Habla Español: Are Hispanics the future of the U.S. auto industry?

081418 IL Habla Español Are Hispanics the future of the U.S. auto industry

 

Yes and no.

While the majority of vehicle purchasers will continue to be non-Hispanic consumers, Hispanics are expected to drive growth for the next 30 years or so.

“The future of the auto industry is largely in Hispanic hands,” Parker Morse, The Marketing Insider columnist, wrote in Why Hispanics Are the Future of the Auto Industry.

While that may sound like an overstatement – Hispanics are buying only about two million vehicles a year out of total sales of 17 million – there is no denying they are the fastest-growing U.S. demographic. Hispanics will drive about 50 percent of the country’s population growth over the next five years, according to Dealer Marketing Magazine in How Dealers Can Reach the Underserved Hispanic Market.

“It’s estimated that new car sales to Hispanics will grow by 8 percent over the next five years, compared to a 2 percent decline amongst the total market,” according to Dealer Marketing.

Industry growth engine?

“In fact, Hispanic consumers could well be the auto industry’s leading growth engine for the next 20 to 30 years, many industry executives and marketing experts believe,” Automotive News reported. “And it’s happening not just in those states where Hispanic demographics have always been strong, such as California, Texas and Florida, but increasingly in the Midwest and everywhere else.”

Capturing a fraction of this market “can mean huge gains for local dealerships.” said Dealer Marketing.

“But knowing that Hispanics are more likely to buy cars than other audiences and actually selling cars to Hispanics are two different things,” suggests The Marketing Insider.

Reflecting Hispanic culture

“Research shows that a vast majority – 79 percent – of Hispanics are more receptive to auto ads when those ads are reflective of their culture in some way. This includes ads or initiatives that involve Spanish-language content, as well as those that speak to the deeper values of the Hispanic community.”

The Insider cited a Ford social media video ad campaign that featured “everyday heroes in Hispanic communities” drawing nearly two million views and 6.6 million social impressions in nine weeks, as well as a Honda campaign “aligning with certain values and behaviors of Hispanic consumers.”

What this means, according to Dealer Marketing, is “creating authentic, culturally relevant online experiences for Hispanics … [while also] deploying a Spanish version of a dealership’s website and ensuring it remains in sync with the content and inventory found on the dealer’s English website.”

Speak the language

“Years ago, this represented a technically complex, costly endeavor,” reported Dealer Marketing. “These days, affordable solutions exist that can deploy secure translated sites in weeks.”

The dealer magazine also recommends:

  • Customizing text, graphics or promotional elements on translated websites.
  • Making content available on mobile phones – “mission critical” – because Hispanics use their smartphones “far more than the non-Hispanic average.”
  • Don’t leave out social media, where up to 50 percent of Hispanic respondents discuss brands.
  • Make sure your team can accommodate Spanish-speaking consumers when they visit.

“There’s no better way to build trust with this audience than to show that you truly understand not only the language that they speak, but also the values they uphold,” wrote columnist Morse.

Where have we heard that before?

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