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The Auto Industry and the Millennial Driver

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Millennials do things their own way—and in some aspects of life—different than any generation before. Millennials have had an impact on just about every market you can think of. Of course, the automotive industry is also responding to the Gen Y car buyer. Let’s explore some of the major trends.

Ready to Buy

Ten years ago, many thought that millennials wouldn't embrace car buying in large numbers. It's true that some find it easier to pick up their phone, open up an app, and get a taxi right to their location. There was also the notion that this tech-savvy group won their freedom and autonomy from their cell phone instead of from owning a car as previous generations had done. At the top of the recession, millennial automobile sales were very low, but that was true for all age groups. Now that we are many years past the recession, they are in a position to buy and sales are up in this category.

Keep it Simple

The automobile buying experience used to be longer and more involved. Dealerships and auto brands have automated the buying process and it's not just the younger generation that is benefiting! Now there are plenty of incentives offered by dealerships to get millennials excited about acquiring a car.

According to Autotrader, millennials are:

  • Still interested in cars and driving
  • More likely to examine lesser-known brands than older buyers
  • Dependent on research, including word-of-mouth

Another way dealerships are trying to entice Gen Y auto buyers is by offering flexible leasing options. Some feel less responsibility when they are just borrowing/renting the car and not actually owning it. Of course, there are pros and cons to leasing, but many millennials like the idea of leasing. Especially now that leases can be customized to fit the customer’s needs.

Because millennials are so used to using technology (and they do everything virtually), the automobile shopping and buying experience has transitioned online. Almost every dealership and automaker has an online presence. This is a perfect way to entice millennial motorists and pique their interest without needing a trip to the showroom.

With online chat, upfront pricing, automobile configurators, and other nifty features, apps and websites cater to how millennials shop for cars.

Gen Y has a unique dynamic but the industry is responding, as it has done for every previous generation. If you’re a millennial, you might not even notice this evolution because it’s what you are used to. But if you’re a bit older, we’re sure you can see how the vast automotive industry has changed to accommodate the millennial auto owner.

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, we furnish quality automotive service to our patrons of all ages—from those who remember the days before power steering to Gen X-ers who can't imagine a car without Bluetooth.