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US Black Consumers and the Car Purchasing Process market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Black Consumers and the Car Purchasing market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Definition

Mintel defines car purchasing as the act or the intended act of buying a new, used, or CPO (certified preowned) vehicle. Types of vehicles referenced include: all cars, station wagons, sedans, pickup trucks, vans, minivans, crossover utility vehicles, and SUVs (sport utility vehicles).

Readers of Black Consumers and the Car Purchasing Process – US June 2016 will learn what influences Black consumers’ decisions to buy a car, what they want in their next vehicle, which resources are they using to research, whose opinions they listen to, and what marketing strategies will be most effective are discussed. Attitudes based on demographics are explored in detail to show how marketers might best position services to the most lucrative segments of the market.

Findings in this can be supplemented by analysis presented in Mintel’s Car Purchasing Process – US, April 2016 and Hispanics and the Car Purchasing Process – US June 2016.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Fiona O'Donnell, a leading analyst in the Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Black consumers can be influenced by strategic marketing messages during the research and consideration phase of the car buying process as they seek information from multiple sources in their determination of type, make, and model to purchase. Demographics play a role in which resources are most likely to help guide them toward their choice. Fiona O'Donnell
Director - Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Figure 1: Types of car, any acquired, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
        • The issues
          • Most Black car shoppers conduct research, but not all feel prepared at the negotiating table
            • Figure 2: Black car buying segments, December 2017
          • Black consumers buy cars out of want, rather than need
            • Figure 3: Reasons for car purchase, December 2017
          • Money saved over a car’s lifetime is paramount for Black car shoppers
            • Figure 4: Vehicle attributes for purchase consideration, total US vs Black, December 2017
          • Black consumers have a set budget, some to secure financing prior to seller visit
            • Figure 5: Pre-purchase decisions, December 2017
          • The opportunities
            • Black consumers are firm on desired body style, but open to brands
              • Figure 6: Pre-purchase decisions, December 2017
            • Transparency to the process may induce brand loyalty
              • Figure 7: Attitudes toward car purchasing, December 2017
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Black population skews younger and earns less than the total population
                • Black households spend less, but greater share of income on personal transportation
                  • Black consumers turn to passenger cars and imports
                    • Black consumers use a variety of financing options, and rising consumer confidence may spur sales
                      • Most Black adults commute to work alone
                      • The Black Population by the Numbers

                        • The Black population totals 43.7 million people
                          • Figure 8: US population projections by total and Black, 2013-23
                        • The Black population skews younger than the total US
                          • Figure 9: US and Black population share, by age group, 2018
                        • Black households earn less, but middle-income households on par with the average
                          • Figure 10: US household income, race and Hispanic origin, 2017
                      • Market Size

                        • Black consumers spend less money, but higher percent share on transportation
                          • Figure 11: Average annual transportation expenditures, total and Black households, 2016
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Vehicle and option preferences
                          • Half of Black consumers buy passenger cars over other types of vehicles
                            • Figure 12: Types of car, any acquired, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                          • SUV and CUV purchases on the rise
                            • Figure 13: Types of car, most recently acquired, 2013-18
                          • Black consumers slightly prefer imports over American-made cars
                            • Figure 14: Non-premium and premium, domestic and import car ownership, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                          • Black consumers do not order car features, but rather buy what’s readily available
                            • Figure 15: Features on most recently acquired car, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                          • Brand preferences
                            • Chevrolet bests Ford in domestic car category, even among sales fluctuations
                              • Figure 16: Top five most recently acquired domestic car brands, 2013-18
                            • Toyota rebounds from safety recalls and strength of utility vehicles
                              • Figure 17: Top five most recently acquired foreign car brands, 2013-18
                            • Financing options
                              • Black consumers’ purchase spend reflects preference for used cars
                                • Figure 18: Total dollars spent on most recent car purchase, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                              • Black shoppers decide what to buy while they simultaneously secure financing
                                • Figure 19: Purchase method of most recently acquired car, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                              • Black car shoppers who finance spend five years or more paying off their purchase
                                • Figure 20: Length of car purchase finance plan or lease, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                            • Market Factors

                              • Consumer confidence grows as unemployment falls
                                • Figure 21: Consumer confidence and unemployment, Black and total US, 2000-17
                              • Crude oil reserves and global uncertainty contribute to rise in gas prices
                                • Figure 22: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2017-May 2018
                              • SUV and CUV sales rise in 2017…and will most likely continue
                                • Figure 23: Seasonally adjusted domestic and foreign auto and truck sales, April 2017-April 2018
                              • Most Black workers drive to work alone, but less so than the average
                                • Figure 24: Means of transportation to work among workers 16+ years old, by race and Hispanic origin, 2011-15
                            • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                              • Utility vehicle sales drive longer loan terms
                                • Car manufacturers embrace subscription-based ownership model
                                  • Subprime auto loan defaults impact future borrowing
                                    • New tariffs may impact vehicle pricing
                                    • What’s Happening?

                                      • Longer financing terms to accommodate SUV shoppers
                                        • Subscription-based car ownership makes the buying process convenient and haggle free
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Subprime auto loans rise amidst defaults
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Potential auto price increases due to tariffs
                                              • Rideshare lowers commute costs – May impact car ownership
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Black car shoppers fall into four distinct segments
                                                  • Most Black consumers own a car
                                                    • Nearly seven in 10 Black consumers are in the car market
                                                      • Black car shoppers place new cars at the top of their preferred list
                                                        • Black consumers buy a car based on wants rather than needs
                                                          • Sales incentives most important to Black car shoppers
                                                            • Black consumers in consideration phase consult multiple research sources
                                                              • Buying a car is stressful, but information may comfort concerns for some
                                                              • Black Consumer Car Purchasing Segments

                                                                • Mintel identifies four key car buying segments among Black adults
                                                                  • Figure 25: Black car buying segments, December 2017
                                                                • Knowledgeable Buyers inform themselves to get the best deal
                                                                    • Figure 26: Profile of Knowledgeable Buyers’ segment, December 2017
                                                                  • Experiential Buyers confirm their purchase behind the wheel
                                                                      • Figure 27: Profile of Experiential Buyers, December 2017
                                                                    • Stealth Buyers are armed with information and breeze through the buying process
                                                                        • Figure 28: Profile of Stealth Buyers, December 2017
                                                                      • Low-involved Buyers look for their point A to B car
                                                                          • Figure 29: Profile of Low-involved Buyers, December 2017
                                                                      • Number of Vehicles in Black Households

                                                                        • Most Black consumers own a car, but fewer than the average
                                                                          • Figure 30: Vehicles in the household, total US vs Black, December 2017
                                                                        • Household composition impacts number of cars in the home
                                                                          • Figure 31: Number of cars in the household, total US vs Black, December 2017
                                                                      • Car Purchase Timeframe

                                                                        • Nearly three in ten Black consumers want to buy a car within six months
                                                                          • Figure 32: Car purchase timeframe, December 2017
                                                                        • Black consumers look to replace their cars more often than the average consumer
                                                                          • Figure 33: Car purchase timeframe, total US and Black, December 2017
                                                                      • Type of Purchase for Next Vehicle

                                                                        • Black consumers want to buy a new car, but purchase hinges on cost
                                                                          • Figure 34: Car purchase intent, total US vs Black, December 2017
                                                                        • New car shoppers can finally afford the vehicle they want
                                                                          • Figure 35: New car purchase intent by key demographics, December 2017
                                                                        • Used car shoppers have fewer options due to budget
                                                                          • Figure 36: Used car purchase intent by key demographics, December 2017
                                                                        • Certified pre-owned car shoppers extend their budget for a better car
                                                                          • Figure 37: Certified pre-owned purchase intent by key demographics, December 2017
                                                                        • Buying segments with the most information want new cars
                                                                          • Figure 38: Car purchase intent, by Black car buying segments, December 2017
                                                                      • Pre-purchase Decisions among Black Consumers

                                                                        • Black consumers are resolute in expectations regarding their next car purchase
                                                                            • Figure 39: Pre-purchase decisions, December 2017
                                                                          • Married Black women expect their spouse to ensure they get the best deal
                                                                            • Figure 40: Pre-purchase decisions – Sole decision maker for next vehicle purchase, by gender and marital status, December 2017
                                                                          • Middle and upper income households have greater flexibility in their car shopping budget
                                                                            • Figure 41: Pre-purchase decisions, by household income, December 2017
                                                                          • Most Black consumers are set on their preferred body style, but middle-aged consumers are open to brand options
                                                                            • Figure 42: Pre-purchase decisions, by age, December 2017
                                                                          • Shopper segments’ budget based on negotiation approach
                                                                              • Figure 43: Pre-purchase decisions by Black car buying attitudinal segments, December, 2017
                                                                          • Reasons for Car Purchase

                                                                            • Most Black consumers simply want a newer vehicle
                                                                              • Figure 44: Reasons for car purchase, December 2017
                                                                            • Black men are more concerned with driving an older car
                                                                              • Figure 45: Reasons for car purchase, by gender, December 2017
                                                                            • Young people achieving life milestones also want to buy a car
                                                                              • Figure 46: Reasons for car purchase, by household income, varied demographics, December 2017
                                                                            • Knowledgeable Buyers want the car features they find during their research
                                                                              • Figure 47: Reasons for car purchase, by Black car buying attitudinal segments, December, 2017
                                                                          • Pre-purchase Online Research Sources

                                                                            • Black consumers seek car info from likely sellers online
                                                                              • Figure 48: Online research sources, December 2017
                                                                            • Middle-aged consumers look toward traditional sources; younger consumers prefer social media
                                                                              • Figure 49: Online research sources, by age, December 2017
                                                                            • Consumers in middle-income households search the most sites
                                                                              • Figure 50: Online research sources, by income, December 2017
                                                                            • New car shoppers concentrate their search with primary sellers
                                                                              • Figure 51: Type of purchase by pre-purchase online research sources, December 2017
                                                                            • Buying segments use different tactics for online information gathering
                                                                              • Figure 52: Online research sources, by Black car buying segments, December 2017
                                                                          • Car Research Behavior

                                                                            • Black consumers rely on their own evaluation to choose their next car
                                                                              • Figure 53: Car research behavior, total US vs Black, December 2017
                                                                            • Consumers who use third-party sources also use greatest number of sources
                                                                              • Figure 54: Online research sources by research behavior, December 2017
                                                                            • Higher educational attainment is tied to more in-person research
                                                                              • Figure 55: Car research behavior, by educational attainment, December 2017
                                                                            • Research behavior by segment highlights level of trust in the car buying process
                                                                              • Figure 56: Car research behavior, by Black car buying segments, December 2017
                                                                          • Vehicle Attributes for Purchase Consideration

                                                                            • Black consumers expect more value in their car
                                                                              • Figure 57: Vehicle attributes for purchase consideration, total US vs Black, December 2017
                                                                            • Importance of car attributes increase with age
                                                                              • Figure 58: Vehicle attributes for purchase consideration, by age, December 2017
                                                                            • Middle income consumers more concerned with financial considerations
                                                                              • Figure 59: Vehicle attributes for purchase consideration, by household income, December 2017
                                                                            • New car shoppers want car performance and features; CPO shoppers expect incentives
                                                                              • Figure 60: Type of car purchase by vehicle purchase considerations, December 2017
                                                                            • Research topics illustrate what car buying segments consider important
                                                                              • Figure 61: Vehicle attributes for purchase consideration, by Black car segments, December 2017
                                                                          • Attitudes toward Car Purchasing

                                                                            • Black consumers show concern with the process, but being informed may lessen their worry
                                                                              • Figure 62: Attitudes toward car purchasing, December 2017
                                                                            • Car purchasing stress levels have different impact across buying segments
                                                                              • Figure 63: Attitudes toward car purchasing, by Black car buying attitudinal segments, December 2017
                                                                            • Consumer reliance on unbiased sources is mixed
                                                                              • Figure 64: Attitudes toward car purchasing, by Black car buying segments, December 2017
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

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

                                                                                        • Figure 65: Types of car, any acquired, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 66: Types of car, most recently acquired, 2013-18
                                                                                        • Figure 67: Non-premium and premium, domestic and import car ownership, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 68: Features on most recently acquired car, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 69: Top five most recently acquired domestic car brands, 2013-18
                                                                                        • Figure 70: Top five most recently acquired foreign car brands, 2013-18
                                                                                        • Figure 71: Total dollars spent on most recent car purchase, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 72: Purchase method of most recently acquired car, total and Black households, January 2017-March 2018
                                                                                        • Figure 73: Length of car purchase finance plan or lease, total US and Black households, January 2017-March 2018