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Are codgers the auto industry's saviors?

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Boomers May Be The Only Ones Who Can Afford New Cars

Auto execs may soon be bragging about raising the age of their average buyers.

Back many more years than I would care to admit, I sat through my share of press conferences where auto execs would brag about lowering the average age of their buyers from somewhere in the 50s down into the 40s. The age factor back then was particularly acute among the domestic brands, which saw the average of their buyers climb while imports were peeling away their younger buyers. Much of this was also due to the fact that the product pitched by the domestics, thanks to their floaty rides and less-than-compact packages, did seem geared more towards those eligible for AARP membership than not. Things change. The products on the market today have a more universal sensitivity to them. There are Ford and Chevy models that appeal to Honda and Toyota buyers and vice versa. The Detroit automakers are not necessarily typecast as builders of your father's Oldsmobile anymore. So it's interesting that a new study by the University of Michigan suggests that the worm has turned and auto execs may soon be bragging about raising the age of their average buyers. The Transportation Research Institute at U of M has found the peak probability of buying a brand new automobile is now in the 55-to-64 age group. This is a significant shift away from a study four years ago that found the 35-to-44 set most likely to buy new cars. We reported these findings earlier in the week, but they deserve a closer look. Matt DeLorenzo is the former editor-in-chief of Road & Track and has covered the auto industry for 35 years, including stints at Automotive News and AutoWeek. He has authored books including VW's New Beetle, Chrysler's Modern Concept Cars, and Corvette Dynasty.

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Are codgers the auto industry's saviors? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Jun 2013 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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