Automotive Blog

Detroit, Michigan - diverse automotive market summary

Top 10 Brands in Detroit (Based on Volume)To help automotive customers gain insight into the impact diverse market customers (African American, Asian, Hispanic) are having on the U.S. light vehicle industry, I will be publishing a set of blogs focused on the top 10 U.S. markets based on volume year-to-date (YTD) through June 2011. Although the top three markets are New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, respectively, I will start this series with a focus on the backyard of Polk's global headquarters - the Detroit DMA, also known as "Motown" or the "The Motor City."

Detroit ranks No. 6 overall in the U.S. based on new light vehicle sales YTD. The overall industry is up 17.5%, comparing 2011 June YTD vs. 2010 YTD sales. During the same period, Detroit's gain is approximately 10 percentage points below the national average at 7.3%. Detroit's share of national new vehicle sales is down .25 percentage points at 2.6%. Detroit's top 10 brand list is unique, as this will be one of the few major market top brand lists that does not include Toyota or its high volume Asian peers (Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia) in the top five. Domestic brands represent 90% of the Detroit list (see adjacent table).

Ethnic Share of Detroit DMA New VehicleIn the media, it's often reported that Detroit is approximately 80% African American but as a native Detroiter, the report, if accurate, is for Detroit city proper. When you look at Detroit from a DMA perspective, one must also consider these suburban areas: Birmingham, Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Novi, Dearborn, the Grosse Pointes and many more. From an automotive consumer standpoint, the Detroit DMA has the following ethnic mix: (AA = African American, AS = Asian, HS = Hispanic and OT = Non-AA, Non-AS, Non-HS).

From a brand perspective, Ford leads the way with one of three new vehicles. Two to watch are Chevrolet (+3.84%) and Buick (+1.64%), since both have strong share but more importantly have posted greater than a 1.5 percentage point share increases year-over-year.

So what are Detroiters driving? The following is a top five model list, based on volume purchased by each diverse market listed.

Top 5 Rank by Diverse Market (Based on Volume)

Hands down, the "King of the Road" is the Ford Fusion in Detroit.

This vehicle is ranked No. 1 by every diverse group in Detroit. Congrats to Ford for holding down the top spot in the backyard of their world headquarters. Readers will also notice that only the Asian diverse group selected the high volume Camry and Honda CR-V in their top five.

This is the first diverse automotive market summary series, with the New York DMA on deck. I look forward to hearing your thoughts as I work to increase the automotive market knowledge of the auto public at large.

Posted by Marc Bland, Product Strategist & Multicultural Marketing Lead, Polk (08.22.2011)

About The Author

Marc 'Bland' is a walking-contradiction of his name since he is indeed a lively and interesting individual. He has a sixth sense when it comes to seeing opportunities where others cannot and making things happen. Marc currently serves as Polk's Head of Diversity & Inclusion. He enjoys the people he works with both inside and outside of the company. When he's not being passionate about his customers' needs, he enjoys fishing, classic cars and home improvement projects. Marc's inspiration in life has been his own hard-working parents as well as his wife and four children – three girls and one boy. Another addition to his family is a 5 lb., 18 inch African Bullfrog named "Puff Daddy" that he enjoys feeding. Someday Marc would love to promote national jazz concerts and fix and flip homes.

During his 10+ years at Polk, Marc has worked in several capacities as a Systems Engineer in the Information Technology group, a Project Manager in Product Development/Quality, a Solutions Consultant in Sales, Manager of the Analytical Solutions team and most recently in a dual role of Product Strategist and Multicultural Marketing Lead. Marc's broad knowledge across the Polk organization, combined with his brief but exciting international automotive assignments in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Thailand and Singapore, have provided him with invaluable insight and perspective on all things automotive. He lives by the motto, "Learn, Apply & Share" and enjoys contributing to Polk's blog.