Asian Americans: The Force Behind The Automotive Industry’s Pandemic Growth And Forward

Source: Asian American’s Advertising Federation’s Asian Marketing Summit—The Future of Advertising to Asian Americans, May 2022

  • Thriving and Loyal: Asian Automobile Buyers by Marc Bland, Chief Diversity Officer @ IHS Markit/S&P Global
  • Remarks by General Motor by Charles Chapman, Multicultural Marketing Manager @ General Motors
  • Why Authenticity Matters: Toyota’s Approach to Asian Consumers by Lindsay Lee, Senior Manager for Vehicle Marketing Communications Group @ Toyota


Why It Matters

Asian Americans are the fastest-growing consumer segment, and they are also brand-loyal when it comes to spending on new cars. The average MSRP for Asian new registrations in the first nine months of 2021 was $37,934, compared to $33,710 for African Americans, and $33,677 for Hispanics. Despite setbacks from the pandemic, the Asian American demographic is a critical part of the diverse automotive landscape.


General Insights

Asian American is leading the way as the automotive industry transitions to the EV era. Asian consumers account for 26.7% of Los Angeles’s EV volume (#1 EV market) and 40.3% of San Francisco’s EV volume (#2 EV market).

1. There is still time and opportunity to grab this market segment for all automotive brands if media and advertising are done right. Asian Americans on average have the highest income among other segments and the general market. As their population and buying power increases, brands who wish to target this lucrative segment must learn and respect the cultural nuances as well as their preferences so that the brand messaging can be authentically and effectively communicated to them.

2. Collaborating with Asian agencies who know this segment well is crucial. Asian Americans is a diverse segment of communities, so when formulating media strategies, language and cultural relevance must be taken into consideration. Understanding media consumption of Asians for effective media buying and influencer partnerships are important as well. For example, targeting US-borns with in-cultural media may be more effective than in-language media. Leveraging popular culture such as Japanese manga and animation in advertisement proved highly successful among Toyota’s Asian Gen Z customers.

3. Heavily targeting Asians will eventually increase brand equity. Asians tend to be more educated. They are early adopters of technology, and many care about sustainability. Therefore, they are more willing to give different brands a try, particularly their fully electric or hybrid models.

4. Listen to their needs. Asians are just as vocal as other segments. For brands who have a significant Asian share, reach out to them and do not ignore their voices.

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