In-Vehicle Technology and Vehicle Quality Drive Gen-Y Purchasing Decisions
Posted on Feb 18, 2011 | Comments (0)
Recent research shows that younger "Gen Y" consumers cite in-vehicle technology as the top factor driving their vehicle purchases, emphasizing the importance of these technologies to automobile manufacturers.
An annual Deloitte survey about the purchasing preferences of young "Generation Y" consumers--poised to make up 40% of the automotive purchasing market by 2010--reveals that technology is playing a more and more important role in vehicle purchasing decisions for this demographic. Among other notable findings, the survey identified in-vehicle technologies as a major factor in young consumers' vehicle purchases.
In-vehicle technologies are important ways to stay connected, and their popularity represents the changing role of the automobile in society. As Deloitte's Joe Vitale told Phil LeBeau of CNBC, "The regulator view is that texting is distracting to driving. The Gen Y consumer view is that driving is a distraction to texting, and I think that really tells the story of they don't want to sacrifice anything." In a high-tech world, connectivity is as important as transportation, as technology enables instant connections even across long distances. Sacrificing the technology connection for real-world transportation isn't always an option.
The importance of technology to Gen Y'ers is emphasized by additional survey responses: 67% of Gen Y consumers use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking platforms to gather data about the vehicles they might purchase. Increased access to information about vehicles and especially to other drivers' experiences helps young consumers make smart choices.
When it comes to interacting with dealerships, 57% of Gen Y respondents want to do so online, showing the important role that dealer websites and feedback platforms such as Enprecis CQI can play in the purchasing experience. Allowing consumers to connect on their own preferred terms is a strategic imperative for automobile dealers and manufacturers, and the auto industry players who make it easy for consumers to connect with them will experience the greatest success.
Even as Gen Y consumers indicate their desire to connect online and access the latest in-vehicle technologies, they also maintain an emphasize on quality. The features cited as most important in a vehicle purchase were vehicle quality, trustworthiness, and safety, indicating an opportunity for automakers to use new technologies to meet these needs as well.
As technology continues to become a more and more integral part of daily life, young consumers' desire to use it in their vehicles will only increase. The automobile manufacturers most successful at integrating technology with transportation will emerge as leaders. Ford's SYNC connectivity features are already popular, and Hyundai has released an innovative Blue Link feature (pictured above) that combines safety features with the opportunity to provide instant vehicle quality feedback.
For more details about Gen Y consumers' automotive purchasing preferences, read this year's and last year's survey results (PDF).