The Detroit 3 continue to dominate the lucrative pickup segment and churn out crossovers but have mostly pulled back from the car market. This leaves Honda, Nissan and Toyota to capitalize on those openings among minority shoppers.
The most popular car in the industry this year is the Civic, which is the No. 6 overall vehicle, according to IHS Markit new-vehicle registration data through June. The Camry, the Honda Accord and the Corolla also rank in the top 10 industrywide, but cars index even higher among minority groups.
Four of the top six vehicles registered by Asian Americans are cars, with the Tesla Model 3 coming in at No. 1 through June. The Camry, Civic and Accord rank fourth through sixth, respectively, for Asian consumers.
The Civic leads among Hispanic buyers, with the Corolla coming in second. The Camry ranks fourth with Hispanics, while the Accord is at No. 6.
For African Americans, cars account for the top three slots, led by Camry. The Accord is second, and the Civic is third. The Nissan Altima ranks seventh.
With U.S. Census data pointing to minorities becoming a majority in the future, Bland said, it makes sense for the Japanese companies to continue to stick with their household-name cars.
While the Japanese brands invest in cars, they're also a force in the crossover market, outperforming the domestics in the crossover race on an overall basis as well as with ethnic consumers. The Chevrolet Equinox is the only domestic crossover in the top 10 industrywide — at seventh, it trails the No. 4 Honda CR-V and No. 5 Toyota RAV4 — but no domestic crossovers have cracked the top 10 among ethnic buyers in 2019. Bland thinks the stylish Chevy Blazer could make a move into the upper tiers at some point.