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AutoPacific Releases Results of Study on Baby Boomers

Automotive researcher AutoPacific has released the results of its comprehensive study of the Baby Boomer automotive consumers. The conclusion from AutoPacific’s Baby Boomer Consultancy is that automotive marketers are paying too much attention to youth marketing at the expense of a huge potential with the Baby Boomer market.
Boomer Title Blog.jpg
Baby Boomers – now aged 41 to 60 – are the most affluent Americans, with three-quarters of the nation’s financial assets and $2-trillion in disposable income annually. Boomers control more than 50% of all discretionary income and will become more affluent as they inherit a great amount from their parents.
Boomers account for more than half of U.S. spending, and the older they get, the deeper their pockets. Boomers will keep spending.
The Boomers’ household fleets say it all. Boomers likely have an SUV, sports car, or a classic in their garage. The average American household purchases 13 cars over a lifetime. Seven vehicles are purchased after the head of the household turns 50. AutoPacific research shows 50% of Boomer households already owns 3 or more vehicles. Many Boomer couples will add a third vehicle to their family fleet that will be “aspirational”, displaying their personal style.
Baby Boomer Households – Number of Vehicles
1-vehicle: 12%
2-vehicles: 38%
3-vehicles: 27%
4-or more vehicles: 23%
AutoPacific research indicates Boomers will maintain their pace of car buying with 54% of Boomers expecting to keep their vehicle 4 years or less, 26% 3 years or less.
Baby Boomer Households – Expected Length of Ownership
2 years or less: 10%
2 to 3 years: 16%
3 to 4 years: 28%
More than 4 years: 46%
AutoPacific’s conclusion is that marketers should focus on Boomers – where the money is and where there is willingness to spend it!

The following story appeared in the Orange_County_Register on Friday, February 24, 2006

Boomers Left by the Side of the Road

Study says auto sellers overlook middle-age drivers in aim to lure younger buyers.
The Orange County Register
The best car consumers are people that auto marketers often fail to consider: the 78 million members of the baby-boom generation now in their top earning and spending years, according to a new study by AutoPacific, a Tustin consulting and market research company.
Among the findings about the generation – between age 41 and 60 – in the new study:
The average American household purchases 13 cars over a lifetime. Seven are purchased after the head of household turns 50.
54 percent of baby boomers expect to keep their car four years or less, and 26 percent expect to keep it three years or less.
50 percent of baby boomer households already own three or more vehicles, many of which are “aspirational” vehicles, such as muscle cars they drive to feel youthful.
Boomers have $2 trillion in disposable income a year, more than half of the discretionary income in the country.
The report says that boomers are likely to want vehicles that are safe, easy to use, a good investment, high in quality and pleasurable to drive.
Only about 10 percent of advertising money is spent directly marketing to the 50-plus market, the report says. But AutoPacific President George Peterson issued a word of caution: Sellers walk a tightrope trying to appeal to middle-age clients.
“You can sell a young person’s car to an old person, but you can’t sell an old person’s car to a young person,” he said. “But a lot of ad agencies are focusing so much on the young that they’re missing older buyers.”
What middle-age car buyers want:
• Easy entry and exit. “Their bodies don’t fold up as well.”
• Dashboards with easy-to-read gauges and large buttons.
• Big windows with no blind spots.
• Mechanical features that do not require a complicated instruction manual to use.
Boomer appeal
Autos designed for younger drivers that appeal to baby boomers, according to George Peterson of AutoPacific…
Ford Mustang: “A retro car with a contemporary look. A muscle car that appeals to young guys and older guys.”
Honda Element: “It was supposed to be a dorm room on wheels, but the median-age of an Element buyer is in their upper 40s. They like the space.”
Scion xB: “A rolling box. They deliberately avoided older people in their marketing.”
AutoPacific conducts studies for automakers ranging from Acura to Volvo, marketing companies, industry companies, such as advertisers and parts suppliers.

1 Comment

  • Eva Brooks| March 7, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    I am way beyond the Baby Boomer age but I still like to have a very Sporty looking car. I prefer a coupe as I don’t have any one to share my car with. My latest purchase is a 2006 G-6 Pontiac Coupe. My 2 sons would fall into the Boomer age group.

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