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Meeting A Different Breed of Car Buyers—Gen Y

Posted on: July 9th, 2012 by credit

Gen Y has been a challenging group of consumers for car makers and dealers. Through the studies, Gen Y shows to have a different consumer behavior than the older generation of car buyers. Thus, dealers and car makers are challenged to get these younger people behind the wheel and turn them into sales. Here is an overview of Gen Y car-buying behavior and preferences from the 2011 Automotive Generation Y Survey by Deloitte.

  • Almost 70% of Gen Y respondents will buy a used car rather than a new one in the future.
  • Environment is an important factor Gen Y considers when buying a vehicle with 71% of the respondents. Moreover, the results also showed that more than half of the respondents will pay more for an environmentally friendly or energy and money-saving cars.
  • As for purchasing power and influence, more than 61% of the respondents said that they directly influence their parents in making the final purchase decision. Interestingly though, more than 88% of Gen Y respondents ask their peers for opinion about a car brand or model. Almost 80% of these respondents said that their car purchase decision is largely influenced by their friends.
  • In terms of how Gen Y use the Internet for car shopping, more than two-thirds of the respondents now turn to social networking sites to get information about a vehicle brand and model. This is a sharp increase from the 2009 survey where more than half of the respondents do not get information from social networking sites. Other places where Gen Y car shoppers search information from are search engines, auto manufacturer’s website, and vehicle reference sites.
  • Gen Y’s attitude toward dealership experience almost did not change since the 2009 survey. Still majority (82%) of the respondents would like to test-drive a vehicle for 24 hours. More than half of the respondents does not want to have a personal interaction with a dealer or car salesman and prefer settling everything online to purchase the vehicle instead. Moreover, it is better for dealers to keep Gen Y customers satisfied as more than half of the respondents said that a bad experience in a dealership would cause them not to consider buying the same brand of car again.

The shifts in the survey results from 2009 to 2011 imply that car dealers need to closely monitor Gen Y’s consumer behavior so they are always updated with their current needs and preferences. In this way, it will be easier for them to make adjustments in their marketing and auto leads generation strategies to make these people part of their sales. With the facts and figures showed, car dealers should have a different approach in attracting and generating Gen Y auto leads. Doing so could be a challenge but it is necessary to sustain the industry’s recovery.

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