‘Buy American’ not priority for millennials

Young people are less likely to buy a car just because it was made in the U.S.

DETROIT FREE PRESSAugust 24, 2013 

DETROIT — An AutoTrader.com study, released Friday at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit, found that only 38 percent of millennials say it’s important to buy a car that was assembled in the United States.

That compares to 53 percent of Generation Xers and 60 percent of baby boomers, according to AutoTrader.

But that doesn’t mean millennials, defined by AutoTrader as ages 16 to 32, aren’t interested in vehicles made by U.S.-based car companies.

General Motors’ Chevrolet brand and Ford have swiped millennial market share from Japanese manufacturers in recent years, according to Edmunds.com and Maritz Research.

That’s because millennials aren’t loyal to auto brands. Only 30 percent said they were likely to purchase the same brand for their next vehicle, compared to 41 percent for Generation X and 47 percent for baby boomers.

Reaching young people is important because millennials will represent 40 percent of car purchases by 2020, according to Isabelle Helms, senior director of research and marketing analytics for AutoTrader.com.

About 48 percent of millennials said it’s important for their vehicle to reflect their personality, compared to 38 percent of Generation X and 34 percent of baby boomers, AutoTrader found.

When actually purchasing a vehicle, the top five brands young millennials considered were Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford and BMW, while older millennials considered Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

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