Automakers Ramp Up Minority Marketing

The U.S. is becoming an increasingly diverse nation. Census Bureau data shows that 37% of consumers belong to minority groups. Some of the largest advertisers, especially automakers, are spending more to target the growing minority asianfamilypopulation with niche marketing campaigns. According to a Detroit News report, this is especially true of American-​owned brands.

The Census Bureau data shows how large each minority group is as part of the total U.S. population:

  • Hispanic 16.7%
  • Blacks 13.1%
  • Asian 5.1%

A report from Polk indicates that these consumers accounted for 25% of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last year. By 2016, that number should rise to 28%. Analysts believe this market “is too big not to pay attention to.”

Until now, these consumers have shown a distinct preference for foreign brands like Toyota and Honda. U.S. automakers are in  no way conceding the race to win minority customers and say they’re changing the way they advertise, especially on a regional basis. GM North America President Mark Reuss notes that his company is getting away from its traditional structure and world viewpoint that was “bureaucratic, and very white male oriented.”  GM execs are sponsoring more events in ethnic communities and targeting young multicultural buyers with mobile campaigns.  The company has also targeted members of the GLBT community with its tongue-​in-​cheek ad campaign for its Chevy Volt. Meanwhile, Fiat has focused on the South Florida market with spending designed to reach buyers who have a Cuban and South American heritage.

With the percentage of minority consumers set to increase over the next 2 decades, we’ll see more of this diversity coming from automakers and dealers.

To learn more about a specific minority group such as Asians, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.