship. Not understanding the needs of the Hispanic car buyer and pushing cars with features they don’t need will prompt them to look elsewhere.
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