Youngest car shoppers are buying more cars

Posted at 9:40 PM, Aug 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-04 21:40:54-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — It turns out, so-called millennials are responsible for a bigger percentage of new car purchases than older Gen X slackers.

Millennials born between 1977 and 1994, also known as Generation Y, bought 26% of new vehicles sold so far this year, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates. Meanwhile, Gen X shoppers, born between 1965 and 1976, accounted for only 24% of sales.

“As Gen Y consumers enter new life stages, earn higher incomes and grow their families, their ability and desire to acquire new vehicles is increasing,” said Thomas King, vice president of the Power Information Network, which collected the survey data.

Neither of those younger crowds even touches the Baby Boomer generation, of course, which soaked up a full 38% of new cars and trucks sold during the first half of this year.

The gap between generations X and Y should grow, too, as Gen Y buyers are expected to pick up the car buying pace through second half of the year, according to J.D. Power. The two younger generations have different tastes with Gen Y buyers favoring compact cars like the Ford Focus while Gen Xers buy more small SUVs such as General Motors’ Buick Encore.

Industry experts have been concerned that younger people might be less interested in buying cars than past generations of Americans.