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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