Whether it's from the joy of taking the
family for a drive in a new sedan or from
the need of a new workhorse pickup
truck, Hispanic automotive consumers
have a fantastic opportunity to reenergize
the automotive industry.
At the same time, individual
automakers have an excellent chance
to tap deeper into the Hispanic auto
The auto industry has been
rebounding. From September 2009
to September 2010, sales of passenger
cars rose 18 percent and sales of
light trucks increased 40.8 percent.
Automakers expect this trend to
continue into 2011.
The five auto manufacturers that
showed the best increases during that
period were Chrysler LLC, Hyundai
Motor America, Subaru of America Inc., Ford Motor Co.,
and Kia Motors America Inc. Th e top-selling models during
this period were the Chevrolet Impala, up 35.4 percent;
the Ford F-Series pickup, up 29.4 percent; the Ford Fusion,
up 17.7 percent; the Toyota Prius, up 15.8 percent; and the
Chevrolet Silverado pickup, up 12.2 percent.
At the same time, the Hispanic consumer market has
continued to become a growing force. The 2010 Census
expects to count 50 million Hispanics,
fully one of every six U.S. residents.
That represents an increase of 42
percent from the 2000 Census.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics'
October 2010 Consumer Expenditure
Survey reported that, in 2009, Hispanic
expenditures on new cars and trucks
was $14.4 billion, or 9.2 percent of all
expenditures. At the same time, while
spending on new cars and trucks for
all consumers decreased by 0.6 percent
from 2008 to 2009, spending by
Hispanic consumers on new vehicles
rose 28.8 percent.
The increased spending by Hispanic consumers was
caused by two factors, the survey said—an increase in the
number of family units, up by 2.3 percent, and an increase
in the average spending of each family unit, up by 25.9
percent. This data came from 2009, when the economy was
much weaker than it is today.
Increased sales in the auto industry and the growing
consumer power of Hispanics signal rebounding of the
economy in the months ahead.
Traditional American Values
Hispanics have become the nation's second-largest
consumer market, but more than that, they have become
the upholders of traditional American values.
Peter Francese, a demographics and consumer markets
expert, explored the Hispanic consumer market in an
Ad Age article published July 26, 2010. Using data from
the 2010 Census, Mr. Francese painted a portrait of this
growing market. He noted that over the next decade and
beyond, Hispanics would become a major force in the
growth of U.S. consumer spending.
"The most remarkable aspect of Hispanics in America
is how closely they exemplify our idealized concept of
1950s America," Mr. Francese wrote. "They are young
(their median age is about where the whole nation was in
1955) and more oft en live in large, traditional, married with-
children families with lots of participation from
He noted Hispanics are moving to the suburbs, are very
community-oriented, and have high aspirations for their
children. "In short," he wrote, "they are the sweet market for
consumer goods and services that the entire nation used to
be when baby boomers were young."
This augurs well for the automotive industry. As noted
on the Automotive Aftermarket Internet Marketing Blog,
young, hard-working Hispanic families want a slice of the
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