The Auto Industry has long attempted to understand the purchasing power of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community, but the data needed to quantify market trends had never been available. In October 2012, IHS Automotive launched its groundbreaking solution, LGBT Answers, which gives manufacturers and retailers the information they need to successfully market to, or influence, this audience.

LGBT Answers provides actual new and used vehicle data for the US LGBT market, based on more than 3 million self-reported LGBT households across the country and representing more than 50,000 new vehicle registrations per year. It provides four years of history at the make level (Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, KIA, Mercedes, BMW, etc.), model level (F-150, Camaro, Optima, etc.), and by markets (LA, NY, Miami, Detroit, Chicago, Dallas, etc.). It is also able to reveal trends at the national and local DMA level.

LGBT Answers is the only service that can provide separate statistical information at the brand and geographic level for lesbian versus gay auto consumers.

“We provide information to a good mix of automotive clients, both domestic and Asian manufacturers,” says Marc Bland, IHS Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. “While the industry has been marketing to the LGBT consumer for quite some time, it was all based on ‘I think, I feel, I believe.’ This is the first time we could put quantitative metrics to their efforts—and not just about market awareness, but for new and used registration results.”

Through LGBT Answers, return on investment (ROI) analysis for investments made in this market can finally improve marketing focus and, ultimately, lead to a better automotive experience for LGBT consumers. The data also helps dispel many of the stereotypes related to the US LGBT consumer by focusing more on what, and where, this consumer group is actually buying.