Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Used or Formerly Owned Automobiles - US - February 2009

The recession and a drop in consumer demand for automobiles are affecting automakers and dealers of both new and used vehicles. These trends are forcing dealers to take a hard look at their offerings and identify new strategies to survive in this more challenging environment. The findings in this report can also help auto makers refine their pre-owned programs to make them as appealing as possible to consumers considering a particular auto brand. More specifically, this report addresses the following questions:

  • What is the size of the used car market, and how is the market likely to grow or contract in the future?
  • How do trends in sales of used cars differ from the used truck segment?
  • What macro-level economic factors are driving or impeding industry growth?
  • What drives consumer demand for used cars and trucks?
  • What makes and models of used vehicles are most popular with consumers?
  • What factors tend to have the most influence on the probability that a consumer will purchase a vehicle from one dealer over another?
  • What can dealers do to ensure they provide a shopping experience that resonates with buyers?
  • Which segments of the population over-index on used auto purchase, and how do these segments differ from low demand segments?

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Sales data
              • Abbreviations and terms
              • Executive Summary

                  • Market size and forecast
                    • Competitive context
                      • Segment performance
                        • Market drivers
                          • Used vehicle usage
                            • Brand qualities
                              • Most popular type of used cars
                                • Where consumers purchase used cars
                                  • Innovation and innovators
                                    • Advertising and promotion
                                      • Buying cars for commuting purposes and for children
                                        • Attributes commonly considered when purchasing a used vehicle
                                          • Reasons for purchasing used vehicle
                                            • Most important elements of the purchase process
                                              • Race and ethnicity
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Used auto sales more profitable than new cars
                                                  • Consider partnering with food, discount or department stores to create in-store used car marketing kiosks
                                                    • Routinely survey current and potential customers in order to learn how to better serve them and gain competitive advantage
                                                      • Online search tools likely to become more popular, especially during recession
                                                        • Develop viral campaigns to drive word of mouth recommendations
                                                          • Consider promoting vehicles through mobile phone alerts and promotions
                                                            • Annual increases in vehicle cost despite monthly payment sweet spot
                                                              • Demand for used cars higher among Spanish-speaking Hispanics, who also tend to be more receptive to marketing efforts
                                                                • Figure 1: Attitudes toward advertising among Hispanics, by language preference, May 2006-June 2007
                                                                • Figure 2: Metropolitan areas with the largest number of Hispanic residents, by country of origin, 2006
                                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                                • Trend 1: Drive Less, Get More
                                                                  • What’s it all about
                                                                    • What we’ve seen
                                                                      • Implications
                                                                        • Trend 2: Customization
                                                                          • What’s it all about?
                                                                            • What we’ve seen
                                                                              • Implications
                                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Sales of cars and trucks drop as a result of recessionary pressures and a drop in consumer demand
                                                                                    • Figure 3: Total U.S. sales of used cars and trucks at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                    • Figure 4: Total U.S. sales of used cars and trucks at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                  • Unit sales remain well below 2002 levels; price increases partially mitigated effect of low sales volume
                                                                                    • Figure 5: Total number of used cars and trucks sold in US, 2002-07
                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Use of public transportation, bikes and walking on the rise
                                                                                      • Figure 6: Incidence of public transportation use, by age, October 2008
                                                                                    • Zipcar provides viable alternative to ownership for millions of urban dwellers and college students
                                                                                      • The internet is making it easier for individual sellers to compete with dealerships
                                                                                      • Segment Performance

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Used trucks sales grew faster than cars during the housing boom
                                                                                            • Fuel economy concerns will fuel used car growth, hinder used truck growth
                                                                                              • Figure 7: U.S. sales of used cars and trucks, by segment, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Figure 8: U.S. sales of used cars and trucks, by segment, 2006 and 2008
                                                                                            • 35-44 year olds spend the most on used cars and trucks
                                                                                              • Figure 9: Percentage of US used car and truck sales, by age of householder, 2006
                                                                                          • Segment Performance—Used Cars

                                                                                            • Some dealers focus more on used segment as new car sales plummet, and used sales remain relatively steady
                                                                                              • Figure 10: Total U.S. sales of used cars at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Figure 11: Total U.S. sales of used cars at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                          • Segment Performance—Used Trucks

                                                                                            • Used truck market showed momentary resilience, but is poised for continued decline
                                                                                              • Figure 12: Total U.S. sales of used trucks at current prices, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Figure 13: Total U.S. sales of used trucks at inflation-adjusted prices, 2003-13
                                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Consumer confidence undermines willingness to purchase automobiles
                                                                                                • Figure 14: Consumer sentiment index, 2001-08
                                                                                              • Used car segment may be less susceptible to recessionary pressures
                                                                                                • Americans are keeping their cars longer
                                                                                                  • Young adult segment will help drive market growth
                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Population aged 18 or older, 2003-13
                                                                                                  • Increase in Hispanic population will help fuel used vehicle market growth
                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Population by race and Hispanic origin, 2003-13
                                                                                                  • American lifestyles changing, many driving less
                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Number of miles driven annually on all U.S. roads, November 2003-November 2008
                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Eco-friendly strategies for reducing energy spending, by age, October 2008
                                                                                                  • From extra credit in 2003 to insufficient credit in 2008
                                                                                                    • Bailout of U.S. auto companies could aid sales of U.S. made used cars
                                                                                                    • Brand Qualities

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Most popular used makes and models
                                                                                                          • Japanese mid-size vehicles among the most popular in the U.S.
                                                                                                            • Figure 19: Ranking of 10 most popular types of used vehicles, Q2 and Q3 of 2008
                                                                                                          • Consumer perceptions of popular makes and models
                                                                                                            • Honda
                                                                                                              • Toyota
                                                                                                                • Ford
                                                                                                                  • Domestic models popular among used car buyers
                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Brand of car most recently acquired, by acquisition type, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • The LIVE X/Wal-Mart partnership
                                                                                                                      • CarMax: Creating a seamless transition between online research and the purchase process
                                                                                                                        • Creating confidence: The Hyundai Assurance
                                                                                                                          • GPS to ensure vehicles are not lost when loans default
                                                                                                                            • Certified pre-owned programs
                                                                                                                            • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Analysis of key advertising themes
                                                                                                                                  • Technology and twenty-somethings
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: The way car buying should be, carmax,.com, 2008
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Cars.com ad targeted to young males ad, 2008
                                                                                                                                  • Pre-owned BMWs: Too good to be true?
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Man Brings Priest with him, 2008
                                                                                                                                    • The importance of the internet: Most customers conduct research and purchase a car they found online
                                                                                                                                      • Carmax.com
                                                                                                                                        • Usedcars.com
                                                                                                                                          • Marketing strategies to drive growth
                                                                                                                                            • Providing customers with the emotional experience they want
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Feeling experienced when driving, August-September 2008
                                                                                                                                            • The rise of 2.0 and importance of community
                                                                                                                                              • The importance of Hispanics
                                                                                                                                              • Used Vehicle Usage

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Most households own a used vehicle; young adults heavy users
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Incidence of used car purchase, by age, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Households with 18-24 year olds have a higher average number of used vehicles
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Number of used vehicles owned in household, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Lower income households more likely to purchase used cars
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Incidence of used car purchase, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                    • Demand for used cars often higher in rural areas
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Number of used vehicles owned in household, by population density, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                  • Most Popular Type of Used Cars

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Midsize cars most popular used models
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Type of car most recently acquired, by acquisition type, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Four-door passenger sedans are a hot item
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Vehicle type, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                        • Most customers favor models that are at least three years old
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Age of last used vehicle bought, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                      • Where Consumers Purchase Used Cars

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Dealerships are the most commonly utilized channel
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Purchase location of last used vehicle, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Purchase location of last used vehicle, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                          • Common Uses of Used Cars

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Commuting most common use of used cars
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Primary purpose of used vehicle, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Primary purpose of used vehicle, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                            • Attributes Commonly Considered when Purchasing a Used Vehicle

                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                • Comfort, gas mileage, and performance most important attributes
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Most important factors in purchase besides price and odometer reading, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Most important factors in purchase besides price and odometer reading, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                • Reasons for Purchasing Used Vehicle

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Affordability and need for better gas mileage key drivers of used vehicle purchase
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Reason for purchasing a used opposed to new vehicle, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Reason for purchasing a used opposed to new vehicle, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                    • Most Important Elements of the Purchase Process

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • Test drive, vehicle history report, and dealer warranty all critical elements in closing a deal
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Most important purchase process components, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Most important part of the purchasing process, by age, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                        • Race and Ethnicity

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics over-index on used car purchase and have higher average annual expenditures
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Incidence of used car purchase, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Number of used vehicles owned in household, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics spend far more on used trucks than non-Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Average annual expenditure on used cars and trucks, Hispanic vs. Non-Hispanic, 2006
                                                                                                                                                                            • Demand for used cars is higher among Spanish speaking Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Vehicle most recently acquired in Hispanic households, by language preference, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics and whites somewhat more likely to favor American-made vehicles
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Brand of used car most recently acquired, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics and blacks driven to purchase largely by need for commute vehicle
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Primary purpose of used vehicle, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Hispanics and blacks often purchase older vehicles with more miles than the average
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: mileage at point of purchase of last used vehicle bought, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                            • Dealer financing especially important to Hispanics and blacks
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Most important part of the purchasing process, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                          • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                              • Testers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Dealers
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Traders
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Who they are
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: How many used vehicles does your household own? by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Where did you purchase your last used vehicle? by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 53: Why did you purchase a used vehicle and not a new vehicle? by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 54: What was the mileage of the last used vehicle your household bought at point of purchase?, by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 55: Which of these components of the purchase process of a used car were most important to you?, by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 56: Thinking about the last used vehicle your household bought, what kind is it?, by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 57: For what primary purpose(s) does the used vehicle your household uses the most serve?, by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: How old is the last used vehicle your household bought?, by used car clusters, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Used car clusters by gender, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Used car clusters by age group, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Used car clusters by income group, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Used car clusters by race, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 63: Used car clusters by Hispanic origin, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Young males, families with teens and the working class are key elements of the target market
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Incidence of used car purchase, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Market for most popular midsize models diverse
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Incidence of used car purchase, by income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Brand of used car most recently acquired, by HH income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Type of used car most recently acquired, by race/ethnicity, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Most important factors in purchase besides price and odometer reading, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Vehicle type, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Age of last used vehicle bought, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Purchase location of last used vehicle, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Reason for purchasing a used opposed to new vehicle, by race/ethnicity, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Reason for purchasing a used opposed to new vehicle, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Type of car most recently acquired, by HH income, April 2007-June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Vehicle type, by income, November 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • AB Volvo
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • American International Automobile Dealers Association
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Public Relations Council (APRC)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bentley (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • BMW of North America, LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • CarMax, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Craigslist
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ferrari S.p.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • J.D. Power and Associates
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mazda North American Operations
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Volkswagen of America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Zipcar, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Used or Formerly Owned Automobiles - US - February 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                                        £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)