Younger Buyers Have Embraced Conservatively Styled Crossovers

"It was not too long ago that automakers were tripping over themselves in pursuit of younger buyers, offering boxy wagons and small, jellybean-​shape city cars. The Scion xB, the Honda Element, the Nissan Cube: All were funky departures for Generation X from the dowdy minivans of their parents," Jonathan Schultz wrote in The New York Times' Carmakers Retreat From Quirky Designs as Millennials Embrace Mainstream.

"Today’s younger buyers, loosely referred to as Generation Y, have embraced a term that would have turned off their immediate forebears," Schultz wrote.

Compared to Gen X, Gen Y is very mainstream,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader. “They see the car as a symbol of their accomplishments and aspirations. They’re into very established, highly respected global brands, whereas Gen X always wanted something different from what their parents drove.”

AudienceSCAN reported 91% of those considering crossovers intend to buy a new car or truck within 12 months.

"American millennials are active auto shoppers. In 2014, younger buyers accounted for 27 percent of new-​car sales, according to J. D. Power and Associates."

"Instead, younger buyers have embraced conservatively styled crossovers and sport utility vehicles. Even once-​moribund Buick is attracting millennials with its strong-​selling Encore compact crossover," Schultz said.

AudienceSCAN research showed that 17% of Crossover Shoppers are aged 25 to 34. And 48% already drive SUVs or crossovers.

"Given the cyclical nature of the car business, unconventional designs may resonate anew with younger buyers entering the market. But for the time being, an old saying in the auto industry has been flipped on its head. “Right now, you can’t really say: ‘You can sell a young man’s car to an old man, but you can’t sell an old man’s car to a young man,’ ” Mr. Reed said. “It’s a make-​you-​smile shift.”

When your dealers want to target the Y Generation in ads with you, be sure they capture digital shoppers. During the past month, 29.5% of Crossover Shoppers listened to a local radio station online. And 32% used mobile devices to watch a video about a product they're considering during the past 6 months.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.