As automakers plan the cars of the future, they are taking into consideration the changing wants and needs of their customers. The newest generation of car consumers, known as Generation Y (current 19-31 year olds), has different priorities than their predecessors from Gen X and Baby Boomers. These priorities include green technology, smaller size, access to technology and individuality.
Small and Green
Members of Gen Y have grown up hearing about global warming, eco-friendliness and diminishing resources. They want cars that will be functional but also leave a small footprint on their worlds. Gen Yers have also come of age in a time of economic recession, rising gas prices, and threats to U.S. oil supply. They want cars that are inexpensive to run and don’t rely on an ever fluctuating gas and oil prices. For these reasons, small, fuel efficient or hybrid cars are high on the Gen Y wish-list.
Gen Y consumers are willing to pay more to stay connected. Their cars are not just modes of transportation - they are extensions of their digital lifestyles. Gen Y car buyers want in-dash technology, Smartphone applications, and constant connectivity. A car without access to and integration with the digital world is a hindrance to the Gen Y consumer. Mobile technology and social media access are requirements for the Gen Y car buyer.
Expression of Individuality
People in the Gen Y community spend hours each day expressing their individuality through various digital means: social media, blogs, websites, etc. They don’t want to climb into a car that looks just like every other car on the street. Gen Y consumers want new automobiles with embellishments and customized interiors. They want to stand out from the crowd and look good while they do it.
A car’s safety, overall cost and longevity are still important to the Gen Y consumer. These items are, however, considered obligatory features instead of additional benefits. The Gen Y auto buyer is reshaping the auto industry with their expectations and demands for safe, green, tech savvy cars. The auto industry is responding. 142 new model car launches are expected in 2015. The New Age Consumer. Generation Y Drivers Prefer Hybrid Vehicles.