Study: Most Gen Y Consumers Plan to Buy/Lease a Car

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tMore than half of Gen Y consumers — those between the ages of 20 and 37— plan to buy or lease a car in the near future, says a soon-to-be-released report on vehicle buying trends by Detroit-based Deloitte LLP.

t“Well over half (61 percent) of Gen Y consumers … expect to buy or lease a car within the next three years,” says Craig Giffi, vice chairman of Deloitte. “Almost a quarter (23 percent) expect to purchase or lease in the next 12 months — and a mere 8 percent do not expect to ever purchase or lease a vehicle.”

tOnly 29 percent said they would be willing to give up their personal cars, although 42 percent said they would be willing to use car-sharing, car-pooling, or similar services if they were readily available and convenient.

tAmong Gen Y consumers who do not currently own or lease a vehicle, 80 percent say it is because they cannot afford one, and 75 percent cite high operational and maintenance costs. In addition, 67 percent said their lifestyle needs are met by walking or public transportation, while 40 percent said car borrowing and car sharing meet their lifestyle needs.

t“Affordability is the mantra for Gen Y consumers who don’t already own or lease a vehicle,” Giffi says. “When asked what purchasing criteria matter most to them, a majority cited cost-related items such as a vehicle's price tag, fuel efficiency, and payment options.”

tOf those surveyed, 59 percent think they will be driving a non-gasoline vehicle five years from now, with more than a quarter naming hybrid electrics as their single most preferred type of alternative engine, followed by plug-in hybrids (8 percent), all-battery electric vehicles (7 percent), and fuel-cell vehicles (4 percent).

tThe study, to be released later this year, also showed that most Gen Y consumers are interested in safety technology that recognizes the presence of other vehicles on the road (72 percent) and lets them know when they have exceeded the speed limit (63 percent).

t“While Gen Y may not necessarily scrutinize horsepower, acceleration times, or engine size, they do have clear needs, wants, and desires, especially when it comes to remaining connected to all of their lifestyle technology while on the road,” says Masa Hasegawa, principal of Deloitte Consulting LLP. “This is good news for car makers, who already offer — or are bringing to market — many of the features Gen Y consumers most want in a vehicle.”

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