Most New-Car Buyers Are Baby Boomers, Study Says

Most New-Car Buyers Are Baby Boomers, Study Says

It may seem odd that carmakers go to great lengths to attract the youth market — Toyota even went so far as to create a youth-oriented brand in Scion — when you discover that six out of every 10 new-car buyers are at least 50 years old, according to a recent study by J.D. Power and Associates and AARP. In fact, car buyers 50 and older made up 62.3% of new-car sales last year, or 5.6 million of the new cars sold, the report says.

The large demographic of older buyers makes sales of youth-oriented cars skew to older buyers, too. Buyers age 50 and older made up about 64% of Chevrolet Cruze sales in 2011 and made up 62% of Ford Focus sales and 52% of Ford Fiesta sales. Nearly 66% of hybrid sales were to the older buying demographic, too, led by the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (72%), Honda Civic Hybrid (69%), Toyota Prius (66%) and Ford Fusion Hybrid (68%). Of the more than 286 vehicle models measured by the study, eight in 10 attributed at least 50% of their sales to buyers over 50.

It wasn't always this way. In 2001, this segment of buyers comprised only 39% of the new-car market, according to the study. Also in 2001, buyers age 18 to 34 comprised 24% of the market, and that percentage has slipped to just 13% in 2011, according to the study. The younger demographic has been affected more by the downturn in the economy, resulting in fewer young buyers who are able or willing to buy a new vehicle.

By Colin Bird | May 4, 2012 | Comments (4)


Amuro Ray

What is most interesting is that their buying habits seem to reflect more thrift with the fuel efficient choices on the list. A lot different than the choices this demographic used to make (i.e. sports cars, large SUVs, luxury cars.)


yes but some could be purchasing the car for their kids, especially in the down economy


Or maybe these old codgers are the only ones who can afford to buy new cars.

While most under 50 are still struggling to make ends meet and achieve their desired goals, the old axiom is that if you haven't made it by 50, it is highly unlikely that you ever will.


it's because their old cars are no good anymore. obviously.

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