Report: Younger Buyers Prefer Foreign Autos To Domestic Brands

It’s no secret that the youth demographic is highly coveted among auto manufacturers: in recent years, automakers have catered many of their offerings to young buyers by tweaking engines for high fuel efficiency, offering endless customizations and stuffing models with the latest technology. But a new study alleges the youth market is declaring a winner in the fight for young money: foreign brands.

A new study issued by TrueCar.com, which looked at buying habits between 2009 and 2010, found that only one of the twenty cars with the highest percentage of under-27 buyers was built by an American manufacturer. That model -- the Ford Focus coupe -- found 19.3% of its buyers belonged to what TrueCarcalls “Generation Y.”

TrueCar drew the inference that teens and twenty-somethings have largely left the domestic market in search of cars with greater customization and distinct looks. Examples cited include both Scion tC (with 37.1% of buyers from Gen Y) and the Honda Civic Si (at 23.4%) as sterling examples of that, and their assertions seem true: three of the twenty models come with factory-installed turbos (e.g. Volkswagen GTI and GLI, and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe), and all can come with Bluetooth and/or iPod connectivity.

It might be more important to note, however, that what all twenty cars have in common is that they’re economic models. All 20 sell for under $25,000 (the most expensive, the Volkswagen Jetta GLI, sold for $24,635) and have four-cylinder engines, which could mean a lower up-front cost and lower costs over time for fuel.

But there’s one hangup: TrueCar’s data reflects cars sold until 2010, and domestic manufacturers have since found some success with stylish small cars of their own. As we heard earlier this week, the Chevrolet Cruze managed to outsell the Toyota Camry last month, and both the Ford Focus and Fiesta have strong youth followings (thanks in no small part to massive social media marketing campaigns).

We don’t know what the demographics on these models look like quite yet, so we’ll ask our “Generation Y” readers this: are you more likely to go domestic or foreign?

Source: TrueCar

silverns8
first of all ray, yes fiestas and versas are both considered subcompact models, so yes, its a relative comparison. second, your list of why you hate domestics would be pretty accurate, if you made it 10+ years ago! wake up, its 2011! (for some cars, even 2012). i dont know how old you are, but you seem to be stuck in the past and what you state about american cars are totally irrelevant to today's models. need proof? look up jd power and associates, consumer reports, consumer digest, for hevens sakes go to a dang car show, and youll see what im talking about. for the record, im part of gen y and i gotta say im impressed with the latest from domestics, esp. gm and ford. make my next car a '12 focus! i know everyones entitled to their own opinion, but how can you have a legitament, respectable, much less accurate opinion if you dont even know the facts? thats pretty much the definition of ignorance...
Ray
Bizarre comparisons. Fiesta>Versa? Reasons why I hate domestics: 1. Fake pricing and overpriced options. 2. Poor reliablility 3. Devaluation 4. Styling and design typically years behind Korea or Germany. 5. Generally overweight, inefficient and poor handling cars. 6. Complete lack of any real innovation. I don't understand any brand loyalty, but perhaps Gen-Yers realize that having to take you car to the dealer to be fixed once a month is actually not necessary with many brands, and other people have garages without carboard floors to soak up oil leaks.
Tim
Well I suppose I'm Gen Y. I'm 27 and am currently a salesperson at a Nissan dealer. That being said, I'm a Ford guy. With class leaders in almost every segment it's hard to not be a Ford fan. Fiesta > Versa, Focus > Sentra, Fusion > Altima, Escape > Rogue, Edge > Murano, Expediton > Armada, Explorer > Pathfinder, F-150 > Titan, Mustang GT > 370Z, etc. Same holds true for most other manufacturers. I think those that do thier research find that domestics, especially Ford, do hold thier against any other manufacturer.
Robert
I'm not at all surprised. Gen Y is more modern and international than previous generations. While american car companies are still stuck in the 70s and 80s in thinking and attitude. Like that terrible flower pattern wallpaper and stuffy curtains in their parent's bedroom while Gen Y wants Ikea.

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