New Study Looks Deep into the Millennial Mindset

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PR Newswire

A new study from AutoTrader.com reveals deep insights into how Mil­len­nial think and behave across the entire auto­mo­tive shop­ping journey.

A rare look at “The Next Gen­er­a­tion Car Buyer” is well worth the view for dealers.

A new study from AutoTrader.com® reveals that when it comes to cars, Mil­len­ni­als are highly aspi­ra­tional and image-conscious, are more open to import brands and actu­ally do have an inter­est in vehi­cles and dri­ving.  These insights and much more are dis­cussed in “The Next Gen­er­a­tion Car Buyer” study: a deep look at the atti­tudes and behav­iors of Mil­len­ni­als when it comes to cars and car shopping.

The study explores how Mil­len­ni­als think and behave across the entire auto­mo­tive shop­ping deci­sion jour­ney: aware­ness, trig­ger event, con­sid­er­a­tion, eval­u­a­tion and pur­chase. In addi­tion to exam­in­ing how Mil­len­ni­als com­pare to Gen­er­a­tion X and Baby Boomers, “The Next Gen­er­a­tion Car Buyer” exam­ines the behav­iors and atti­tudes of younger (aged 16–24) and older (aged 25–32) cohorts of the Mil­len­nial Gen­er­a­tion, not­ing areas of difference.

Mil­len­ni­als say the brands that fit them best mir­ror the image they have for them­selves: styl­ish, sophis­ti­cated and inno­v­a­tive. Lux­ury brands scored highly in these areas, with BMW, Mer­cedes, Lexus and Audi said to be the most styl­ish brands, Mer­cedes, Lexus and Audi seen as the most sophis­ti­cated and BMW, Mer­cedes, Audi, Honda and Ford seen as the most inno­v­a­tive. When it came to over­all brand fit, Mil­len­ni­als sur­veyed said that in order, Audi, Honda, Mer­cedes, Toy­ota, BMW and Chevro­let were most reflec­tive of their personality.

When it comes to car shop­ping, Mil­len­ni­als depend heav­ily on research to help drive their pur­chase deci­sions. Mil­len­ni­als rely more on word-of-mouth when shop­ping for a car than other gen­er­a­tions1 (Mil­len­ni­als: 43%; Gen X: 28%; Baby Boomers: 32%), and most of that is face-to-face (face-to-face: 90%; blogs/forums: 41%; e-mail: 36%)2. They’re also most likely to be first intro­duced to their car of choice through a fam­ily mem­ber or friend, as opposed to Baby Boomers who are most likely to be first intro­duced to their car on the deal­er­ship lot.

When it comes time to head to the deal­er­ship, Mil­len­ni­als actu­ally enjoy brows­ing the lot more than older gen­er­a­tions and are more depen­dent on the sales­per­son for infor­ma­tion. How­ever, they’re also more likely than older gen­er­a­tions to go out of their way to avoid inter­act­ing with deal­er­ship staff.

“Mil­len­ni­als view the deal­er­ship as a key piece of their research process – they’re look­ing for experts to help answer their ques­tions and to touch and test out the phys­i­cal car before mak­ing a pur­chase,” Helms said. “That said, Mil­len­ni­als want time and space to make the right deci­sion, and will value the sales­peo­ple who pro­vide the infor­ma­tion they seek in a no-pressure way.”

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