Youngest Car Buyers Seek Out Foreign Brands

Huw Evans
by Huw Evans

Collectively known as Generation Y or Millennials, those born after 1980 appear to be showing an even greater preference for ‘foreign’ brand cars in North America than even Gen-X members or the baby boomers before them.

According to a 2009-2010 study by Santa Monica, CA based data firm, vehicle brands most likely to be considered by buyers aged between 18 and 27, were Japanese, Korean and German.

Toyota’s youth-oriented Scion brand had the biggest penetration among Gen Y car buyers, some 21.2 percent, followed by Mitsubishi, Mazda, Nissan, Volkswagen and Kia.

The only domestic manufacturer to feature in the top 10, was Ford, with it’s Focus compact. Part of the reason why such import brands are favored among youth, is believed to result from a higher level of customization and personalization offered, as well as a greater level of integrated technology, something that Scion, in particular actively promotes. “Our young buyers are looking for ways to connect with their personal devices,” stated Craig Taguchi, a spokesman for Scion.

Automakers have been keen to attract Millennials to their offerings, because even though they currently don’t wield a great deal of purchasing power, they are considered product savvy early adopters; defining trends that later become mainstream. Plus, as they get older and their earning potential increases, Gen Y members are expected to become the largest and most influential group of consumer spenders, which means they’ll be the ones most likely to spend money on new cars.

[Source: Detroit News]

Huw Evans
Huw Evans

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