In dealerships: millennials want information, but no pressure

In dealerships: millennials want information, but no pressure

The auto industry has been asking for some time, what do millennials want when (or if) they buy a new car? A new study from AutoTrader.com provides some answers, including several on these young consumers view of the dealership experience.

The survey concludes that millennials are highly aspirational and image-conscious and more open to import brands. And they do have an interest in vehicles and driving. But many millennials arent in the market yet because theyre too busy with other things, are afraid of driving, find it too expensive and want more time to train.

They want to drive, says Isabelle Helms, AutoTrader.coms senior director of research. They just arent making it as much of a priority as baby boomers did at that age.

When they do shop for a car, millennials rely more on word of mouth than other generations do. Contrary to what you might expect, most of that is face to face rather than through blogs, online forums or email. Theyre most likely to be first introduced to their car of choice through a family member or friend, as opposed to baby boomers who more often are introduced to their car on the dealership lot.

Millennials enjoy browsing the dealership lot more than older generations and depend more on the salesperson for information.

Millennials view the dealership as a key piece of their research process, says Helms. Theyre looking for experts to help answer their questions and to touch and test the car before making a purchase. [But] they will value the salespeople who provide the information they seek in a no-pressure way.

More than 70 percent of younger millennials (ages 16 to 24) said infotainment features are must-haves. Style and features drive vehicle satisfaction for younger millennials, but older ones (ages 25 to 32) are more focused on safety and performance.

In F&I, 60 percent of those surveyed said they would rather shop for a loan online, compared with 35 percent of buyers older than 35. And 60 percent said dealerships had tried to sell them a service they didnt want, versus 45 percent for older buyers.

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