Were you born somewhere between 1976 and the early 1990s? Are you the child of a so-called Baby Boomer? If so, you, like me, are a member of Generation Y. So, what does that mean? Well, nothing really, but it's a convenient way to classify a large chunk of the American population... and we should all get used to hearing how marketers are targeting us as their current and future consumers.
Such is the case with a recent study from AutoPacific, which finds that Generation Y will "redefine" the automotive market. It seems our generation is "willing to embrace new brands, new technology and alternative powertrains." That means electric cars, hybrids and clean diesels. We're also likely to want lots of electronic gadgetry in our cars and we expect that all that computing power will improve fuel mileage and environmental friendliness. Oh, and we don't necessarily want small cars.
So, to recap, we want large cars with good fuel economy, lots of technology and without too big a price increase... No problem, right?
Generation Y More Likely To Buy a Hybrid
Survey Shows Generation Y Frequently Multitasking While Driving
TUSTIN, Calif. (October 21, 2009) – Willing to embrace new brands, new technology and alternative powertrains, Generation Y will redefine the automotive market. A just released study on Generation Y new vehicle buyers in the United States shows Generation Y consumers 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. As the largest generation since the Baby Boomers continues to gain spending power and enter the new car market, which automakers will win their confidence? AutoPacific's study underscores the opportunities for automakers to reach Generation Y consumers as they move through their Teen, Young Adult and Young Family life-stages.
"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. Though many Generation Y consumers would choose a trip around the world over a luxury vehicle, Generation Y does expect that the vehicle they buy will be more than just basic transportation. "Generation Y is more likely than older generations to own portable electronics, more likely to research their vehicle options on the Internet, and an astonishing 29% more likely to frequently multi-task while driving. They know what's out there, they know the economical and environmental problems we face, and their vehicle expectations reflect that knowledge."
AutoPacific's study – "The Generation Y Opportunity" – is based on the results of AutoPacific's annual survey of over 32,000 new car and light truck buyers in the United States. The study looks closely at Generation Y recent buyers of new vehicles and how they compare to older generations. In many ways, Generation Y is following in the footsteps of their Baby Boomer parents, but more extreme. The study details current Generation Y new car buyers and the future market.
Despite popular belief, Generation Y is not a Compact Car generation. Over half of Generation Y is considering purchasing a mid-size car, mid-size crossover SUVs are high on their list as well. They expect that technology will improve fuel economy and environmental friendliness and allow them to purchase a vehicle that is sized to meet their personal needs. "Don't be fooled by the growth of certain segments over the years," says Peterson. "The Compact Car segment shows sales growth, yet a new Toyota Corolla is similar in size to an older Toyota Camry. Vehicles have gotten larger over time but segments have not been redefined. Ultimately, Generation Y consumers are purchasing vehicles that are sized appropriately to their needs and lifestyle,"
The AutoPacific Generation Y Opportunity is conducted annually to determine who Generation Y buyers are and what they want from their future cars, including size, engine, transmission and attributes like entertainment features, luxury features, in-vehicle communications and comfort and convenience features.