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Sure, every age demographic is important to marketing and sales teams in the automotive industry. But automakers would love nothing more than to grab hold of a young person and instill brand loyalty at an early age.

Which manufacturers are actually doing that? According to a study conducted by TrueCar.com, car shoppers aged between 18 and 27 years old are flocking to Scion, Mitsubishi and Mazda.

Referred to as Generation Y, this group represents a vital segment of the car-shopping public. If a brand can grab you here, it has a strong chance of grabbing you again down the road. In 2009 and 2010, Scion was able to capture 21.2 percent of the Gen Y car buyers. Mitsubishi was close behind with 20.3 percent of that market, and Mazda was third with 10.7 percent. Surprisingly, Bugatti failed to make the list.

TrueCar.com also took a look at the specific models that appeal to this young segment of shoppers. The Scion tC, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Civic Si nabbed the top three spots for sales in the previous two years. Generation Y clearly has a thing for imports, and you can dig deeper into TrueCar's findings by reading the full press release posted after the jump.
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Youthful Car Brands Dominate Generation Y Buyers

Scion, Mitsubishi and Mazda Top List of Brands; Scion tC, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Civic Si Are Top Vehicles


SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Generation Y, the 18-27 age range that represents the newest demographic of car buyers chose car brands Scion, Mitsubishi and Mazda in the highest percentage, according to a new study by TrueCar.com, the authority on new car pricing and trends. The study reviewed the purchasing behavior of more than four million car buyers from 2009 and 2010.

"Generation Y buyers are very important to automakers because they help set trends from popularizing social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter or technologies such as the iPhone and iPod," said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Trends and Analysis at TrueCar.com. "It's also important for an automaker to get a young buyer into their vehicle from the beginning in hopes of continued loyalty to the brand."

The top brands for Generation Y buyers (ages 19-27) in 2009 and 2010 were:

Top Brands for Gen Y Buyers (Age 18-27) in 2009 and 2010

Rank | Brands | Percentage of Gen Y Buyers
1 Scion 21.2%
2 Mitsubishi 20.3%
3 Mazda 10.7%
4 Nissan 9.8%
5 Volkswagen 9.6%
6 Kia 9.1%
7 Hyundai 8.6%
8 Honda 8.0%
9 Toyota 7.6%
10 Subaru 7.3%

Digging further into the data, TrueCar.com was able to compile a list of the top models by Generation Y buyers purchased in 2009 and 2010, by percentage of buyers aged 18-27. Topping the list of models were models that offer the most amount of customization, such as the Scion tC, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Civic Si.

"Generation Y buyers want vehicles that look distinct and can be tailored to their individual tastes," said Kristen Andersson, Automotive Analyst for TrueCar.com. "Buyers from this generation are also looking for vehicles that have the technology features they are accustomed to built into the vehicle at an affordable price."

The top models for Generation Y buyers (ages 19-27) in 2009 and 2010 and the current percentage discount from MSRP are:

Top Models for Generation Y Buyers (Age 18-27) in 2009 and 2010 and Current Discount Percentage

Rank | Make/Model | MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) | Average Paid* | Percentage Discount from MSRP**

1 Scion tC $18,995 $18,994 0.3%
2 Mitsubishi Lancer $20,670 $18,975 8.2%
3 Honda Civic Si $22,975 $22,588 1.7%
4 Toyota Yaris Sedan $13,915 $13,405 3.7%
5 Ford Focus Coupe $17,365 $15,040 13.4%
6 Scion xD $15,830 $15,719 0.7%
7 Volkswagen GLI $25,365 $24,635 2.9%
8 Subaru Impreza $19,220 $18,805 2.2%
9 Kia Forte $15,690 $14,289 8.9%
10 Toyota Corolla $16,660 $15,731 5.6%
*Average paid is the estimated average transaction price of a vehicle after incentives.
** Percent Discount from MSRP is rounded to the nearest tenth

TrueCar.com's Best Local Price tool, provides shoppers the Lowest Certified Price, a "no-haggle" upfront price from nearly 5,000 participating dealers.

For more information on the top brands and models for Generation Y buyers in 2009 and 2010, please visit blog.truecar.com.