J.D. Power: Younger Consumers Are Interested in Vehicle Personalization

Feb 5, 2014

Contrary to despite popular sentiment that younger consumers are disinterested in purchasing automobiles, consumers 25 years old and younger represent a steadily increasing proportion of vehicle buyers, according to a study recently released by J.D. Power.

The latest U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report outlines factors that influence new-vehicle purchases, as well as attitudinal, lifestyle, recreational and media consumptive behaviors. Young new-vehicle buyers are responsible for more than 6 percent of all new-vehicle sales, and the average lease penetration among young buyers has increased to 23 percent in 2013 from a low of 13 percent in 2009, according to the report.

Twenty-seven percent of young drivers that participated in the survey said they are interested in equipping their vehicles with personalized options, versus only 20 percent of all new-vehicle drivers, according to the report.

“There is a lot of discussion today about many young consumers not having the resources, interest or even passion to own a new vehicle,” said Arianne Walker, senior director of automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power. “However, this age group really is passionate about vehicle ownership, their driving experience and the image associated with the vehicle they buy. Not only do they enjoy driving, but they also see their vehicle as a reflection of their identity. They want to personalize their vehicle with options and features, and tend to view it as an extension of their personality.”

Twenty-two percent of young drivers that participated in the survey said they like driving on challenging roadways with hills and curves, and 44 percent indicated they prefer a vehicle with responsive handling and power acceleration as opposed to industry averages. Additionally, 29 percent of young drives indicated they wash and wax their vehicles themselves, compared with the industry average of 24 percent, the report said.

The 2014 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report is based on a nationwide survey of more than 32,600 principal drivers of recently purchased or leased new vehicles. The report is based on drivers who acquired their vehicle between May 2012 and April 2013.