Motivatethe leading specialized insights and media partner for reaching Multicultural, Youth and LGBTQ segments, announced earlier this year its release of an exclusive consumer research study measuring Chinese and Korean-American media preferences, brand affinities and buying behaviors. The proprietary study takes a deep dive into the retail and automotive path-to-purchase, identifying attitudes below as segmented by ethnicity, level of acculturation, age, location, gender and income:

  • Path-to-purchase process
  • Consumer’s most important automobile features
  • Reasons for considering an American auto brand
  • Ad awareness of top American auto brands with detail to medium of exposure

Auto path-to-purchase: first action

Most Asian-American consumers begin their search for a new car by researching brands online. This is the first action for 31 percent of Asian-Americans looking to purchase a new car. And, about 40 percent of this majority follows up online research by going directly to the auto manufacturer’s website.

However, some prefer starting their search for a new vehicle by talking to their family and friends (21 percent), meaning they’re looking for the opinion of someone who they deem trustworthy. Visiting a manufacturer’s website (20 percent) and checking out automobile review sites (19 percent) are also first actions reported.

Important automotive features

Automotive features of importance vary depending on the consumer’s acculturation levels. For instance, style is 14 percent more important to second-generation Asians than first-generation. Quality and dependability are also more important for second-generation Asian consumers; whereas safety is the most important characteristic for first-generation.

Altogether, safety, quality and dependability, and brand are features of top importance for all Asian-American consumers, regardless of acculturation or market.

SEE MORE: Top Brands Ahead Of The Game In Reaching South Asians

When looking at top Asian DMAs, vehicle design and style are of more importance to Asian Americans living in Los Angeles. In New York, performance, brand and power are the most important features.

American car purchases

Although one in five Asian-American consumers would not consider purchasing an American car, the top reasons for making an American car purchase would be because of their quality and dependability, fuel economy, and power and performance.

In New York, Asian-American consumers are most open to purchasing American cars compared to those living in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Asian Americans making less than $75,000 a year are more open to buying American cars than higher-income consumers.

American auto ad awareness – or lack thereof

More than 40 percent of second-generation Asian-American consumers report not seeing Ford, General Motors or Chrysler advertisement in the past 30 days. Awareness is significantly lower on social media; only four percent of Asians said they were exposed to General Motors or Ford advertisement on social media.

SEE MORE: 5 Characteristics Of Next Generation Asian Americans

When looking in relation to Chinese Americans, Korean Americans report significantly higher levels of advertising of American cars.

Download the Asian American Auto Path-to-Purchase infographic for more details. For a full report, please contact Motivate at

Motivate is the leading specialized insights and media partner for reaching Multicultural, Youth and LGBTQ segments. We specialize in consumer segmentation, custom insights, and turnkey media strategy and execution for high-growth demographics. Motivate provides best-in-class media activation in digital, traditional, social and influencer marketing. Our expertise is leveraged by Fortune-500 clients and major advertising agencies. We’re proud to be a Women Business Enterprise certified company. For more information about Motivate, please visit or call 866.664.4432.