Annual Gen Y Automotive Survey 2012

Executive Summary of Key Themes and Findings

Gen Y represents a large and highly important consumer segment. In China today, Gen Y (ranging in age from 19 to 31) is also a significant customer group.  By 2020, Gen Y customers will have been aged between 28 and 40 and become the dominant customer group in the market.  However, the characteristics of Gen Y are unlike previous generations. For example, being a relatively young generation, Gen Y’s characteristics and buying behaviors are still maturing. Gen Y consumers may also be skeptical and aspirational, and may feel more entitled than previous generations while also displaying social and environmental consciousness. Finally, they are also more connected than any other previous generation and, as a result, have large social networks.

Worldwide, the significant majority of Gen Y is planning on purchasing or leasing a new vehicle within the next two years, offering significant chances for the automotive manufacturers to win Gen Y. At the same time – and perhaps most concerning to automotive manufacturers – recent research suggests the basic desire for personal mobility is changing for Gen Y and cars may not have as much appeal to this generation when compared to older generations. These characteristics and trends create both challenges and opportunities for automotive companies, as they seek to capture their fair share of this important market. Based on these findings, we also compare the Chinese Gen Y customers with other mature markets to obtain geographical customer insights.

Key findings

  • 50% prefer hybrid or electric vehicles for their next purchase
  • Due to rising fuel prices, 91% are planning on buying a more fuel efficient vehicle
  • Convenience trumps cost; 24% favor SUVs or crossovers as next vehicle and only 31% favor compact cars
  • 73% view in-dash technology as the most important part of a vehicle’s interior
  • They consider 12.7 brands during the purchase process, more than any other market surveyed
  • 91% visited both manufacturers’ and reference websites during purchase process
  • About 38% would consider a used luxury vehicle  vs. a new mass brand vehicle
(English version)
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