Motivated by a strong social conscience and keen to rent, stream and share goods and services, the Millennial generation’s revolutionary approach to spending is changing how companies – including carmakers – do business.
And their fresh thinking is influencing the cars they want to drive in ways you might not expect.
More than four in five Millennials believe SUVs have become more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly during the last five years. Having shed their gas-guzzling reputation, SUVs are now on the shopping lists of one in four Millennials in the market for a new car.
Ford is introducing an all-new fully electric SUV, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles (480 km) – enough to drive from London to Paris. The company introduced three new SUVs in Europe last year, and the new zero-emission model will be one of five arriving by 2020.
“SUV sales are rising faster than any other type of vehicle in Europe, and eco-conscious Millennials are a driving force behind growing SUV demand. Last year, Ford’s SUV sales outpaced even this rapid industry growth,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Customers are discovering the fuel-efficiency offered by advanced engines like our new 120 PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel that meets the latest Euro Stage 6 emissions requirements and delivers 115 g/km CO2 in the new Kuga, and the multi-award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in the Ford EcoSport.”
Sales of Ford’s SUV models in Europe – the compact EcoSport, medium-size Kuga and full-size Edge – grew 31 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015. Last year was the best ever year of sales for the Kuga and EcoSport. ≠ Industry SUV registrations were up 21 per cent across Europe in 2016, accounting for more than one quarter of all the new vehicles registered. †
And it’s not only younger drivers that are defying expectations with their choice of car. Ford data shows that the average age of customers buying hot hatchbacks – high performance versions of small and medium sized cars – increased by more than 10 per cent between 2010 and 2016.
Last year Ford performance car sales – including the Fiesta ST, Focus ST and Focus RS hot hatchbacks, as well as the Ford Mustang – grew by 60 per cent for the second year in succession.