Honda Civic top vehicle among ethnic customers for 2nd straight year

DETROIT — The Honda Civic was the best-selling vehicle among ethnic consumers for the 2018 model year.

IHS Markit and the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers recognized the Civic as the “top overall ethnic vehicle” during the Diversity Volume Leadership Awards on Sunday evening. The awards also break down industry leaders by region, gender, age and — in a category added last year — sexual orientation. The awards also honored luxury growth leaders for the first time this year.

The awards were based on an analysis of 13 million personal new-vehicle registrations from IHS Markit for the 2018 model year (October 2017 through September 2018).

While the overall market has shifted to the crossover segment, sedans still rank highly on the shopping lists of minority buyers. It’s the second straight year that the Civic has earned the top honor, and the third consecutive year that the Honda brand has taken that title. The Honda Accord was the leader among minority buyers in 2016.

“Cars still have a real place,” Marc Bland, IHS Markit’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, told Automotive News last year while discussing ethnic trends within the industry. “The brands that are offering the most choice, I think, are going to win in the long run because of this freedom of choice.”

In the luxury segment, however, the crossover craze won out among minority consumers. The Lexus RX was the luxury volume leader for each measured ethnic group: African-Americans, Asian-Pacific Islanders, Hispanics and Native Americans. The RX also was the top luxury vehicle for women and the LGBT community.

Toyota and Lexus combined for 13 awards overall; Honda won six; Ford won five categories; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles landed four awards (all Jeep); and BMW had three category wins.

The Toyota Camry was the mass-market volume leader among African-Americans, while the Honda Civic led volume for Hispanics. Asian-Pacific Islanders preferred the Toyota RAV4, and the Chevrolet Silverado led the way among Native Americans. For women, the RAV4 was the volume winner.

The Ford F series was the volume leader for ethnic millennials and LGBT customers.

The RAV4 had the most regional ethnic volume wins of any vehicle, capturing the Mideast, New England and Plains regions. The Chevrolet Equinox led the Great Lakes region; the F series paced the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions; the Camry led the Southeast; and the Civic topped the Western region.

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