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Family Car Buying - US - December 2018

"The family car market in the US is a sizeable one, as nearly four in ten car shoppers have a child under 18 in the household or are expecting a child. While large, family car buyers are also diverse, ranging 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, and attitudes toward family cars."
- Buddy Lo, Automotive Analyst

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • The family car market by brand and vehicle style
  • Demographic breakouts of parents and expecting parents in the market for a new car
  • Desired features and the ideal family car
  • Parental attitudes toward family cars

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Family car shoppers predominantly middle-class
              • Figure 1: Profile of family car shoppers, August 2018
            • Family car shoppers more likely to consider used or CPO
              • Figure 2: Purchase type, by parents and expecting parents, August 2018
            • Smaller passenger cars passed up for more utilitarian crossovers and SUVs
              • Figure 3: Total US unit sales of new family vehicles, by segment, 2013-18
            • The opportunities
              • Parents or parents-to-be account for four in ten of in-market shoppers
                • Figure 4: Purchase intent, by family car shoppers, August 2018
              • Parents willing to pay extra for necessities like seating and cargo
                • Figure 5: Desired features, by family car shoppers, August 2018
              • Family road trips are a way to connect with shoppers
                • Figure 6: Attitudes toward family cars, part 1, August 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Positive sales forecast for family car market
                  • Parents in the US are getting older
                    • Emerging macroeconomic headwinds could stifle sales
                    • Market Size and Forecast

                      • Family car market forecasted for stable growth
                        • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of family vehicles, 2013-23
                        • Figure 8: Total US unit sales and forecast of new family vehicles, 2013-23
                    • Family Car Shoppers – By the Numbers

                      • Family car shoppers account for four in ten car shoppers
                        • Figure 9: Profile of family car shoppers, August 2018
                      • Parents are getting older
                        • Figure 10: Birth rates by age of mother, 2010-16
                        • Figure 11: Annual births and general fertility rate, 2006-17
                    • Market Breakdown

                      • Passenger cars sales plummet; shift to crossovers and SUVs
                        • Figure 12: Total US unit sales of new family vehicles, by segment, 2013-18
                    • Market Factors

                      • Consumer confidence and low unemployment will drive major purchases
                        • Figure 13: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2000-August 2018
                      • Increasing interest rates will raise costs for buyers
                        • Figure 14: Effective federal funds rate, Sept 2013-Oct 2018
                      • Level fuel prices bodes well for crossover and SUV segments
                        • Figure 15: US gasoline and diesel retail prices, January 2007-September 2018
                      • Trade disputes inject fear and uncertainty in the market
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Toyota’s well balanced lineup gives it a strong market share
                          • Volkswagen recovers from Dieselgate among 25-39-year-old parents
                            • Jeep’s SUV and crossover lineup driving success for the brand
                            • Company and Brand Sales of Family Cars

                              • Toyota’s diverse product line keeps consumers in the family
                                • Jeep sees recent success among younger parents
                                  • Figure 16: Market share of US new family car sales, by brand, 2013 - Oct 2018
                                • Fiat Chrysler dominate minivan segment with the Caravan and Pacifica
                                  • Figure 17: US minivan sales, by brand, 2013 - October 2018
                                  • Figure 18: Dodge Grand Caravan online display ad, October 2017
                                  • Figure 19: Chrysler Pacifica, online display ad, January 2018
                                  • Figure 20: Chrysler Pacifica online display ad, October 2018
                                • Luxury brands stop gaining ground in 2018 for family cars
                                  • Figure 21: Market share of family vehicles, by category, 2013-October 2018
                                • Volkswagen has highest index of ownership among parents 25-39
                                  • Figure 22: recently acquired vehicles, by brand, by parents aged 25-39, 2013-2018
                                  • Figure 23: Recently acquired brands, by parents 25-39, 2013-2018
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Fiat Chrysler’s minivan models outsell Odyssey and Sienna
                                  • Volkswagen increases SUV and crossover sales 170%
                                    • The family road trip remains a classic advertising trope
                                      • Figure 24: Hyundai Santa Fe commercial, “Not Flying”, September 2018
                                      • Figure 25: Volkswagen Atlas commercial, “Intersection”, October 2018
                                      • Figure 26: Buick Enclave commercial, “Yes”, May 2018
                                  • What’s Struggling?

                                    • Smaller passenger cars continue to lose market share to SUVs and crossovers
                                    • What’s Next?

                                      • Even more SUVs and crossovers expected to hit the market
                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                        • Four in ten car shoppers have children or expect a child
                                          • Passenger and cargo space will attract additional dollars from parents
                                            • Road trips are a quintessential family experience
                                            • Purchase Intent

                                              • Families more likely to be in the market sooner
                                                • Figure 27: Purchase intent, by parental status, August 2018
                                              • Age of child doesn’t impact purchase intent
                                                • Figure 28: Purchase intent, by presence and age of children in the household, August 2018
                                              • Family car buyers likely middle class Gen Xers and Millennials
                                                • Figure 29: Profile of family car shoppers, August 2018
                                            • Purchase and Driving Responsibility

                                              • Men more likely to be independent in purchasing
                                                  • Figure 30: Purchase responsibility, by parental status and gender, August 2018
                                                  • Figure 31: Purchase responsibility, by parental status and gender, August 2018
                                              • Vehicle Type

                                                • Families slightly more likely to seek larger vehicle types to meet cargo and seating needs
                                                  • Figure 32: Vehicle type, by parental status, August 2018
                                                • Younger children spur SUV consideration
                                                  • Figure 33: Vehicle type, by presence of children in household, August 2018
                                              • Purchase Type

                                                • Parents more likely to consider used and certified pre-owned
                                                  • Figure 34: Purchase type, by parents and expecting parents, August 2018
                                              • Family Car Characteristics

                                                • A family car needs to be safe, comfortable, and reliable
                                                  • Figure 35: Family car characteristics, August 2018
                                                • Messy toddlers make ‘easy to clean’ appealing
                                                    • Figure 36: Family car characteristics, by gender, August 2018
                                                    • Figure 37: Family car characteristics, by presence of children in the household, August 2018
                                                • Desired Features

                                                  • Parents looking to get “more car” for their dollar
                                                    • Figure 38: Desired features, by family car shoppers, August 2018
                                                  • Second child increases desire for WiFi
                                                    • Figure 39: Desired features, by number of children under 18 in the household, August 2018
                                                • Attitudes toward Family Cars

                                                  • Parents want a family road-trip-capable vehicle
                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward family cars, part 1, August 2018
                                                    • Technology can be a differentiator among family car shoppers
                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes toward family cars, part 2, August 2018
                                                      • Moms show more aversion to minivans
                                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes toward family cars, by gender, August 2018
                                                    • Cluster Analysis

                                                        • Figure 43: Cluster analysis, August 2018
                                                      • Quality Time Shoppers
                                                        • Characteristics
                                                          • Figure 44: Profile of Quality Time Shoppers, August 2018
                                                        • Opportunities
                                                          • Figure 45: Attitudes toward family cars, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                        • Bells & Whistles
                                                          • Characteristics
                                                            • Figure 46: Profile of Bells & Whistles, August 2018
                                                          • Opportunities
                                                            • Figure 47: Desired features, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 48: Luxury consideration, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                            • Figure 49: Family car characteristics, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                          • Emerging Empty Nesters
                                                            • Characteristics
                                                              • Figure 50: Profile of Emerging Empty Nesters, August 2018
                                                              • Figure 51: Major life events, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                              • Figure 52: Presence of children in the household, by cluster groups, August 2018
                                                            • Opportunities
                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                              • Data sources
                                                                • Sales data
                                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                        • Direct marketing creative
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                            • Abbreviations

                                                                            Family Car Buying - US - December 2018

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