SOUTHFIELD, Mich.–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:

Percentage of African American market
Toyota 15.0%
Ford 11.7%
Chevrolet 11.4%
Honda 11.3%
Nissan 10.2%
Hyundai 5.6%
Kia 4.2%
Dodge 4.0%
GMC 2.8%
Volkswagen 2.2%

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.