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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?

[Source: AutoPacific]

PRESS RELEASE:

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
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  • 43 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hate these labels. I was born in that time frame but don't tell me what i want, because while some of what was said was true, not all. I hate large cars. C class is as large as i will ever buy. B class is just fine for my family. I don't have any 7 foot tall teenage boys that need a van and my ego has nothing to do with what I drive. No male enhancement needed thank you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm in this category (1990) and I like cars with power. That's not gonna change. These new hybrids are nice and all but I couldn't really see them as my daily driver. My 99 Grand Prix has power when I need it and gets pretty good gas milage. These new hybrids are..well...slow. They don't move me. They don't. They are very advanced and have lots of new technology in them, but they just don't do it for me. I like their new technology and all but they are boring. The other hybrids like the Fusion, Camry, Escalade or the Lexus hybrids are better, in regards to performance and they have the better fuel economy. Those are the only hybrids I could really get interested in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmm, let's see. The Volt will cost about $18k more then a gas powered version. Can we have a bit of common sense here? Where are the "Y"ers coming up with this extra cash?

      All this "green" stuff is bunk. People can't afford cars 1/3rd as much extra upfront cost for possible savings down the road.

      The ONLY way new technology, expensive new technology comes to the masses is by early adopters spending the extra money for it. And since there is little to know advantage to electric or "alternative" fuel vehicles, expect them to fail unless the US government spends our kids future money to force it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      '76 here, and I wouldn't mind a nice little turbo diesel awd sedan with a few mods to make it the ultimate sleeper, and still get 40+ mpg. Yes please, where do I sign!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What do you expect, it's Autoblog, there's practically only sport cars fanatics here.
      I am Gen Y and Hybrids / high MPG cars are awesome period.

      There's no need for cars going over 80mph, because 1) it's illegal and 2) you can't even drive that fast because of traffic 999 times out of 1000. Betcha "mrsmooth"'s Grand Prix doesn't get him from A to B faster than the Hybrid driver. He just feels better about the small lump in his pants.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am delighted to see so many people on this post waking up to the fact the "green" agenda is truly being crammed down our throats and for Americans, the current far left party in power is really over-stepping their bounderies and intruding in our lives.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is autoblog, chances are a majority of the population is not represented here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Where I live, the majority of Prius owners are doing 80 + consistantly, every day on my 120 mile commute. You have to ask, what is the point? Then it all makes sense when I see the Obama bumper stickers......
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ummm... they are still getting pretty good mileage at 80 mph. Certainly better than the average car would get at the same speed. Would you prefer that they dawdle along at 55 in the fast lane like grandma in her Park Avenue with the big Bush/Cheney bumper sticker on it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everybody loves a V8 until your gas tank costs $150 to fill. Instead of turning my early retirement into burnt fuel, I think I'll drive a sporty, fun compact.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The so called y generation are the ones that love all their fast and furious copy cat cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I was born in 1980 and I want a Lotus Elise.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am from Generation Y, I drive a 451hp AMG, I don't care about "green cars". I paid my gas guzzler tax, I just want to go fast. I failed at being categorized by marketers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Most of Gen Y don't want to touch any car from Big 3 and right fully so they remember how awful the American cars where when they drove those cars as teens.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Christopher - Do you have any statistical data to support your statement or are you just reporting what you see? Where do you live? Not every part of the US looks the same.
        Christopher
        • 5 Years Ago
        from late 90's to early 200's only a slim margin of Gen Y drove any domestic products while they were in their ealry driving years. riced out older civics with honkin aftermarket stereo systems were what 95% of kids in high school lusted after from what i can remember. although every so often there was one of those rare outcasts that wanted something like a Z28 camaro or pontiac trans-am or ford mustang, or sometimes a rear drive monte carlo or cutlass supreme. that was maybe a small handful of driving age students. the rest was all civics with monster wings and fart pipes, and "rims" and stereos powerful enough to make you bleed outta your ears
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