Generation Y has overtaken Generation X among car shoppers, according to a new report on US retail vehicle sales from J.D. Power.

Through 2014, Generation Y, or those born between 1977 and 1994, make up 26 percent of new retail sales compared to 24 percent of Gen X, or those born between 1965 and 1976. For full-year sales, we need to look back to 2013, where Gen X maintained its 24-percent share to Gen Y's 23-percent stake.

Of course, the large, powerful Baby Boomer generation (1946 to 1964) is still dominant, retaining 38 percent of sales through 2014, which is actually down from its 2013 total of 39 percent.

Meanwhile, Gen X, which has the disadvantage of representing a mere 12-year span compared to Gen Y's 18-year spread, will continue to see its influence decline relative to the youths. Sales are expected to grow a mere six percent for X, compared to 16 percent for Y.

Scroll down for the full press release on the study from J.D. Power.
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J.D. Power Reports: Gen Y Now Buying More New Vehicles Than Gen X, but Still Trails Boomers

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Gen Y consumers are now accounting for a larger percentage of U.S. new-vehicle retail sales than their older Gen X counterparts, according to an analysis by J.D. Power.

Year to date in 2014, Gen Y (born 1977-1994) has accounted for 26 percent of new-vehicle retail sales, putting sales to that generational group ahead of those to Gen X (born 1965-1976) for the first time. Gen X buyers purchased 24 percent of new-vehicles in the same period, according to data collected by the Power Information Network® (PIN) from J.D. Power.

Boomers (born 1946-1964) are still the largest group of buyers of new vehicles, accounting for 38 percent of new vehicles sold during the first half of the year.

In 2013, Boomers accounted for 39 percent of new-vehicle retail sales, followed by Gen X at 24 percent and Gen Y at 23 percent.

Gen Y sales volume is on pace to grow 16 percent for the full year 2014, compared with 2013, while Gen X sales volumes are expected to increase 6 percent during this time frame.

"As Gen Y consumers enter new life stages, earn higher incomes and grow their families, their ability and desire to acquire new vehicles is increasing," said Thomas King, vice president of PIN. "As new-vehicle demand among Gen Y consumers increases, it will be important for automakers to respond to the needs of these consumers, not only in terms of the vehicle design, but also the marketing, sales and service experience."

PIN data shows that Gen Y customers tend to favor smaller vehicles, with compact/small vehicle segments accounting for nearly half of all Gen Y purchases. Compact car is the most popular segment for Gen Y, with 20 percent of every vehicle sold to the group coming from this segment. In contrast, Gen X favors midsize vehicles. For Gen X, compact SUV is the most popular segment, accounting for 15 percent of sales to this generation.


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  • 15 Comments
      usa1
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm a Gen Xer and always notice a bias towards Baby Boomers and Gen Y. Gen X is small everyone says. This is used by many writers to skip Gen X and only talk about themselves (Baby Boomers) or their kids (Gen Y). There are demographic numbers to support that birth rates were lower in Gen X years, but they always skew it with arbitrary year ranges on what "counts" to make it more dramatic. Look at the ranges of dates they count in this article. Baby boomers: 1946-1964 = 19 years, Gen X: 1965-1976 = 12 years, Gen Y: 1977 -1994 =18 years. Useless data and terms. Next.
        Steve
        • 4 Months Ago
        @usa1
        That is because they keep making Gen Y bigger and bigger and changing the years of Gen X, so it's hard to even know who these articles are talking about. Some articles say Gen Y is 1977 to 2000, others use the years in this article, other say Gen X is 1961 or 1964 to 1981. Other say Gen Y starts in 1980, 1981, or 1982. Personally, I think up to 1981 belongs in Gen X. I used to think differently, but if someone was a kid in the 80s I don't see how they get lumped in with people who were little kids in the 90s or even the 2000s - and then have a bunch of assumptions applied to them. It's actually pretty annoying.
      schizzle
      • 4 Months Ago
      Citing YouTube, Google and other Gen-X triumphs as evidence, Jeff Gordiner writes that "GenXers are doing the quiet work of keeping America from sucking." Letters from the Forgotten Generation X https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140704064938-76976526-letter-from-the-forgotten-generation?fb_action_ids=10152544457284675&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B727975280597253%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D&_mSplash=1
      dovegraybird
      • 4 Months Ago
      I've always thought that if my generation was so great as they say, we would have come up with better names than Gen X and Gen Y.
        yonomo200
        • 4 Months Ago
        @dovegraybird
        I think "Generation X" was coined to express the relative anonymity of those who had a defining existence as "Baby Boomers" and "The Greatest Generation," while "Generation Y" is merely an extension of this. "Millennials" seems to be interchangeable with Gen Y. It also seems to mark the return of having a major event with which to identify the particular generation.
      jebibudala
      • 4 Months Ago
      Yeah, but how many of the purchases were done with mommy and daddy's money?
      HateUK
      • 4 Months Ago
      80's baby here, I've owned 2 cars in my life, both been on magazine covers. But people my age and younger were raised (hardly) by the weakest generation, the ones directly responsible for the decline of western civilization. So the idiocy of new-medioce-car-every-3-years will continue unabated.
      Kuro Houou
      • 4 Months Ago
      I thought gen x went to the early 80's like 1965 to 1984? Surely gen x didn't end at 76!
      drewbiewhan
      • 4 Months Ago
      Gen Y? I thought we settled on "Millenials"?
      svntsvn
      • 4 Months Ago
      Gen X gets the SHAFT. Gen Y expects to take everything for free from society, work less, make more. Pay your dues s bags
      Jonathan D.
      • 4 Months Ago
      Well, this does make sense. Since there is a larger span of time, there are probably physically more people in the Gen Y bracket. I myself am a part of Gen Y and I leased a new vehicle last year. It is a necessity to purchase a vehicle where I live as it is relatively rural, yet we are 45 minutes from NYC. You basically have to drive everywhere as there is little mass transit. Probably a large reason for the 2014 rise in sales is that my birth year (92) kids have graduated college and need vehicles to get to work. I graduated this May and quite a few of my friends bought new or used vehicles to be able to commute. Thing is, from what I've noticed, kids my generation keep their vehicles 3-5 years even though we live in a relatively wealthy part of the country. I'm surprised, I was expecting people to dump their cars after 2 years. (Cars almost always bought by mom and dad) I kept my 1st car for 6 years before leasing this new one and I decided to hold onto it. New cars are getting stupidly expensive and I only managed to get mine for $19,000 due to hefty discounts as well as opting for a manual transmission. After the lease is up on this car in 3 years, I believe the majority of people my age will continue to lease as it is the cheapest way to get into a new car. All else fails, I still have my 13 year old Tahoe to putter around town in. :)
      ChemicalNBC
      • 4 Months Ago
      I'm pretty sure this gen data is inaccurate, but it's cool to see millennials buying cars. Especially considering that NBC said just last year that, millennials are too busy being self-absorbed and playing on iPhones to care about driving a car. And yes they really said that in a evening news report.
      MechE
      • 4 Months Ago
      Genx has the best taste in cars. All manufacturers should tailor to Genx. ;-)
      jbm0866
      • 4 Months Ago
      I've seen GenX start at 64 or 65, and end at 76 or 80...doesn't really matter though. No matter where the start of finish date is, I'm firmly GenX, and my generation is getting old enough now that we know leases of any length are generally (but not always) a bad idea, and holding on to a car for 8-10 years is a much better one. We're also old enough to know that the "keeping up with the Joneses" game is one that you'll never win...unless you are the "Joneses", and in that case there is little point in playing.
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