The Who, What, Where, When, and Why of Automotive Consumers

new_carAs new car sales grow, the question is who’s buying to spark this growth?  Most automotive dealers target the Millennial group for new car purchases.  Sure, you might want to continue targeting this under 35 group, but they’re not the big spenders anymore.  Studies show that over 60% of new auto sales are with drivers over the age of fifty.  This group definitely has spending power and are actively buying.  Just based on population, this 50+ group will grow by more than 17 million in the next 10 years.  This is in comparison to that under 35 group only growing 2.6 million in that 10 year period.

So we have a pretty good idea of who we’re selling to, but how are we communicating to them?  Trends for 2014 show that mobile, video, social and local have the largest growing advertising budgets.  We know that the under 35 group is using social media, and definitely mobile sites.  What about 50+?  Believe it or not, this age group is growing in the Facebook world.  Of course, Twitter and Instagram can be good ways to target the Millennial group.  Consider LinkedIn and Facebook to reach out to the older generation.

Here are some consumer behavioral trends for any age in the automotive world:

1.            Random acts of kindness add a human touch to your buying process.  Social media can give you insight on what consumers want, and what their moods are like.  From here you can buy coffee, send gifts, or reach out in a way they’re open to.

2.            Urbanization is a trend in a certain type of person’s behavior.  We’re noticing a more global population lives in urban areas.  These people are daring, liberal, more tolerant and prone to trying out new things.  This could be a good group to test new models with.

3.            A car isn’t just a car anymore.  Auto consumers are expecting transportation related products to impact their life.  They hope a car will improve their quality of life, and prevent misery.  It isn’t just about getting from point A to point B anymore.

4.            Be green and eco-friendly.  This is a must in the automotive world!

After looking at who is buying and what devices they use, we see what consumers are looking for.  The product research is usually done online, so the dealership experience needs to be more personal.  Keep that under 35 group in mind, but don’t forget about the 50+!