Home Blog Millennials Approach to Buying Cars
Jul 10, 2017

Shifting [Generational] Gears

Subscribe to our blog

The automotive aftermarket will see a complete transformation of its core consumer over the next 10 years. Millennials, who have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the United States, are entering their peak driving years as their predecessors are actively retiring and changing their driving behavior. Statistics from the Federal Highway Administration show that 20-34 year olds today, on average, drive twice as much compared to drivers over 65-years old.

Millennials have a very different relationship with the aftermarket compared to their older counterparts. NPD’s 2017 Consumer Outlook Survey found that younger Millennials are most likely to be driving the oldest cars on the road, and are 50 percent more likely to have purchased their vehicle used. Younger millennials (ages 18-24) drive cars with an average age of 10 years, and are expecting to spend over $2,000 on repairs in 2017, which is double the average. These Millennials are also more likely to be do-it-yourself (DIY) or switchers (some DIY and do-it-for-me/DIFM) when it comes to vehicle maintenance and repairs, which is certainly positive news for the aftermarket. Older Millennials (ages 25-34), on the other hand, are twice as likely to have leased their vehicle.

We all know that Millennials are also online – a lot. When considering where to go for researching products online, they significantly over-index in terms of retailer websites, online retailers, and search engines. They are also more likely to seek out online auto deals through social media. You can find out more about the aftermarket’s e-commerce penetration by reading NPD’s recent news release here.

With a changing consumer base, automotive aftermarket players must reevaluate who their primary customer is today. Millennials approach researching, repairs, and buying vehicle products differently. Shopping online is second nature, and the fast-paced world they’ve become accustomed to means they seek instant gratification. Millennials are also ripe for aftermarket development; they lack the same level of vehicle experience as their older counterparts and so, there are not only promotional but also educational opportunities that exist with this demographic. 


Upcoming Event


AAPEX

Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 11:30 a.m. PT
Title: 2020 Automotive Aftermarket Outlook Presentation
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada | Bellini Ballroom, Level 2 at The Sands Expo
Speaker: Nathan Shipley – Executive Director and Industry Analyst, U.S. Automotive
Overview: At this year’s Aftermarket Outlook, NPD’s Executive Director and Industry Analyst, Nathan Shipley, will reveal how sales in 2019 are measuring up to expectations, share insights into consumer attitudes that will shape the coming year, and provide his outlook on sales for 2020 and beyond. Insights and analysis will be derived from examining a wealth of economic trends, consumer research (including a new way to understand online purchase behavior) and product sales data, including the 2019 Consumer Outlook Survey. These survey results will once again be unveiled for the first time exclusively to AAPEX attendees.

Register

Stay current in your industry
SUBSCRIBE

Related Blog Posts

Tagged: Automotive


Fueling Innovation in the Automotive Aftermarket
Fueling Innovation in the Automotive Aftermarket

In the automotive aftermarket, one doesn't typically think of hot and exciting innovations like those that are constantly coming out of the consumer technology industry. But there are a number of ways existing products are finding their way to consumers, and automotive suppliers should be paying attention. What might the next out-of-the-box product use be?

Automotive Aftermarket Forecast for 2019
Automotive Aftermarket Forecast for 2019

Nathan Shipley outlines the opportunities as well as challenges for the automotive aftermarket industry this year. NPD forecasts that the industry will see little to no growth in 2019. The biggest factors driving this forecast include a combination of our outlook on miles driven (flat to slightly positive), our forecast for product pricing on the shelf (continuing to increase in the 5 percent range), and Moody’s 2019 forecast for the consumer price index for new and used cars (falling).

Ten Percent Makes a Difference
Ten Percent Makes a Difference

It has been almost a full year since the launch of NPD’s Retail Tracking Service – Expanded Channels (RTSx) for the U.S. automotive aftermarket.

The Impact of Severe Weather on the Nation’s Energy and Automotive Aftermarket Industries
The Impact of Severe Weather on the Nation’s Energy and Automotive Aftermarket Industries

Being a resident of Katy, Texas (a suburb about 20 miles west of downtown Houston), I found myself right in the middle of Hurricane Harvey as it made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast at the end of August.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.