A senior Audi executive said that millennials are change agents and play a key role in influencing vehicle design and technology. Pom Malhotra, director of connected vehicles and data at Audi of America, said while speaking at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars that millennials are shaping how vehicles are designed, marketed and sold as they create market pressure which drives the need to change these aspects.
Millennials, those who are born between 1981 and 1996 currently account for about 15 percent of Audi’s target customers. This is however expected to change significantly by 2025, with the demographic expected to account for about 75 per cent of the upscale brand’s customer base.
In the first quarter of 2018, millennials accounted for all new-vehicle sales growth in the North American auto industry, base don data from consumer credit reporting agency Experian. In the first quarter of 2017, the millennial vehicle market share increased from 27.9 per cent to 29.7. This was in sharp contrast to Generation X, ranging in age from 38 to 53, for whom the figure was flat at 27.2 percent.
Millennials have a liking for in-vehicle technology as when they are in vehicle they want to retain the access to information that they have in other aspects of their life.
Audi has taken this into account and is targeting millennials with its A3 and Q3 models and these models, according to Malhotra have some of the latest and greatest technologies available.
Mercedes-Benz, is also targeting millennials with its latest model, the A-class sedan.
Millennials have grown up using the latest technologies and hence trust such technologies more.
“This is a group that has learned the comfort and conveniences that come with good technological solutions,” Malhotra said. “If something can be done much more easily, and much more comfortably through technology, then why not do it?”
The way such vehicles are sold also needs to be changed taking into account the preferences and habits of millennials with convenience and comfort being the key selling points and use of more software tools.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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