SANTA MONICA, California — As the 2016 presidential race heats up, research from Edmunds.com shows that car buyers in Iowa prefer domestic brands, while those in New Hampshire favor Japanese models.
Using nationwide new-vehicle registration data for 2015, Edmunds.com determined that 63 percent of buyers in Iowa — home to yesterday's Iowa Caucus — purchased domestic brands, such as Chevrolet, Dodge and Ford, compared to 42 percent of all buyers across the U.S.
Meanwhile, car buyers in New Hampshire — where the New Hampshire Primary will take place on February 9 — opted for Japanese makes, including Honda, Nissan and Toyota, 46 percent of the time, compared to 41 percent nationally.
When it comes to type of vehicles purchased, buyers in farm-heavy Iowa chose trucks 24 percent of the time, compared to 18 percent across the country and 15 percent in New Hampshire. But both states came in close to the countrywide figure of 39 percent in SUV sales: 37 percent for Iowa and 41 percent in New Hampshire.
But Edmunds.com notes that those in Iowa and New Hampshire, where people "pride themselves on hard-working, blue-collar values," opted for luxury models only 5 percent and 8 percent of the time, respectively.
Perhaps not surprisingly, in Iowa, where corn is king, buyers leaned toward flexible-fuel models — those able to use gas with high ratios of corn-based ethanol — in 16 percent of new-car purchases, compared to the national and New Hampshire figure of 11 percent.
Red state, blue state?
Both Iowa and New Hampshire went Democratic in the 2012 presidential election, making them blue states. And when it came to vehicle color, both the Hawkeye State and the Granite State outpaced the nation by voting along party lines.
Buyers in Iowa went for shades of blue with 9.4 percent of new-vehicle purchases, and those in New Hampshire showed their true-blue colors 12.1 percent of the time. By comparison, all U.S. buyers chose that color in 9.1 percent of cases.
But red held its own. Nationwide, it was the preferred choice for 11.1 percent of buyers, topped by Iowans at 14.1 percent and New Hampshirites at 11.9 percent.
And while political debate continues during the season of caucuses and primaries, U.S. car shoppers, including those in Iowa and New Hampshire, still see some issues in black and white.
Together, those two colors were chosen by 44.2 percent of new-car buyers nationwide, as well as by 43.1 of those in Iowa and 37.1 percent in New Hampshire.
Edmunds says: Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire tend to pick winners in the voting booth and in the showroom.