Despite the domestic auto industry’s bailout-fueled turnaround, there are a few challenges that the Detroit-based firms have yet to overcome: sales on the West Coast for one, and sales to young people for another. TrueCar tackled the scope of this second issue, digging through millions of transactions to determine the favored cars of both Generation X (ages 28-45) and elderly buyers (65 and up). The results? Buick is still tops with the old folks, despite aiming for younger buyers with new, European-derived products. Lincoln, Cadillac, Chrysler and GMC and Chevrolet round out the top six before the first import brand, Porsche, arrives at number seven. There are few surprises by model choice as well, with the Town Car, Lucerne, DTS, CTS, STS, Azera, Impala, LaCrosse, MKZ and Avalon making the top ten old-folks cars. On the Gen X side of things, import brands still top the list, with VW, Land Rover, Audi, and Mazda taking the top spots, and Jeep taking the top domestic spot at number five. By model, the Routan, M3, Quest, Armada, and Oddyssey take the top five spots for Gen X buyers, with only the Chevy Aveo representing the domestic brands in the top ten. cars with Gen X buyers.
What does it all mean? The domestic manufacturers are still most attractive to traditional, older buyers… spelling long-term issues for the domestic brands. GM, Ford and Chrysler still face huge challenges in attracting younger buyers, and will need to address this problem aggressively if they want to build on their short-term turnaround.