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TrueCar.com Study: Youthful Car Brands Lead Generation Y Buyers

July 07, 2011

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — A new study by car pricing provider TrueCar.com indicated that Generation Y car buyers chose car brands Scion, Mitsubishi and Mazda at a higher percentage than rival brands. The study reviewed the purchasing behavior of over four million car buyers from 2009 and 2010.

"Generation Y buyers are very important to automakers because they help set trends, from popularizing social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter or technologies such as the iPhone and iPod," said Jesse Toprak, vice president of trends and analysis at TrueCar.com. "It's also important for an automaker to get a young buyer into their vehicle from the beginning in hopes of continued loyalty to the brand."

The vehicle models most popular with car buyers in the 18-27 age were models that offer the most amount of customization, including the Scion tC, Mitsubishi Lancer and Honda Civic Si.

"Generation Y buyers want vehicles that look distinct and can be tailored to their individual tastes," said Kristen Andersson, automotive analyst for TrueCar.com. "Buyers from this generation also are looking for vehicles that have the technology features they are accustomed to built into the vehicle at an affordable price."

Top Brands for Gen Y Buyers

(Age 18-27) in 2009 and 2010

Rank

Brands

Percentage of Gen Y Buyers

1

Scion

21.2%

2

Mitsubishi

20.3%

3

Mazda

10.7%

4

Nissan

9.8%

5

Volkswagen

9.6%

6

Kia

9.1%

7

Hyundai

8.6%

8

Honda

8.0%

9

Toyota

7.6%

10

Subaru

7.3%

 

Top Models for Generation Y Buyers (Age 18-27) in 2009 and 2010 and Current Discount Percentage

Rank

Make/Model

MSRP

(Manufacturers

Suggested

Retail Price)

Average Paid*

Percentage

Discount from

MSRP**

1

Scion tC

$18,995

$18,994

0.3%

2

Mitsubishi Lancer

$20,670

$18,975

8.2%

3

Honda Civic Si

$22,975

$22,588

1.7%

4

Toyota Yaris Sedan

$13,915

$13,405

3.7%

5

Ford Focus Coupe

$17,365

$15,040

13.4%

6

Scion xD

$15,830

$15,719

0.7%

7

Volkswagen GLI

$25,365

$24,635

2.9%

8

Subaru Impreza

$19,220

$18,805

2.2%

9

Kia Forte

$15,690

$14,289

8.9%

10

Toyota Corolla

$16,660

$15,731

5.6%

*Average paid is the estimated average transaction price of a vehicle after incentives.

** Percent Discount from MSRP is rounded to the nearest tenth

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