5.5. Customizing the Scion for the United States Youth Segment
The youth segment, especially in the United States, represented a burgeoning market for automakers. At the turn of the century the so-called Generation Y, born between 1980 and 1994, purchased only 5 percent of new cars in the United States but this was expected to grow rapidly, adding 4 million first-time buyers each year until 2010. By then, Generation Y was expected to be the buyer of 25 percent of new small cars sold in the United States, jumping to 40 percent by 2020.
Numerous marketing studies have found Generation Y in the United States to be very different from previous generations. These consumers, especially the women, are more educated than any previous generation. They are more ethnically diverse, with more than one-third represented by nonwhites, and they are optimistic about their income prospects including economic support from their parents. Their overexposure to contemporary marketing techniques makes them more demanding as consumers and more skeptical than other generations about the messages in television commercials and magazine advertisements. They are also more sophisticated in their awareness of technology and their expectations of design, quality, and safety standards in a car. In this generation, the car is a symbol of self-expression for more people than it was for previous generations.
Capturing the interest of this highly attractive segment was not easy for automakers, Toyota included. ...