Gen Y starts looking at cars

January 17, 2014 12:00 AM

When you're cruising the open road, you may not spend time looking around at the other drivers. If you do, however, you might notice that fellow motorists are getting younger and younger. Your eyes are not deceiving you, as more Millennials are joining the throngs of people on the roads and investing in a car. These members of Generation Y, born between 1977 and 1994, are getting behind the wheel at a fast rate. 

A recent report from Deloitte Consulting looked at what Generation Y is looking for in their vehicles, as well as why they are beginning to search for the perfect ride. 

Gen Y starts looking at cars
According to the study, 61 percent of Millennial consumers expect to buy or lease a car within the next three years. Those who aren't planning to make a purchase are mainly deterred by the price, with 80 percent of respondents saying they cannot afford a car. Another 75 percent are concerned about the potential costs relating to auto repair and maintenance, and approximately 67 percent say they don't need a vehicle to get around on a day-to-day basis. 

These drivers are also overwhelming positive about the car-buying process. About 40 percent of Millennials have a positive opinion of car dealers and are willing to shop around for the right brand. 

"For baby boomers and other generations, it was just sort of assumed that buying a vehicle was going to be a somewhat unpleasant process," said Joe Vitale, Deloitte's global automotive leader. "But Gen Y really doesn't view it that way; they are looking to the auto industry to collaborate with them as they move toward car ownership." 

What the people want
While the final decisions will ultimately depend on an individual's budget and the desired features or level of vehicle maintenance on a given vehicle, there are a few qualities that members of Generation Y want. Many are aiming to stay on the cutting edge of technology, with details like a hybrid engine or smart infotainment system landing at the top of wish lists. 

"Gen Y consumers across the board also want safety technology, especially features that mitigate the risks of distracted driving," said Masa Hasegawa, the principal of Deloitte Consulting. "Almost three quarters (72 percent) want technology that recognizes the presence of other vehicles on the road and 63 percent want technology that lets them know when they have exceeded the speed limit." 

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