I feel like I spent most of 2013 trying to dispel the myths that Millennials don't like cars, aren't interested in cars, don't buy cars and can't fix cars. Or at least, the idea that some of those issues aren't economic in nature. Well, the Millennials are starting to prove everyone wrong.
A J.D. Power study reports that Millennials, aka Generation Y, now account for more new car sales than their older, more sullen, Nirvana-loving Generation X counterparts. It's only by a small percentage, but the gain is still impressive.
Year to date in 2014, Gen Y (born 1977-1994) has accounted for 26 percent of new-vehicle retail sales, putting sales to that generational group ahead of those to Gen X (born 1965-1976) for the first time. Gen X buyers purchased 24 percent of new-vehicles in the same period, according to data collected by the Power Information Network® (PIN) from J.D. Power.
Compact cars are the Millennials' favorite vehicle purchases, while Gen X-ers opt for compact SUVs. Makes sense — they're older and more inclined to have families.
Boomers remain the largest group of new car vehicles, because they have the most money and because the cost of cars and other goods have exceeded gains in average incomes, accounting for 38 percent of new car sales for the first six months of this year. In 2013, that number was 40 percent.
Maybe this means that automakers' fears about the younger generations not replacing Boomers in the marketplace is a bit unfounded. As the Millennials get older, get better jobs, earn more, start families and maybe even move out of cities, the new car market may not be doomed quite yet.
Hat tip to TTAC!