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On paper, the Asian-American market would seem to be a marketer's dream. Yet there are many aspects of Asian-American culture that marketers are trying to understand.


The number of Asian-Americans is expected to grow from the 7.5 million in 1990 to 12.1 million in 2000, a 62% increase. In California alone, the Asian-American population should jump from 2.8 million in 1990 to 4.9 million by 2000 and 7.2 million in 2010.

More importantly for marketers, Asians comprise a high-income, well-educated demographic. Census Bureau figures show the median household income of Asian/Pacific Islanders in 1992 was $38,153, above the all-household median of $30,786. Asian-Americans also have the highest rate of attaining college degrees-39%, compared to 22% for whites.


Asian-Americans are extremely brand loyal. According to a survey conducted by SRI and Gallup Organization for Asian Media Sales, Toyota ownership among Chinese-Americans living in Los Angeles jumped from 25% in 1989 to 40% in 1993. The same survey found that in San Francisco, Toyota ownership among Chinese-Americans rose to 28% in 1993 from 18% in 1986.

Selling to them

Asian-Americans want information in car ads-not image advertising. Market observers say Asian-Americans feel product information provides an objective basis to assess cars.

At the storefront, Asian-Americans, particularly Korean-Americans, tend to drive hard bargains and negotiate every aspect of a sale. Some Asian-American marketing observers believe General Motors Corp.'s Saturn division is losing purchases to competitors because the car company hasn't fully explained to Koreans how its no-negotiation policy works.

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