BANDON, Ore. — The Hispanic consumer segment is returning to car dealerships and is slated to make up 13 percent of new and 14 percent of used sales within the next few years, according to data from CNW Research.

The market research firm’s prediction is based on its CNW Purchase Path Study, which is conducted in English and in a variety of Spanish dialects. The study predicts that Hispanics will purchase 1.76 million new and 5.14 million used vehicles in 2013. By 2016, those figures are predicted to rise to 2.23 million new and 5.95 million used vehicle purchased by the consumer segment.

The high water mark was set in 2006, when Hispanic consumers were responsible for 12.9 percent of new vehicles sold that year. That number will not be exceeded until 2016 when an estimated 16.8 million vehicles will be sold. Of those, 13.25 percent will be acquired by Hispanic consumers, representing 2.23 million sales.

“The lower share of sales is directly traceable to the recession, with Hispanic unemployment rates far outdistancing the overall national figure …, ” wrote Art Spinella of CNW Research, noting work hours for Hispanic families fell to 50.2 in 2011 from a high in 2001 of 61.4 hours.

“That, along with other influences, have resulted in shifts in attitudes and buying habits among Hispanic vehicle shoppers.”

The Purchase Path Study also found that Hispanic shoppers in 2013 through August had an average of 5.1 models on their active shopping list. In comparison, in 2000, Hispanic shoppers had only 4.3 models under consideration.

Two weeks prior to acquisition, that shopping list had been pared down to 1.5 models. A dozen years ago, it was only 1.1 models.

“The ‘take away’ from this data is simple: Hispanic shoppers are becoming more open to alternative brands and are less brand loyal than they were in 2000,” Spinella said.

In 2000, more than 64 percent of Hispanic vehicle buyers replaced their car or truck with a vehicle from the same manufacturer. This dropped to 55.8 percent in the first seven months of 2013.