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Younger Generations Place Higher Value on Car Tech

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Interest in advanced car technology when broken down by generation is highest among the youngest drivers and lowest among the oldest — but that’s inversely proportional to those age groups’ ability to pay for it. So-called millennials are not only the most technologically savvy age group, but also the most willing to pay extra for advanced features in cars. Still, their budgets are limited while generally such features are still associated with luxury vehicles.

That’s according to a study released this week by research company GfK and the Consumer Electronics Association on “The Future of Automotive Technology.” According to the study, three-quarters of people in Generations Y (ages 25-34) and Z (18-24) rank among the “most tech-interested” segments of car buyers. Both those generations were significantly above average — 70 percent of Gen Y and 61 percent of Gen Z — in reporting to be “especially interested” in car tech.

“These two groups also indexed well above-average in their willingness to pay extra for a variety of advanced car technologies, including visual warning of nearby emergency vehicle activity, seats that automatically go to driver’s preferred position, and spill-proof car devices,” according to a news release.

Meanwhile, Generation X (ages 35-44) showed average willingness to pay for new tech, while baby boomers (45-64) showed the least.

Jeff Campana, senior vice president of GfK’s automotive team, said those younger generations are highly attuned to the benefits of mobile technology, as well as safety and cleanliness features. Campana said the study’s results indicate an opportunity for automakers to engage these buyers by bringing more affordable, advanced devices and services to small and midsize cars.

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Photo of Matt Schmitz
Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt Schmitz

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