African-Americans purchased 641,090 new vehicles in 2010, accounting for 7.4 percent of all new vehicle sales. That's a significant portion of overall sales, and a population segment that Toyota appears to be winning over.
R.L. Polk released a study showing that Toyota accounted for 15 percent of all new car sales to African-American car buyers last year. Ford came in second at 11.7 percent, followed by Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan. The top five automakers accounted for nearly 60 percent off all new vehicle sales to African-Americans.

The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the African-American population will grow by 25 percent by the year 2030. In 2010 alone, auto sales among African Americans rose by 11.5 percent versus 2009. That's 68.6 percent faster than the non-ethnic market increase of 6.8 percent, meaning that automakers would do well to reach out to this burgeoning customer segment.

"With the U.S. population growing faster in the African-American segment than others, there's a significant opportunity for automotive manufacturers and dealers to begin to align marketing initiatives toward this specific audience," said Marc Bland, product strategist at Polk. "Those companies that are ahead of the curve, like Toyota, are already reaping the rewards."

While it appears that Toyota has already gotten the message that African-Americans represent a fast-growing market segment, others are beginning to get the picture. Buick sales, for example, are up 72 percent, while Hyundai and Kia area second and third at 53 percent and 34.2 percent, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, R.L. Polk says that Acura, Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW are not making inroads with African-American buyers. Hit the jump to read over the R.L. Polk press release.

[Source: R.L. Polk]
Show full PR text
Toyota Top Choice Among African-American Car Buyers in 2010, According to Polk
African-American market increased 68 percent more than non-ethnic market in 2010 as buyers returned to showrooms

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota led all automotive brands among new vehicle purchases by African-Americans in 2010, according to Polk. Total new vehicle registrations among this audience reached 641,090, an increase of 11.5 percent over 2009 -- and represented 7.4 percent of all new vehicle registrations in 2010. Furthermore, the African-American market volume increase was 68.6 percent greater than the non-ethnic market increase of 6.8 percent.

"With the U.S. population growing faster in the African-American segment than others, there's a significant opportunity for automotive manufacturers and dealers to begin to align marketing initiatives toward this specific audience," said Marc Bland, product strategist at Polk. "Those companies that are ahead of the curve, like Toyota, are already reaping the rewards."

Brand Performance among African-Americans

The top five brands account for 60 percent of the African-American market, each with more than 10 percent share. Ford and Chevrolet joined Toyota to round out the top three. The complete top 10 is as follows:

African-American Market Growth Leaders

Buick, Hyundai, Kia, Cadillac, GMC and Infiniti are doing extremely well with the African-American market. With the exception of Cadillac, all grew faster in 2010 within the African-American market than overall.

Buick increased its registrations in the African-American market by 72.2 percent in 2010, and Hyundai was up 53.2 percent over 2009 with this audience.

Acura, Land Rover, Mercedes and BMW are not growing their share of the African-American market as fast as the overall market. These brands have significant opportunity to connect more with this audience and grow their share of the market by attracting more affluent African-Americans to their brands.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the African-American population will grow 12 percent by 2020 and nearly 25 percent from current levels in 2030. If manufacturers do not establish themselves with these critical ethnic audiences now, significant growth opportunities with these influential and critical groups will be missed.

Polk works with manufacturers to help them analyze potential market opportunities and partners with dealers, advertising and digital agencies to create strategies for reaching the growing African-American consumer base.


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  • 53 Comments
      P
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's really kind of a silly statistic when you consider that A) it's typically the most considered brand among Asian and White people too, and B) US Hispanic population growth is expanding faster than our African population. So why even call it out? To me, an interesting data story would be in what brands *SELL* in what proportion to different races, or what shopping criteria different populations use (it's significantly different). There's obviously an economic story in that kind of data but also one of appeal, culture and lifestyle.
      anonymous guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      God, I hate this PC crap. African-Americans? Are they sure they made sure all the black people they surveyed were indeed Americans? You know, black people are sometimes from different countries.
        Andre Neves
        • 3 Years Ago
        @anonymous guy
        Careful now, someone might call you a "racist" *GASP* But in all seriousness, I agree with you 100%. BTW, who gives a **** what cars a certain race drive more than others? Aren't we all striving for the same thing here? Equality.
        Samurai Jack
        • 3 Years Ago
        @anonymous guy
        Are you asking to see my birth certificate?
      Shiftright
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tired of the the overly PC term African-American, especially since I'm just plain old 'white'. If Blacks are African-American, then I want to be referred to as Anglo-European, or some such nonsense. Technically, I'm already African-American however, since I'm a US citizen born in Africa.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Zeer
      • 3 Years Ago
      What was the point of singling out a minority in the vast AMERICAN automotive market? Not one of Autoblog's best articles.
        Zoom
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Zeer
        AB produces many specific-articles. Keeps things interesting. I've seen stories on women before. And there's a whole site dedicated to car buying for gays.
      Samurai Jack
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is all about targeted advertising. It really isn't meant to be socially significant. But I would question why anyone would expect black people to have different desires or requirements when it comes to purchasing a car than anyone else. It seems unnecessary somehow.
      Chris R
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shew, thank God I don't fall into this stereotype, I have a Challenger (no oversize stupid looking chrome wheels either.. just sayin)..
      Truth_Hurts
      • 3 Years Ago
      www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=198538216855005&set=a.198538203521673.45664.186197821422378&type=1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Truth_Hurts
        [blocked]
      mad-chi-town
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Can't ride with an L, so I don't drive Lexus" -- Fabolous
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is odd, it says that Mercedes and BMW aren't brands that are making inroads with blacks yet whenever I go to an auto show, majority of them are on the Mercedes floors taking pics with those cars and playing with all the gadgets, I figured the top 2 would have been Lexus and Mercedes followed by BMW, Cadillac and Toyota. Hm, this was different...
        Truth_Hurts
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        You actually notice what race is looking at what brand? Wow! People are people, it is anti Christian and stupid to think otherwise
        rocketmoose
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        So? I've been to auto shows and I've fawned over the Lamborghinis, et al, but at the end of the day I can't bloody afford one and drive an R32. Sales don't equal desirability.
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