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Study: Chevy is top brand among Millennials and younger buyers

By Analytics Team | March 25, 2019


  • Millennial car shoppers identified Chevy as the brand that they most identify with, the plan to buy next and the brand they currently own.

  • Much of the appeal for younger buyers has to do with Chevy's mix of no-nonsense vehicle attributes, its affordable lineup and widespread availability of features like Apple CarPlay and WiFi hotspots.

  • Millennials are the fastest-growing segment of car shoppers in the industry.

Full story:
Forget the German luxury automakers, the aspirational exotics or even Tesla’s all-electric fleet: the number one brand that speaks to Millennial shoppers and younger is Chevrolet, according to the latest study by Autolist.com.

Much of this appeal has to do with how the Chevy brand resonates with a younger cohort of buyers who are highly sensitive to conspicuous consumption and value.

“Chevy is doing a great job of trading on its reputation as a no-nonsense, affordable brand while at the same time adding to its vehicles the stuff younger buyers covet,” said Chase Disher, analyst at Autolist.com. “This includes things like WiFi hotspots, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, wireless phone charging and an intuitive infotainment system.”

Autolist polled 1,750 current car shoppers and asked them which brand they believed was most relevant to their age group, which brand they would buy today and which brand they currently owned.

Chevy was the top answer to all three questions by Millennials and Gen Z buyers (anyone under 36).

Brand Main

Chevy’s smaller vehicles like the Spark, Cruze and Trax have obvious appeal to younger, price-conscious shoppers. But there are other Chevy models that rank high in purchase consideration among younger buyers.

An earlier study by Autolist.com also found that the Chevy Silverado was the most-popular full-size truck among Millennials.

And data from Insurify, an insurance quote website found that based on 672,000 auto insurance applications, the Impala and Malibu duo were the sixth and seventh most-popular models in the industry for millennial buyers, respectively.

This makes sense given that the midsize car segment has one of the lowest average transaction prices in the industry, behind only subcompact and compact cars and subcompact crossovers, according to data from Automotive News.

Millennials are the fastest-growing group of car buyers in the industry, a fact that hasn’t escaped Chevy’s own marketing efforts. One of the brand’s “Real People, Not Actors” ads specifically addressed Millennials and the cliches that marketers often rely on when selling to this age group.

Here’s a look at the top five responses for the three questions in Autolist’s survey:

Which of these brands speaks to your age group the most?

  1. Chevy
  2. Ford
  3. Honda
  4. BMW
  5. Toyota

Buick, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Cadillac and Volvo were the five brands that respondents under 36 said spoke to them the least.

This was noteworthy because Buick and Cadillac are corporate cousins with Chevy as all three reside under the General Motor banner. Many of their vehicles are similar and use common platforms and powertrains.

“These differences in brand perception really highlight the advantage that Chevy’s no-frills image has over its fellow GM labels,” Disher said. “It also shows how the messaging of Buick and Cadillac has struggled to connect with younger buyers.”

Which of these brands would you consider buying today?

  1. Chevy
  2. Toyota
  3. Ford
  4. Honda
  5. Dodge/Ram

Fiat, Mini, Genesis, Alfa Romeo and Buick were the five brands that were chosen by the fewest number of respondents 36 and under.

Which of these brands do you currently own?

  1. Chevy
  2. Ford
  3. Toyota
  4. Honda
  5. Nissan

Tesla, Mini, Alfa Romeo, Genesis and Jaguar were at the bottom of this list.