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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Population ageing is changing the face of the auto industry - the car industry should wake-up to the fact

The 55-to-64-year-old age group, the oldest of the boomers, has become the cohort most likely to buy a new car, according to a new study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. Boomers have replaced the 35-to-44 year old age group, who were most likely to buy four years ago.

The report suggest that the wall of money the auto industry spends to try to capture the elusive Generation Y would generate a higher return on investment if targeted at older drivers.

As I have mentioned before young people don’t seem that interested in driving. Just 79% of people between 20 and 24 had a driver’s license in 2011, compared with 92 percent in 1983, according to the Michigan study - this is data for the US. I have no reason to believe that it is not that much different in Europe. Somehow I cannot imagine the 50%+ unemployed youth in much of Southern Europe dashing out and buying a new car.

This article contains lots of very quotable material about the state of the auto industry.

Another report was released this week about the generational likes and dislikes of car buyers.

No where near as much detail as the Michigan study, this one seemed to focus on how much time passengers spent eating in the car and the importance they placed on features (e.g. infotainment)

Still worth a look.

I think it is pretty clear that the car industry should really start to take seriously the older consumer and their priorities.  Dick Stroud

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