Big Three See Bumpy Road With 20-Somethings

Demographic key to rebuilding for US automakers
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 29, 2009 2:23 PM CDT
President Obama acknowledges Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally in the Rose Garden of the White House. Obama's backing of Detroit may encourage young people to buy.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Detroit automakers face a hard road when it comes to Generation Y—consumers aged 22-32 whose business is crucial to securing the firms' futures, BusinessWeek reports. Their boomer parents broke from tradition by shifting to Japanese cars, and Gen Y is following in those footsteps. Detroit “simply must do much better with Gen Y than they did with their parents, or the comeback we keep hearing about may not happen,” says an analyst.

Some 51% of Gen-Yers say they’re mulling Toyotas, a survey says. Only 34% said they were looking at Chevy, 32% Ford, and 10% Chrysler. Another survey suggests Gen Y is quick to reject brands based on perceptions of reliability and manufacturers’ “bad reputations.”
(Read more automaker stories.)