Gen Y's embrace of hybrids may be auto market's tipping point

Jan 23, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Generation Y's strong affinity for hybrid vehicles could make it the generation that leads the automotive market away from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, according to an annual survey by Deloitte and Michigan State University.

A majority (59 percent) of Gen Y respondents surveyed prefer an “electrified vehicle” over any other type of car or truck. Moreover, Gen Y consumers heavily favor hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles (57 percent) over pure battery electric vehicles (2 percent) or vehicles with a traditional gasoline-only powertrain (37 percent).

The annual , now in its fourth year, canvassed 1,500 Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomer consumers in the United States, as well as 250 Gen Y consumers in China and 300 Gen Y consumers in Western Europe. The survey defines Gen Y consumers as those ranging in age from 19 to 31.

Deloitte conducted the survey in September and October 2011 with help from Clay Voorhees, assistant professor of marketing in MSU’s Broad College of Business.

Deloitte announced the preliminary results of the survey at its Shifting Gears conference today in Detroit. Full survey findings will be released in February.

Craig Giffi, vice chairman and automotive practice leader at Deloitte LLP, said Gen Y consumers may be the game changers in the United States, because, at nearly 80 million strong, they are one of the biggest automobile buying market segments and the largest consumer segment since the baby boomers. According to projections, 40 percent of vehicles sold in the next 10 years will be bought by Gen Y consumers.

From the study, Giffi found that Gen Y consumers are drawn to hybrids for several reasons. Most notably, fuel efficiency: 89 percent of Gen Y consumers are considering buying a vehicle that gets better mileage. This is especially true when gasoline prices rise above $2.75 per gallon – the median price Gen Y consumers see as ‘fair.’

“Gen Y consumers also view hybrid technology as proven and reliable,” says Giffi. “Almost six in 10 Gen Y respondents prefer a hybrid over any other type of vehicle.”

In addition, in-dash technology is the most important part of a ’s interior for a majority (59 percent) of Gen Y respondents, with almost three-quarters (73 percent) seeking touchscreen interfaces. Gen Y consumers also rank smartphone applications as highly desirable in a new automobile (72 percent).

“Gen Y consumers prefer automobiles that are an extension of their social-media and digital lifestyles,” said Joe Vitale, global automotive sector leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

On average, Gen Y are willing to spend more than $3,000 for hardware that delivers connectivity.

Explore further: Nikola Labs phone case harvests back wasted energy

Related Stories

Gen Y logs on at the library

Jan 01, 2008

More Americans turn to the Internet for issues such as illnesses, finances, taxes and careers rather than look to other information sources, a survey found.

Recommended for you

Nikola Labs phone case harvests back wasted energy

12 hours ago

If you click on the Nikola Labs site you will find an announcement that the group plans to go up on Kickstarter soon and they invite your email signup to learn more. Then at the bottom of the page is an ic ...

Bringing NASA satellite data down to Earth

20 hours ago

NASA didn't have Wicked Joe Coffee Roasting Company in mind as the agency launched hundreds of instruments into Earth orbit over the years. But thanks to a NASA website that tailors satellite-derived data ...

INL and NREL demonstrate power grid simulation at a distance

May 05, 2015

The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have successfully demonstrated the capability to connect grid simulations at their two labs for real time interaction ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shifty0x88
not rated yet Jan 24, 2012
I'm Gen Y and I am with the majority, I want a hybrid!

Only problem is they are really expensive and replacing parts/batteries are probably going to hurt the wallet worse then some luxury/super cars.

That being said, when I need a new car, I am going to look at all the hybrids to see if they are an affordable and attractive buy.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.