Car Industry Focuses on Luring Younger Buyers as Millennials Shift Attitudes on Car Ownership

13 April 2017 Dashboard Insights Blog
Authors: Lauren M. Loew

For years, we have been reading articles about how teen licensing rates are falling (from 88.6 percent in 1996 to 71.2 percent in 2015). We have also seen much hand wringing about millennials forgoing car ownership in favor of ride sharing. But, recent data suggests that younger generations are buying cars—they just started later than their parents. In fact, millennials accounted for 28% of new car sales last year.

Car manufacturers have been setting their sights on how best to market to younger car buyers. Younger generations do significantly more online research and take longer before making a car commitment, according to a study by Autotrader.  Millennials have also shown a strong affinity for crossover SUVs, and car companies are responding by increasing their offerings, as evidenced by the plethora of new cars showcased at this year’s auto shows. According to USA Today, a Toyota sales executive predicts that crossovers and SUVs will account for 65% of sales in the near future.

Younger car buyers also have different plans for their cars. As reported by the Washington Post, research firm Mintel found that 1 in 6 millennial car buyers plan to drive for a ride sharing service. The same study showed that 84% of millennial car buyers plan to buy a new car, rather than a used car—perhaps not a coincidence that ride sharing services require their drivers to have newer cars.

Millennials’ growing interest in car ownership is a bright spot in the automotive industry, even amid dimming projections for future industry growth, as we wrote about earlier this week.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services