Generation Y has just edged out Generation X in the new car market. A study by J.D. Power shows that, year-to-date, Gen Y buyers (defined as being born in 1977-1994) are buying 26 percent of new vehicles, versus Gen X (1965-1976), which bought 24 percent of new vehicles in the same period.
While Gen X’s share of new vehicle purchases has stayed flat from 2013, Gen Y’s share has increased by 3 percent. Boomers (born from 1946-1964) still make up the biggest demographic, at 38 percent of new car sales, but that’s down 2 percent from 2013.
Compact cars are said to be the most popular Gen Y segment, making up 20 percent of their purchases. That’s compared to compact SUVs for Gen X, which makes up 15 percent of their own car selections.
For all the talk of how the Millenial generation is turning its back on cars, it appears that things aren’t quite panning out that way. Rising incomes, changing priorities and growing families mean that the car will become something that is both more attainable and increasingly necessary to meet their needs. Quite a change from the “kids hate cars” rhetoric of the past few years. But we’ve known for a while that money, not ideology, has been what’s stopped young people from owning cars.