Scion, Mazda, Mitsubishi Models Appeal Most to Younger Buyers

Grace Hamulic

Import models—especially compacts—continued to attract the highest percentages of younger buyers (ages 16-35) during the first two months of 2011 (Jan. 1-Feb. 21), based on analysis of our Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data.* All 10 models with the highest percentages of younger new-vehicle buyers were Japanese and German imports—which was the same as in the past several years.

This year’s results are somewhat similar to last year’s same period results. The Toyota and Scion youth brands accounted for three of this year’s 10 models with the highest percentages of younger buyers. In addition, Mazda and Mitsubishi each had two models among the 10 with the highest percentages of younger buyers. A year ago, the 10 models with the highest percentages of younger buyers included two from each of the Scion, Mazda and Volkswagen brands. One premium model made the list this year—the BMW M3.

This year, the Scion tC was even more popular with younger buyers than a year ago. More than one-half (52.2%) of the sporty compact model’s buyers were age 35 or younger, which was up from 49.6% in the January-February period of 2010. Interestingly, tC sales soared 75% in the first two months of 2011 vs. the same time frame a year ago, based on our Automotive Forecasting Division’s data.

Mitsubishi’s Lancer compact sporty car model had the next highest percentage of younger buyers (46.0%) and was followed by the Subaru Impreza (43.1%). Lancer sales were off 8% through the first two months of this year, but Impreza deliveries climbed 37% in January-February this year vs. the same two months in 2010.

Six of the models among the 10 most favored by younger buyers in the first two months of 2011 were on the list a year ago—they were the tC, Lancer, VW GTI, Impreza, Mazda3 and Scion xB. Models that are new to the list this year—including two midsize car models—are: the M3, Mitsubishi Galant, Toyota Yaris and Mazda6. Models with the highest percentages of younger buyers in January-February of 2010 also included the Volkswagen Routan, Nissan Pathfinder, Mazda5 and Infiniti FX.—Grace Hamulic, PIN production manager

*Note: Models with insufficient sample size (sales of less than 100 units in the 2-month period) were not included.

Models with Highest Percentages of Younger Buyers (Ages 16-35)

Model Jan-Feb 2011 Jan-Feb 2010 Segment
Scion tC 52.2% 49.6% compact sporty
Mitsubishi Lancer 46.0% 42.5% compact sporty
Subaru Impreza 43.1% 39.3% compact conventional
BMW M3 42.9% NA compact prem. conv.
Mazda3 42.5% 39.0% compact conventional
Volkswagen GTI 42.0% 46.8% compact conventional
Mazda6 35.7% NA midsize conventional
Mitsubishi Galant 34.9% NA midsize conventional
Toyota Yaris 34.7% NA sub-compact conventional
Scion xB 33.7% 34.6% compact MPV
*Jan. 1-Feb. 21, 2011    
Source: PIN

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