Why Millennials Love Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Toyota, Bose, Beats & BMW

When it comes to automobile purchases, Millennials differ greatly from baby boomers and other older generations. Two studies examined what Millennials want in cars.  Infiniti reports a trend toward catering towards Millennials. Harris finds that Millennials trend towards higher quality.

Infiniti Research commented on the Harris Polls’ finding that seven of the top 10 millennial car brands are luxury brands for Millennials compared to five each for Generation X and the baby boomer generation. Though this preference does not necessarily translate to sales, and does not mean that Millennials are more likely to own luxury automobiles than older generations, it may be the driving force behind new and advanced automobile features and designs that are currently entering the market. Automobile manufacturers have begun to develop products designed and marketed with Millennials in mind, such as the 2018 Acura TLX.

Harris found that Millennials

In this year’s study, Mercedes-Benz reclaimed the Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year honor from Lexus; Mercedes-Benz held the title 2011 – 2015. Toyota maintained the Non-Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year for the third consecutive year. Notably, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota’s equity scores rank in the top 25 percent of all brands measured, across industries.

Millennials aspire to luxury, and this is nowhere more evident than in the automotive industry, where they are behind Mercedes-Benz’s equity strength.

Harris Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year

  1. Mercedes-Benz
  2. BMW
  3. Genesis
  4. Lexus
  5. Porsche

Non-Luxury Automotive Brand of the Year

  1. Toyota
  2. Honda
  3. Chevrolet
  4. Ford
  5. Subaru
  6. Nissan
  7. GMC
  8. Mazda

Car Audio Brand of the Year

  1. Beats In-Vehicle Audio
  2. Bose In-Vehicle Audio
  3. Bang and Olufsen In-Vehicle Audio
  4. harman/kardon In-Vehicle Audio
  5. Pioneer In-Vehicle Audio

According to Harris Poll’s research, seven of the top ten millennial car brands are luxury brands, versus five each for Generation X and baby boomers. Mercedes-Benz boasts an equity score of 73 among millennials, compared to an equity rating of 66 among consumers overall. Aspiration, however, outpaces ownership as millennials are much less likely to actually own luxury cars than older generations.

When studying car buying preferences, fueled by younger generations, car audio equity is on the rise, up nearly 2 equity points since 2016. Beats rose 12 equity points to succeed Bose, which has held the Car Audio Brand of the Year title for the past five years. Harris Poll’s research indicates that millennials may be behind Beats’ success — 33 percent of millennials are familiar with Beats, compared to 17 percent of consumers overall.

“Millennials are extremely familiar with, and think highly of both brands, but they may more strongly associate Beats with mobility whereas they associate Bose (Home Entertainment Electronics Brand of the Year) with high quality sound in-and-around the home,” said Sinopoli.

While not an award category this year, OEM infotainment equity is increasing year-over-year, with evidence pointing to millennials impacting the category’s growth.

With the growth in car audio and infotainment equity cars are changing from a durable to a true lifestyle purchase, a mobile business and entertainment hub.

Millennials prefer CarGurus than more traditional car buying online options. CarGurus.com makes its debut as Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year, jumping seven equity points and squeaking past KBB.com, which held the title since 2012.

While KBB.com is equally well known across generations, 25 percent of millennials are familiar with CarGurus.com, compared to 16 percent of consumers overall. Familiarity is one of the three main factors determining brand equity, and Harris Poll’s study suggests that those who know CarGurus know them very well.