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Survey: Gays love
hybrid cars

Survey: Gays love
hybrid cars

With $600 billion in buying power burning a collective hole in their pockets, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender car-buyers are snapping up luxury brands and hybrids at a faster rate than their heterosexual counterparts, a new study says. "Gay and lesbian consumers are becoming an important target market for U.S. vehicle manufacturers, especially luxury brands," said Bryan Krulikowski, senior director of research for Harris Interactive, the market research firm that conducted the consumer study for Witeck-Combs Communications.

While LGBT consumers appreciate opulence, research showed that balancing image with affordability is a high priority for them. Advertising and marketing also play a strong role in gay and lesbian car-buying decisions. "Nearly three quarters--72%--of LGBT consumers indicate they are more likely to consider purchasing a vehicle from a manufacturer that has specifically targeted automotive advertising to the LGBT community," Krulikowski said. "Volkswagen, Subaru, Volvo, and BMW are perceived as the top brands that extend the greatest outreach to the GLBT community through their marketing communications."

The study also showed that gays and lesbians respond to nontraditional marketing, such as word of mouth or Internet-based promotion, and that advertising may have contributed to the fact that gays have really taken to hybrid electric vehicles, with 51% of LGBT consumers declaring an interest in them, compared with 34% of heterosexual auto buyers. (Neal Broverman,

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