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Family Car Buying - US - July 2016

"The family car market in the US is an increasingly diverse and crowded segment with a wide variety of offerings to match an even wider variety of family car buyers. Families range from single-parent single-child homes to multigenerational households with multiple children. This Report will dive into the profiles of family car buyers, their motivations, features that appeal to them, and how they are marketed to."
- Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Safety remains the top priority for family car buyers
  • Long family road trips are the litmus test for family cars
  • Families seek new technology in their vehicles

While there is no official definition of a “family car,” for the purposes of this Report Mintel defines family cars as vehicles large enough to comfortably transport a family of four or more people. This includes midsize cars, full-size cars, midsize and full-size SUVs, midsize and full-size crossovers, and minivans. Additionally, several models of pickup trucks and conversion/cargo vans are family oriented.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Safety remains the top priority for family car buyers
            • Figure 1: Technology and safety features – Five star rating, by parental status, May 2016
            • Figure 2: Family vehicle attitudes – Crash impact rating, by parental status, May 2016
          • Long family road trips are the litmus test for family cars
            • Figure 3: Family vehicle attitudes – Road trips, by presence of children in the household by age, May 2016
          • Families seek new technology in their vehicles
            • Figure 4: Family vehicle attitudes – A family car should have the latest technology features, by presence of children in the household, May 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Millennials are starting families en masse
              • Figure 5: Mean age, by birth order, US, 2000-14
            • Larger families are willing to pay more for entertainment
              • Figure 6: Technology and safety features – Vehicle-sourced Wi-Fi, by presence of children in the household, May 2016
              • Figure 7: Technology and safety features – Rear passenger entertainment system, by presence of children in the household, May 2016
            • Expecting parents are more than twice as likely to purchase a car by May 2017
              • Figure 8: Purchase intent, by expectant vs nonexpectant parents, May 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • SUVs and crossovers dominate the family car market
                • Sedans still heavily considered
                  • Minivan sales level off
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Consistent growth expected for family car market
                      • Figure 9: Total US unit sales and fan chart forecast for family cars, 2011-21
                  • Market Breakdown

                      • Figure 10: Total US unit sales of family cars, by segment, 2011-15
                      • Figure 11: Total US unit sales of family cars, by segment, 2013 and 2015
                  • Market Factors

                    • Average age of first-time mothers at record high
                      • Figure 12: Share of US population by generation, 2011-21 
                      • Figure 13: US births, by age of mother, 2014
                    • Low gas prices fuel larger vehicle sales, hurt EVs and hybrids
                      • Figure 14: All grades all formulations retail gasoline prices, dollars per gallon, January 2007-May 2016
                    • Average age of vehicles on the road continues to rise
                      • Figure 15: Average age of passenger cars and light trucks, 2002-15
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Fiat Chrysler attempts to bring back the minivan with the Pacifica
                      • Ford sits atop the midsize crossover/SUV segment
                        • Hybrid and electric vehicles struggle among family car market
                        • Manufacturer Sales

                            • Figure 16: Total market manufacturer shares 2014 and 2015
                          • Ford leads 2016 midsize crossover/SUV sales with the Explorer
                            • Honda has the best-selling full-size crossover/SUV, but GM has a lot more available
                              • Toyota’s balanced offerings places it second in overall crossover/SUV sales
                                • Jeep brand tows Fiat Chrysler into third in crossover/SUV sales
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • SUV and Crossover sales
                                    • Autonomous safety features gaining demand
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Hybrid and electric vehicles struggle to gain foothold in the family car market
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Manufacturers put the pedal to the metal for cars without pedals
                                          • Tesla leads the way but auto manufacturers are racing to catch up
                                            • Fiat Chrysler revamps the minivan with the Chrysler Pacifica
                                              • Figure 17: Chrysler Pacifica ad starring Jim Gaffigan, April 2016
                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                            • Families want preventative safety features
                                              • Women interested in SUVs and crossovers place higher value on safety
                                                • Consumers don’t want rear entertainment systems...until they have kids
                                                • Purchase Intent

                                                  • Expecting parents expect to buy
                                                    • Figure 18: Purchase intent, by expectant vs nonexpectant parents, May 2016
                                                  • More children in the household increase likelihood of purchase
                                                    • Figure 19: Purchase intent, by presence of children under age 18 in the household, May 2016
                                                  • Hispanics and Asians are likely to purchase soon
                                                    • Figure 20: Purchase intent, by race and Hispanic origin, May 2016
                                                • Type of Vehicles Planned to Purchase

                                                  • Sedans and SUVs reign supreme
                                                    • Figure 21: Types of vehicles considered, May 2016
                                                  • Women more likely to consider SUVs and crossovers than men are
                                                    • Figure 22: Types of vehicles considered, by gender, May 2016
                                                  • Minivans aren’t just for soccer moms, but also soccer dads
                                                  • Interest in Vehicle Features and Anticipated Spend

                                                    • Consumers willing to pay for the latest innovations that improve safety
                                                      • Figure 23: Correspondence analysis – Technology and safety features, May 2016
                                                    • Parents will pay for rear entertainment once there are two or more kids
                                                      • Figure 24: Safety and technology features – Rear passenger entertainment system, by presence of children under 18 in the household, May 2016
                                                  • Importance of Vehicle Features

                                                    • Large cargo space and folding rear seats appeal to many
                                                      • Figure 25: Cargo and passenger features May 2016
                                                    • Millennials want room for multiple child seats
                                                      • Figure 26: Cargo and passenger features – Room for multiple child seats, by expectant vs nonexpectant parents and Millennials vs non-Millennials, May 2016
                                                    • Expecting parents want remote powered trunks and doors
                                                      • Figure 27: Cargo and passenger features, by expectant vs nonexpectant parents, May 2016
                                                  • Attitudes toward Family Cars

                                                    • Road trips make the family car
                                                      • Family cars should go the distance
                                                        • Figure 28: Family vehicle attitudes – Road trips and longevity, May 2016
                                                      • Millennials want a cool looking family car
                                                        • Figure 29: Family vehicle attitudes – A family car should look stylish/cool, by generation, May 2016
                                                      • Millennials want automatic braking and collision sensors
                                                        • Figure 30: Family vehicle attitudes – Automatic braking and collision sensors, by generation, May 2016
                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                      • Data sources
                                                        • Sales data
                                                          • Fan chart forecast
                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Terms
                                                                  • Appendix – Market

                                                                      • Figure 31: Total US unit sales and forecast of family car buying, 2011-21
                                                                      • Figure 32: Total US unit sales of mainstream family cars, 2011-15
                                                                      • Figure 33: Total US unit sales of luxury family cars, 2011-15
                                                                  • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                      • Figure 34: Total full size car market share by manufacturer, 2014 and 2015
                                                                      • Figure 35: Total full size crossover/SUV market share by manufacturer, 2014 and 2015
                                                                      • Figure 36: Total midsize car market share by manufacturer, 2014 and 2015
                                                                      • Figure 37: Total midsize crossover/SUV market share by manufacturer, 2014 and 2015
                                                                      • Figure 38: Total minivan market share by manufacturer, 2014 and 2015

                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                  To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                  Family Car Buying - US - July 2016

                                                                  £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)