What Do Hispanic Car Buyers Want When Shopping for a Vehicle?


Each buyer demographic correlates to different preferences and habits when shopping or deciding on a purchase. Cultural demographics are important for businesses to understand as each culture might have specific preferences, unique considerations and generational traditions that could influence not just how they shop but what they buy, too.

Dealer Marketing conducted a survey focused on the Hispanic community to determine what Hispanic car buyers want when shopping for a vehicle. The survey revealed that the following factors are important to Hispanic buyers when they research their purchase decisions and decide where they purchase their vehicle:

  • The language of advertising
  • Dealership communication
  • Visual social media platforms

The Language of Advertising Plays a Crucial Role

Dealerships and auto brands that advertise in Spanish may be more appealing to the Hispanic community. The survey revealed that 100 percent of women polled said that they would visit a dealership that advertised in Spanish. However, only 37.5 percent of men cared about the language of advertising.

The meaningful nature of Spanish language dealer ads was so impactful to women that 100 percent of women polled stated that they would travel to visit a dealer who chose to advertise in Spanish. More than 55 percent of men also stated that they would travel to visit a dealership that advertised in Spanish.

Hispanic Car Buyers

Bilingual Dealerships

Dealerships whose staff and sales team were bilingual and spoke Spanish fluently also seem to have the upper hand. Again, all of the women polled stated that they would recommend a dealership that spoke Spanish. However, less than half of the men surveyed (48 percent) said that they would be ‘very or extremely likely’ to recommend a dealership if they spoke Spanish.

For women, the survey revealed that the language of the advertising and the dealership staff itself played a role in a Hispanic woman’s car shopping experience and journey. All the women who were surveyed would travel to visit a dealership that advertised in Spanish and they all would be ‘extremely or very likely’ to recommend a dealership that spoke Spanish, too.

Men seemed to be influenced less by the language of ads and the dealership. The takeaway for car dealerships whose customer base includes the Hispanic community is that language matters when reaching female buyers.

Visual Social Media Platforms are More Impactful for the Hispanic Community

Interestingly, Dealer Marketing’s survey also revealed that visually-driven social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube are preferred by Hispanic buyers. The survey noted that 27 percent of both men and women named YouTube as a preference, but more than 70 percent of Hispanic men preferred Instagram. Only around 27 percent of women preferred Instagram.

Car Buying Habit Insights from Intermark Automotive

Intermark Automotive also released stats and details related to what dealerships need to know about car buying habits for Hispanic consumers. According to Intermark, more than 70 percent of Hispanics perceive a brand (or company) more positively if they include cultural elements that are important to the Hispanic community.

Intermark also explained that some Hispanic buyers aren’t necessarily moved by Spanish ads, and the data from Dealer Marketing revealed this as well (related to Hispanic men). Instead, showing the community that the business or dealership respects and appreciates their culture could be more meaningful.

In addition, data from Intermark Automotive revealed that digital messaging could be most impactful to the Hispanic community. According to stats from Intermark, half of Hispanics don’t have cable; instead they use CTV. In addition, stats from the site note that more than half of Hispanics (56 percent) would be more likely to see an ad if it was presented via a social media platform.

Data from Intermark Automotive also noted the importance of bilingual dealership staff. In addition, a website might be more impactful if it was offered in Spanish. However, Intermark explained that the dealership should not use online translation options; instead, opt to have the copy written by a native Spanish speaker.

Key Takeaways for Dealerships

When marketing to the Hispanic community, both Dealer Marketing and Intermark Automotive agree on several points. Not everyone in the Hispanic community is influenced strongly by ads written in Spanish. In addition, a bilingual staff could offer a more impactful experience for Hispanic buyers.

However, Dealer Marketing noted that dealerships that spoke Spanish were more likely to receive referrals from Hispanic women, while men were less influenced by this factor. Intermark Automotive explains that the content of ads should include elements of the culture. The dealership or the business should understand the Hispanic community.

Intermark Automotive also placed an importance on a Spanish website for dealerships. Offer both English and Spanish language options on the site; however, dealerships should utilize a native Spanish speaking copywriter for web content. Online translation services might not be the most reliable option. Native speakers understand social colloquialisms that a translation service might not capture.

Hispanic Car Buyers

Social Media Also Could Play a Role for Reaching Hispanic Buyers

Both Intermark Automotive and Dealer Marketing touched on the role of social media for Hispanic buyers. Dealer Marketing noted that many men use Instagram. If dealerships want to market to male Hispanic buyers, advertisements via Instagram could be impactful.

Both Hispanic men and women also noted YouTube as a popularly used social media platform. Many dealerships are active on YouTube as it is ideal for long-form video content. For those who haven’t established a YouTube channel, consider becoming active on the platform. Content could include walkaround videos for new models, meet and greet videos that introduce the sales team and even videos focused on car care tips or maintenance needs.

Intermark Automotive noted that Hispanic buyers would be more apt to notice an ad via social media. Dealerships could focus online advertisements to key social media platforms to reach Hispanic buyers. Again, for Hispanic women, ads in Spanish were most impactful and meaningful. However, men didn’t seem to be as focused on ad language.

The Importance of an Impactful and Bilingual Website

A bilingual website ensures that Hispanic buyers can choose whether they wish to view the site in Spanish or English. When viewed in Spanish, all elements should be translated to Spanish. This means that videos and immersive content and tools should be narrated in Spanish.

Choose a native Spanish speaker to narrate videos and translate content for the site. Translation tools found online could lead to a poorly worded content that could be distracting or simply not make sense. All languages have ‘slang’ or colloquial phrasing that can impact how a message is relayed.

Don’t Hesitate to Celebrate the Purchase with the Buyer

The now defunct car brand Saturn used to send off new car owners with a cheer from the sales team. For many consumers, buying a new car is a huge accomplishment and an expensive investment. Celebrating this milestone, according to Intermark Automotive, is especially meaningful to Hispanic buyers.

Dealerships should take note of this, especially since Intermark also explains that Hispanic buyers stay loyal to a brand when they find a particular brand that resonates with them. However, the buying experience could impact this loyalty or the overall shopping journey. Intermark Automotive explains why celebrating a car purchase is such a big deal: “Bonding with them over this shared experience strengthens your relationship, not only with them, but their entire family and the Latino community as a whole in your market.”

Find a way to celebrate the accomplishment. Dealerships could snap a photo of the team with the buyer and their new car. They might have another way to send off the buyer like Saturn’s cheer. Make the moment memorable.

Hispanic Car Buyers

What to Consider for All Car Buyers

Most car shoppers will begin their process by researching online. While third-party sites might be the preferred stop for information related to reviews, safety data and other specs, dealership websites could be the resource for local prices and model availability.

Dealerships should offer consumers as many resources as possible to help them find the best car for their needs. Car stock photos from EVOX Images can help buyers understand the features and unique elements of every car they are considering. EVOX Images offers numerous photo options to help dealerships market every model in their showroom.

Interactive spin images depict a 3D image of a vehicle’s exterior or interior. Consumers can navigate these images using a fingertip (for mobile devices) or their mouse. These images can be rotated in a full 360 degrees. Interior spin images are called panorama images and let users explore the inside of the car.

Dealerships also could choose base trim photos to help buyers understand the lowest-priced trim for their favorite models. Base trim libraries include both interior and exterior images of a vehicle model.

In addition, EVOX Images also offers a library of digital assets that are compatible with augmented reality and virtual reality. Create an immersive online experience to help buyers who are shopping from home.

Professional car stock photography via EVOX Images also can be used via social media sites or to create impactful ads. Explore all the stock photo options to reach each unique consumer demographic and aid their buying journey.

EVOX Images leads the industry in automotive imaging and offers the largest library of virtual reality and augmented reality assets available for commercial use. Contact our team or call us at 310-605-1400 to learn more about our innovative imaging solutions.