Big Three a Hard Sell Among Young Folks

Research shows that of the ten vehicles most popular with 16-35-year olds, not one comes from the Big Three U.S. manufacturers. argues that it will take more than a bailout to attract younger customers.
January 5, 2009, 7am PST | Tim Halbur
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"The list, topped by Toyota's Scion tC, includes five Volkswagens, two Mazdas, a Subaru, and a Mitsubishi.

'These cars have created an image as brands that appeal to the young buyer,' said Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for J.D. Power & Associates. 'Part of it is price, there's no question, but part of it is image, also.'

These Millennial generation cars have more in common than image. They tend to be less expensive-the base MSRP for a 2008 Scion tC is $17,000. And they are usually smaller. All the cars on J.D. Power's list are classified as compact vehicles.

Even when Detroit produces smaller or cheaper cars, it often struggles to break the image barrier. On paper, the Ford Focus is everything the Volkswagen Rabbit is. Both have base MSRPs at around $15,000, and are similar sizes, boasting a curb weight at under 3,000 pounds. But with twenty-somethings and young families, the Rabbit has outseld the Focus year after year."

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Published on Monday, December 22, 2008 in Campus Progress
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