Young Buyer Preferences Have Shifted

edmunds2a - March 20, 2013

Younger buy­ers are cen­tral to automaker and dealer prof­its, as their num­bers and inter­est begin to grow, as pin­points their preferences.

Find out which automak­ers appeal to younger buyers.

Amer­i­can auto brands are gain­ing strength with younger buy­ers in the U.S., while their Japan­ese rivals have taken a big step back, reports, the pre­mier resource for car shop­ping and auto­mo­tive infor­ma­tion. Accord­ing to an analy­sis of new car retail reg­is­tra­tions from R. L. Polk & Co., Amer­i­can brands accounted for 36.8 per­cent of cars bought by Amer­i­cans age 25 to 34 in 2012, up from a share of 35.4 per­cent in 2008. Mean­while the share of Japan­ese brands for the same age group plum­meted from 50.6 per­cent to 42.9 per­cent dur­ing that period

But even with the incre­men­tal suc­cess of Amer­i­can brands, found that the exo­dus from Japan­ese cars by young buy­ers is turn­ing mostly toward South Korean brands. About 10 per­cent of new cars pur­chased by 25-to-34 year olds in 2012 car­ried South Korean name­plates, more than dou­bling the rate for this age group since 2008.

“U.S. automak­ers have burst onto the scene in recent years with small, fuel-efficient and afford­able cars that really appeal to a young set of buy­ers,” says Sr. Ana­lyst Jes­sica Cald­well. “But while Detroit might be chis­el­ing away at the Japan­ese grip on Gen X and Gen Y, South Korean brands are tak­ing big hacks. Not only are the Kore­ans mak­ing bet­ter cars for young peo­ple, but they’ve also worked to make credit avail­able to young buy­ers who still don’t have solid credit his­tory.”