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Marketing Cars to Millennials and Gen X - US - June 2015

"Millennials are a driving force in the automotive market. Despite a perception that Millennials don’t buy cars, there are plenty of Millennials out there – and plenty of them either own cars or are interested in owning cars."

This report covers the following areas:

  • Millennials are cash-strapped
  • Millennials are more urban than Gen Xers

Millennials are urban, cash-strapped, and tech-savvy; and they’re also at the start of their careers and beginning to start families. By contrast, Gen Xers are older, have older children, a bit more suburban, and further along in their careers. Together, the two generations make about a large portion of the customer base – and are both very similar, yet very different.

This report examines the automotive market for Millennial and Generation X consumers. This report aims to identify the purchasing habits and demographics of those born in the Millennial and Generation X generations.

Millennials face challenges, such as high student loan debt and a tight job market, but automakers who can create products that fit their needs and market them effectively stand a very good chance of success with this segment, especially as Millennials age and expand their families and perhaps move to the suburbs. Gen Xers, on the other hand, have more earning power and are more used to traditional marketing, yet they are still youthful and tech savvy. Automakers who can bridge the generation gap, which is relatively narrow, will do well going forward.


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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • New cars
          • Used cars
            • Certified Pre-Owned cars (CPO)
              • Franchised dealerships
              • Executive Summary

                • The issues
                  • Figure 1: Vehicle ownership, by demographics, March 2015
                • Millennials are cash-strapped
                  • Figure 2: Millennial and Gen X by household income, March 2015
                • Millennials are more urban than Gen Xers
                  • Figure 3: Millennials and Gen Xers, by area, March 2015
                • The opportunities
                  • Carmakers can offer small cars to entice Millennials
                    • Figure 4: Purchase drivers for Millennials, March 2015
                  • Millennials more social-media savvy than Gen X
                    • Figure 5: Research tools used by Millennials and Gen Xers, March 2015
                  • What it means
                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                    • Millennials do have access to cars
                      • Urbanization, debt, and lower household incomes are all challenges facing the market.
                        • Millennials are a difficult group to market cars to
                        • Market Factors

                          • Millennials own cars after all
                            • Income impacts potential for car buying
                              • Urbanization drives Millennial and Gen X buying choices
                                • Smartphones and tablets impact the automotive market
                                  • Millennials search for tech, value, and practicality
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Ford, Honda, Toyota, BMW, Audi high on Millennial shopping lists
                                      • Marketing to Millennials can be tricky
                                        • Small, practical products pave the way forward
                                        • What’s Working?

                                          • Ford, Toyota, Audi, BMW getting Millennials’ attention
                                            • Figure 6: Brands under future consideration – Any brand, March 2015
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Past reliability performance, poor marketing can hamstring a brand
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • New products aimed at Millennials (and Gen X) show the way forward
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Millennials are in the city, Gen X in the suburbs
                                                • Millennials use lots of social media, but Gen X is just as Internet savvy
                                                  • Gen X worried about price, Millennials about how “cool” a vehicle is
                                                  • Who is Today’s Millennial and Gen Xer?

                                                    • Millennials are urban, tech-friendly, and many are just starting their careers
                                                      • Figure 7: Millennial and Gen X BY household income, March 2015
                                                    • Gen Xers higher earners, may bode well for car market
                                                    • Millennials are Tech-savvy Shoppers

                                                      • Millennials turn to the internet to research their purchases
                                                        • Figure 8: Millennial and Gen X Research tools, March 2015
                                                      • Neither Millennials nor Gen X have abandoned dealerships
                                                        • Figure 9: Future vehicle-purchasing plans, March 2015
                                                    • Purchase Drivers

                                                      • Price and safety trump tech, but it still matters
                                                        • Figure 10: Purchase factors, March 2015
                                                      • Millennials prioritize tech over green
                                                      • Amount Willing to Pay for Next Vehicle

                                                        • Millennials are looking for affordable vehicles, Gen Xers will spend more
                                                          • Figure 11: Amount willing to pay for next vehicle purchase, March 2015
                                                        • Millennials searching for practical vehicles that represent value
                                                        • Reasons for Purchasing

                                                          • Millennials, Gen Xers have different reasons for vehicle purchases
                                                            • Figure 12: Reasons for purchasing, March 2015
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                              • Terms

                                                              Marketing Cars to Millennials and Gen X - US - June 2015

                                                              US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)