Millennials Consume Content and Shop Differently

 Millennials consume content and shop in different ways from other generations and these Gen Y consumers are having a profound influence on the shopping behaviors of Gen X and Boomer buyers. Today’s post offers a few more excerpts about these younger consumers from panelists and presenters at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV.

What Does the Car Mean to Millennials?

“About 25% of millennials said they would buy a car sight unseen. They’d go online, find it, buy it and have it delivered. This is going to become a lot more important as we go along.”—Clayton Stanfield, senior manager, Dealer Outreach, eBay Motors

“For most of us, the car was the thing we wanted. The reality with millennials is that it’s probably a device they want first and foremost. A car is kind of a secondary consideration. Maybe it’s due to economics. Maybe it’s just due to how powerfully products have been marketed to them—like Xboxes and PlayStations. . . for auto manufacturers, a way to accrue loyalty and affinity to their brands is to get deeply immersed in offering the consumer some free content.”—Randy Shaffer, director, Xbox West Sales, Microsoft Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Roundtable Speaker Defines “Connected Auto Consumers”

Arianne Walker

Arianne Walker

Today’s digital lifestyle has a growing impact on the auto industry. Understanding how consumers who are in the market for a vehicle are “using digital information and how they are connected,” was a key focus in speeches and discussions at the recent J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power, introduced the October conference with highlights of trends in automotive Internet usage based on J.D. Power research. She also spoke about the rise in digital media consumption and identified how different devices—smartphones and tablets—are being used to gather information mostly at home, but also on the go—smartphones are also used for auto shopping on the dealer lot. Walker also discussed trends in content with social media and video and how traditional companies are reformulating automotive content in new ways. Continue reading ›

Defects can be Fixed; Design Problems Remain Obstacles to Initial Quality


David Sargent

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the problems that buyers and lessees identify in their new vehicles during the first 90 days are related to poor design and technology-related issues rather than manufacturing defects or malfunctions, according to the newly revamped J.D. Power 2013 Initial Quality Study (IQS).

In addition, this year’s IQS determines that defects, which account for a much smaller percentage (34%) of the problems in the redesigned study, are more likely to be fixed at the dealership, whereas design problems may last the lifetime or life cycle of the vehicle, which could be five or more years.

Revamped Initial Quality Study (IQS) Details Owners’ Feedback

Completely recast for 2013, the new IQS captures design-related problems and defects or malfunctions experienced by buyers and lessees in their new vehicles during the first 90 days of ownership. The new IQS survey is conducted online rather than by a mail-in questionnaire, which means there is an opportunity to gain more detailed feedback from new-vehicle owners.

A year ago, in the 2012 IQS, we observed that technology challenges were responsible for a majority of initial quality problems. In 2013, issues with technology continue to be the bane of both new-vehicle owners and manufacturers and adversely affect the auto industry’s overall initial quality index in 2013, which averages 113 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100). Although the number of problems cannot be compared with past years’ results due to study redesign, some of the same problem areas identified in the previous year’s study remain in the 2013 study’s results. Continue reading ›

Smartphone App Use Challenges Satisfaction with Factory-Installed Navigation Systems

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Nearly one-half (47%) of owners of new vehicles with factory-installed navigation systems indicate they use a downloaded app on their smartphone to receive driving directions in their vehicle, which is up from 37% in 2011, according to our 2012 U.S. Navigation Usage and Satisfaction Study.

We also find that 46% of the 20,704 respondents, who purchased or leased a new 2012 model-year vehicle with a factory-installed system, say they “definitely would not” or “probably would not” buy another factory-installed navigation system if their smartphone navigation could be displayed on a central screen in their vehicle.

Factory-Installed Nav Systems: Better than Previous Systems but Frustrate Owners

Even though new-vehicle owners say their current factory navigation system is better than their previous system, they are frustrated by complex menu systems and voice control commands, and they indicate having difficulty inputting destinations. For these reasons, among others, this year’s industry average satisfaction with factory-installed navigation systems declines to 681 points (on a 1,000-point scale)—a drop of 13 points from 694 in 2011. Continue reading ›

Mobile Isn’t Just Mobile, and Other Surprising Insights

Jonathan Sundberg

Last week, participants at our Automotive Marketing Roundtable at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, NV, had a chance to hear about results from a recent study of mobile video consumption that shows how consumers are gravitating toward whatever device is most convenient for them.

However, Ryan van Fleet, director of insights . . . Continue Reading Mobile Isn’t Just Mobile, and Other Surprising Insights

What do U.S. Dealers Need to do to Understand Their Customers?

Editor’s Note: Deirdre Borrego, vice president and general manager of J.D. Power’s global automotive operations and Power Information Network® (PIN), presented her thoughts on how dealerships can navigate the future in an article, “U.S. Dealers: Preparing for the Future,” that was published in the October issue of AutoRetailNet, an online magazine.

Excerpts on approaching Gen Y consumers are featured in the first of two posts.

Keep Your Eye on Generation Y

Deirdre Borrego

Generation Y isn’t simply a buzzword. Gen Y consumers (born between 1977 and 1994, and who are generally the children of Baby Boomers born 1946-1964) are currently estimated to number 80 million. That is a huge retail automotive growth opportunity, surpassing both their parents’ generation and Generation X (whose members were born between 1965-1976 and number only 55 million).

Generation Y, also known as Millennials, are already starting to create a massive change in the way retail business is conducted. These consumers are the first generation to be exposed to electronic communications technology from a young age—including wireless phones at home; 500-channel cable and satellite television; cell phones; the Internet; email; social media; websites; and, most recently, smartphones—and they are completely comfortable with the hardware and technologies. Continue reading ›

J.D. Power Auto Insights Reach 1 Million China Mobile Users

Helen Rong

Over 1 million smartphone users in China can now browse J.D. Power’s automotive insights on their mobile handset. Highlights from the company’s consumer surveys are now available as content to smartphone users who have a subscription to Auto Broadcast on China Mobile’s 12580 information portal.

Earlier in June, J.D. Power collaborated with 12580 to send consumer survey and polling results—via text message news bytes—to China Mobile’s Auto Broadcast subscribers. The first news bytes were sourced from a survey conducted with, China’s largest internet service portal, in April 2012.

12580 is the digital portal providing information services for users of China Mobile, the largest telecom carrier in the country. The information portal features “Lifestyle Magazines” with content ranging from tips for healthy living, to available discount coupons for services and products. Automotive and technology news also is offered as part of the mobile information services. Continue reading ›

Smartphones are Integrated More into Automotive Shoppers’ Lives

Arianne Walker

Smartphones are not quite ubiquitous, but according to recent reports from data gatherers such as Nielsen, smartphones are now owned by slightly more than half (50.4%) of U.S. mobile phone users. In addition, the number of apps that are downloaded per device continues to increase—in the past year, apps on each device have increased from 32 to 41 on average, according to recent data reports.

Our own research about online behavior in the automotive arena illustrates how much more in-market automotive shoppers are using their smartphones to access automotive content even when they are at home—not just when they are out and about. For instance, in the past 2 years, we have seen a 41% increase among in-market automotive shoppers using their smart mobile devices to visit mobile sites for automotive content.

In 2010, just 17% of these shoppers used their smartphones to access automotive content and in 2011, we saw that percentage of shoppers with smartphones jump to nearly one-fourth (24%), based on analysis in our 2010-2011 U.S. Automotive Mobile Site Study. This is the fastest increase in content consumption type among those that we have measured. Continue reading ›

Keeping Messages Simple, Creative and Consistent is Focus for Multi-Screen Marketing

Engaging consumers with consistent marketing messages across all four major platforms—TV, PCs, smartphones and tablets—and even a possible fifth screen in the future, such as an accessory on the body (a device embedded in consumers’ glasses)—was the key focus of one of yesterday’s panel discussions by six internet and media executives at the 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV.

Panelists also defined six key factors that are impacting the evolution of these platforms right now, including: the recent passing of Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and visionary leader; whether “Kinect” from the Xbox will become the port; the role of Google in the market with the android phone and tablets; and the connected TV to surf the Web.

Panel moderator Gabe Greenberg, chief revenue officer, RGM Group, an interactive media firm based in Venice, CA, led the discussion about trends and statistics, leading-edge tools and best practices related to the topic of “Convergence of Marketing Across the Four Screens.” Panelists included: Todd Anderman, chief media and revenue officer, Jumptap; Russ Axelrod, director of branded experiences, Microsoft Advertising; Dan Hodges, chief revenue officer, Verve Wireless; Tod Sacerdoti, CEO/Founder of BrightRoll, Inc.; John Schultz, executive vice president, Specific Media. Continue reading ›

The Battle for Navigation System Market Share Heats Up

The competition is heating up. Factory-installed navigation systems are already a dynamic market, but what happens when more options or alternatives are introduced to the market and in greater numbers? Currently, factory-installed navigation manufacturers and suppliers face newer competition from smartphones and cellular phones equipped with navigation capabilities, as well as from more established . . . Continue Reading The Battle for Navigation System Market Share Heats Up