The Asian automotive market in the U.S. grew at a faster pace than the overall automotive market in 2010, according to Polk. New vehicle registrations among Asian-Americans in 2010 grew 10.4 percent over 2009 and accounted for 438,430 vehicles, signaling a slight improvement in market share among this audience. The Asian-American automotive market accounted for 5.1 percent of the overall market in 2010, according to Polk analysis. Overall market growth in 2010 was 7.8 percent over 2009.
U.S. Census forecasts indicate that the Asian population in the U.S. will increase 26.3 percent by 2020 over current levels, and even more so with 134.7 percent growth by 2050, when Asian-Americans are expected to account for eight percent of the total U.S. population. This segment is expected to grow faster than both Hispanic and African-American populations through the 2050 timeframe, which demonstrates a significant opportunity for automotive marketers.
Top Brands for the Asian-American Market
The Toyota and Honda brands collectively represent nearly 50 percent of the Asian automotive market, with 27.7 percent (Toyota) and 20.7 percent (Honda), respectively. Nissan is a distant third, with 6.8 percent of the Asian market for new vehicles. Overall, the top five brands account for 65 percent of the Asian market. Top brands, along with their percentage of the Asian-American market, are as follows:
“It’s not surprising to see Toyota and Honda holding the top two spots with the Asian-American population in the U.S.,” said Marc Bland, product strategist at Polk. “We have seen Asians turn to different brands during the recession, and as a result, are seeing growth with U.S. Asian buyers with a different set of brands than we have in the past,” he continued.
Brand Performance among Asian-Americans
Lexus led the import luxury brands with Asian-American consumers, though it didn’t grow as much with Asians as the brand did overall in 2010. Buick, Hyundai, Cadillac, Land Rover, Kia and Volkswagen showed significant growth with Asian-Americans in 2010 and notably, Volkswagen’s growth with this audience was significantly higher than its growth in the general automotive market. Top brands with this audience (based on 2010 vs. 2009 growth) include:
(Note: Includes brands with a minimum of 901 new vehicle registrations among Asian-American buyers)
The traditional domestic automakers have a significant opportunity with the Asian-American audience as they have started to broaden their consideration set for new vehicle purchases based on the economy. “The domestic automakers may not have paid as much attention to the Asian-American market in the past because they have tended to be very import-oriented and represented a relatively small vehicle buying population,” said Bland.
“However, as Asian-Americans begin to seriously shop for other brands and represent an increasing segment of the U.S. audience, domestic brands have an opportunity for growth with this market segment,” he noted.
Projections for Growth among Asian-Americans
Asian-Americans currently represent a larger share of the new vehicle market (5.1 percent) than they do of the overall population in the U.S. (4.6 percent).
“If the Asian market continues its current pattern of automotive purchases, and looking at the forecasted population growth, we expect exponential growth in the Asian-American market in 2020 and 2050,” said Bland. “We’re working with customers to help them track, measure and reach this important and growing market with our automotive ethnic solutions, so they can be ahead of this growth curve.”
This is one of a series of reports from Polk on a variety of automotive trends. Watch for a report on Polk’s overview of the African-American automotive market in the coming week.