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Generation Y Car Buyers: ‘We Will When We Can Afford To’

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Generation Y car buyers - Honda Fit

Generation Y car buyers sure the love the Honda Fit.

Wondering what the future holds for automobiles? Look to Generation Y, the next generation of car buyers. A new Deloitte LLP study which surfaced a couple weeks ago explains the trends we can expect from this generation in terms of car buying, and what it could (and likely does) mean for the auto industry.

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Unlike the generations before it that were concerned with performance numbers, Generation Y car buyers are more interested in practicality, i.e. can they afford it and is it a good investment? Having come of age during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, Gen Y car buyers are looking to save every penny they can, so they want incredibly fuel-efficient and reliable cars at a cost that they can afford (since they’ll be busy paying off student loans until their 157th birthday). They also want cars that cater to their technology obsession, and featuring the car in a fun color (like the Chevy Sonic and Spark) couldn’t hurt either.

Never fear, Generation Y. The auto industry is and has been listening to your needs, with more hybrids, EVs, diesels, and even hydrogen-powered vehicles than we ever thought possible, and enough technology enhancements to entertain a robot. The trick now is making these green and tech-geared cars more affordable.

And for those who worry that cars are going to become less practical with the advent of texting, video chatting, and online shopping, the data from the study suggest that we’ll all still be using our cars on a daily basis. In fact, three in five youngsters plan to buy/lease a car in the next three years, and fewer than one in 10 claim that they’ll never buy or lease a vehicle. (We look forward to seeing seven-tenths of a person walking down the street while we all zip past in our hybrids one of these days.)

A key to getting Generation Y car buyers behind the wheel is going to be lowering price points. By offering less expensive, more compact vehicles, automakers will make driving a car more possible for Gen Y members.

Happy driving, Gen Y!

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