Generation Y, the largest car-buying group since their baby boomer parents, will confound the problems facing domestic automakers, as their buying power continues to expand. This crowd at 75 million, and currently 15 years old to 32, already surpasses boomers in shear numbers, so they will ultimate redefine the market.
A just released study on Gen Y new vehicle buyers in the United States shows they are more likely than the generations before them to consider purchasing a Chinese or Indian branded vehicle, more willing to accept hybrid powertrains, and more likely to want the latest entertainment technology in their vehicle. They also view Japanese and German car brands much more favorably than their parents do.
Gen Y also places much more emphasis on image and price than older generations. Moreover, when buying American vehicles – 26% of Gen Y said that they would only consider buying American makes compared with 39% of older generations.
“Growing up with continuously evolving technology and electronics has given Generation Y a unique ability to adapt easily to change, a willingness to accept new brands, and an expectation that their vehicle provide the best of what is available,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, the research firm that conducted the study.