A large percentage of younger consumers are planning to buy cars. Generations X and Y Account for 63% of U.S. Consumers Planning to Buy a Car with excitement and technology topping higher mileage for consideration points.
Baby Boomers are taking a backseat in the auto market, while Generations X and Y are now the car buyers to watch. That's part of the reason that smaller models are back. But it's not really because of the mileage benefits that small cars offer, per data from research firm GfK. What these younger small-car shoppers want is gadgets and adrenaline.
Looking at the swath of all vehicles in the market, research shows that Generations X and Y are 63% of new-vehicle intenders (who plan to buy a car in the next 12 months), and that the Generation Y group has grown by half versus last year, from 16% to 24% of all intenders, while Generation X remained steady at 39%. This year versus last, Boomers dropped from 33.6% to 30.3% of intenders.
Gen Y is especially strong against small cars, per the study, which finds that 29% of Gen Y consumers are small car intenders, versus 19% of Generation X and 19% of Baby Boomers.
“If manufacturers are going to capture the hearts and wallets of this growing generation of younger consumers, they’ll need to develop vehicles that appeal to their tastes and preferences,” said Jeff Campana, SVP at GfK Automotive, in a statement.
Gen Y buyers and Boomers diverge in key areas. While both Generation Y and Baby Boomers rank “Dependable” and “Proud to Own” near the tops of their lists, “Exciting” is #7 for Gen Y, versus #21 for Boomers; and “Technologically Advanced Features” ranks at #12 for Generation Y, compared to #22 for Boomers.
And younger buyers don't care about comfort and handling: “Excellent Ride” is #8 on Baby Boomer’s rankings, but #17 with Gen Y. Also “Excellent Gas Mileage” ranks at #11 for Boomers, compared to #13 for Gen Y.