Millennials Covet Luxury Auto Brands

It’s a myth that Millennials aren’t interested in car buying.

Not only are they actively researching buying cars online, they are mostly looking into high-end brands, according to Quantcast, a global technology company that measures data and cultural trends online.

The segment comprises 32% of the online car-purchasing funnel — higher than the 30% Millennials made up of the total online population. 

Car marketers need to be aware that their audience is much broader and more diverse than the one they are targeting, Michael Walters, director of the auto vertical at Quantcast, tells Marketing Daily.

“With the amount of data available at our fingertips, we see this all the time — an audience a brand may assume isn’t buying its product is actually an untapped resource that brand marketers should be reaching for,” he says.



Millennials in the market for cars are more likely to be higher-income ($100-150K) and more likely to have children than their Millennial counterparts.

The most popular car brands for Millennials compared to overall consumers interested in cars were Lexus, BMW and Acura, according to Quantcast.

“So often, Millennials are spoken about as Snapchat-obsessed teens, but in reality, many of them are entering very adult milestones in their lives like buying homes, having children, and making big purchases like luxury vehicles,” Walters says.

Females were more interested in the details of the car-buying process — how much will it cost (using financing calculators), building specific car models and requesting more information from dealerships, while shoppers closer to making a decision (requesting quotes, finding dealerships) over-indexed with males.

The data is consistent across urban/suburban areas when compared to the Internet population, according to Quantcast. This means, for example, that 26% of Millennials live in urban areas and 26% of people in the car process live in urban areas. There is no skew toward rural or suburban places for car-buying Millennials. 

For auto marketers, in particular, it would be wise to start collecting this data and creating a taxonomy of buying patterns and interests within the Millennial age group, he says. 

“The more you can understand the different types of Millennials, the more you can whittle down to precise behaviors and take action on them,” Walters adds.

Quantcast looked at a sample of 80,000 Millennials showing interest in purchasing a car in the United States from February 20 to March 22.

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