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.”