A global survey of consumers shows that while young consumers may not be as passionate about cars as their parents, most still plan to buy or lease one within the next three years and they would like it to be a fully connected hybrid.
Of the cohort known as Generation Y, 61% say they intend to acquire a car in the next three years, with almost a quarter indicating they’ll get a new set of wheels within 12 months. Only 8 % of consumers born between 1977 and 1994 said they will never buy a vehicle, according to the survey by Deloitte LLP.
Automakers are increasingly targeting younger drivers through methods such as social-media ads amid concern they aren’t interested in cars. The study’s findings offer insight into how to get them into the showroom. While horsepower isn’t a lure, Internet access and fuel savings through gasoline-electric hybrids is.
“While Gen Y may not necessarily scrutinize horsepower, acceleration times or engine size, they do have clear needs, wants and desires, especially when it comes to remaining connected to all of their lifestyle technology while on the road,” Masa Hasegawa, a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, said in a statement. “Gen Y consumers across the board also want safety technology, especially features that mitigate the risks of distracted driving.”
Automakers and other marketers are keen to crack the code on selling to this younger demographic, a group of about 80 million consumers in the U.S. that’s almost as large as the Baby Boomer generation born after World War II. Yet automakers have said that winning over Generation Y is challenging because they are not as enamored with cars as their parents.
With 48.8 million consumers planning to purchase or lease a car in the next three years, the opportunity to cater to this generation is coming on fast, according to the study. Making that purchase affordable is the top priority to Generation Y. Some 64 % of Generation Y consumers told Deloitte they love their cars, yet they are three times more likely than other generations to abandon their vehicles if they become too costly.
Young consumers want fuel efficiency to come from new technology, with 59 % saying they expect to be driving a car with an alternative powertrain in the next five years. Hybrid electric cars are the group’s preferred vehicle, with 29 % saying they would opt for that propulsion system.