Study: Younger Consumers Favor High Tech In Cars

Older consumers may have the cash for more sophisticated technology, but younger consumers actually want it more and are willing to pay for it -- although they don't like the price tag. 

According to a study by GfK and the Consumer Electronics Association, “GfK/CEA: The Future of Automotive Technology” about three-quarters of consumers between 25 and 34 and those between 18 and 24 are most interested in new technology. About 70% of the former and 61% of the latter (Gen Z), said they are “especially interested” in auto technology.

Younger car shoppers are not interested solely in the newest infotainment, per the study. They favor things like visual warning of nearby emergency vehicle activity, seats that automatically go to driver's preferred position, and spillproof car devices. Older consumers in the Generation X bracket, 35 to 44, are mildly interested in new technologies, while Boomers are far less interested.



On the pricing side, the younger people aren't so enthusiastic, as over half of Gen Z, and 46% of Gen Y checked the "yes" box to this statement in the study: “I'd love new auto technology, but it seems too expensive.”

Also, younger brackets are interested in a range of cars including midsize, which one usually associates with older people. The study said 44% of Gen Z say small to midsize sedans are their first choice for an intended vehicle purchase; the figure for Gen Y is 38%.

“We generally associate advanced technology with luxury vehicles for older buyers,” said Jeff Campana, SVP of GfK's Automotive team, in a statement. “But Generations Y and Z are already highly attuned to technology and its benefits –- not just Internet access on the go, but also safety and cleanliness features. We see a clear opportunity for auto makers to engage these essential groups by bringing advanced devices and services to Small Cars and Midsize Sedans, which are more within the grasp of young car buyers.”

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