Auto Service World
News   April 7, 2016   by CARS Magazine

Baby-boomers vs. Millenials: Who’s the hard sell?

A new study from CarGurus shows the generational divide in attitudes when it comes to purchasing a car.

Among the starkest differences, younger shoppers reported a lower degree of satisfaction with their current or most recent car shopping experience (45% were “satisfied”) than 60+ shoppers (62% “satisfied”).

Young shoppers were also less likely to place high importance on their experience at the dealership (19 percent of 18-29 year olds, compared with 39 percent of 60+ shoppers). They also reported the least comfort negotiating price than older age groups: only 28 percent said they felt comfortable haggling, while 39 percent of 60+ shoppers reported a high degree of comfort.

While price was identified as an important factor in the purchase decisions of the majority of Canadians surveyed, shoppers in age groups 18 – 29 and 30 – 39 were most likely to cite price as “extremely important” (60 percent), 5 percentage points more than 60+ shoppers. These younger age groups also assigned significantly less importance to dealer reputation, with only 24 percent citing it as “extremely important” to their purchase decision. Comparatively, 39 percent of 60+ shoppers consider dealer reputation “extremely important.”

“Millennials grew up shopping online, so it makes sense they would be less comfortable or interested in the traditional, off-line aspects of the car buying experience, whether that’s negotiating price or visiting a dealership,” said Amy Mueller, director of communications for CarGurus. “For Canadian car dealers, understanding and adapting to the digital mindset of this always-on, mobile generation is critical.  The best opportunity to engage them is likely occurring before they ever step foot on the lot, if they ever do.”

The Canadian Car Shopper survey also found differences in attitudes by gender: men were far more comfortable negotiating price and less likely to consider dealer reputation of high importance when car shopping. Women viewed price as more important to their car purchase decision than most men.

Study Methodology: These observations are based on an RDD dual frame (land and cell-lines) hybrid telephone and online random survey of 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, between January 30th and February 1st, 2016. The survey was commissioned by CarGurus and carried out by Nanos Research.

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