Survey Says: Old Folks Buy Domestic, Young Folks Buy Foreign

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.

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  • Jimmyy Jimmyy on Jul 27, 2011

    Survey Says: Old Unducated Lower Class Folks Buy Domestic, Young Educated High Class Buy Foreign

    • MoppyMop MoppyMop on Jul 27, 2011

      Survey Says: Import-Fanboy Trolls Have Too Much Free Time On Their Hands

  • Mandalorian Mandalorian on Jul 27, 2011

    Old people have saved up a lot of money over time, and most own their home, kids are on their own, and they have no expenses. So they can afford a nice car like a Cadillac, Porsche and Lexus.

  • Obbop Obbop on Jul 27, 2011

    Old Coot chimes in; There's Baby Boomers but be aware of one sub-group that makes much sense to me... The Jones Boomers. Your semi-affable Coot fits into the beginning portion of the Jones-Baby boomer cohort and I concur with much of the rationale of its creator. I feel little to no kinship with Gen. X. I relate to the early Boomers but for many of that cohort what were mere fads and current trends for them were aspects of growing up during our formative years and while it appears many early Boomers lived their fads then moved on when they ended the events of the early Boomer years were implanted into our psyches, our persona. Time and place were assuredly critical. My kin in rural Nebraska in my general cohort turned out very different than me; reared in the San Francisco Bay area. Thus variances as there are in all groupings. I do perceive differences, though among various cohorts, groups, sub-cultures, etc. I also perceive commonalities. As the Doors singer crooned; "People are strange." Now you younguns, off the shanty's dirt and weeds and y'all know about messin with MY chosen dumpsters.

  • JMII JMII on Jul 28, 2011

    Wow my family is living in opposite world: My "old" parents (in their 70s) just bought a Hyundai... a Sonata turbo no less. Its the first "foreign" vehicle since my mother's 1978 VW Rabbit. However as indicated by the window sticker: the Sonata is made in America, with a US sourced engine and the rest foreign parts. My brother & his wife (in their mid 30's) bought a Avalon, namely because a Camry seemed a touch too small for them coming from a Sienna minivan. The wife and I (in our 40s), just bought a Volvo but refuse to own anything from VW, Chevy or Ford based on past experience.