A Driving Force in California

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Looking for Asian American car buyers? Look no further than Southern California. Asian Americans make up a mere 3 percent of all U.S. new car buyers and leaseholders, but a good majority of them (1 in 5) are concentrated in Southern California. Last year, Asians in this region bought or leased more than 78,000 cars and trucks, up 15 percent from 1999, according to R.L. Polk, an automotive consumer marketing company. The top three automobile makes sold to this group were Toyota (28 percent), Honda (21 percent), and Mercedes-Benz (6 percent). About a quarter (26 percent) of Korean households and 18 percent of Chinese households in Southern California say they plan to buy or lease a new automobile within the next year, according to a companion survey by KSCI-TV in Los Angeles.

EXPENSIVE TASTES

Asians in Southern California are more likely to buy luxury imports than Asians living elsewhere in the U.S.

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