Generation Y consumers are a challenge, with certain data indicating some of them are in no hurry to buy cars.
Many of those young people who do aspire to car ownership are no-frills buyers who very much want a customer-centric selling process. They are a tough sell, but not an impossible one.
Here are a messaging tactics to keep in mind as you reach out to car buyers under age 35:
While many Gen Y consumers saw their parents able to reach and achieve their financial goals, the great recession has made younger people more cautious and conscientious in their purchasing decisions.
Outline why buying a new vehicle doesn't have to mean giving up your life savings.
Clearly outline payment plans and additional options such as leasing versus buying. Play up some of your less expensive models. What does seem to catch on now is good value for the money.
Focus on Positives
While a larger portion of Gen Y and millennials believe in public transportation, that doesn't mean they've forgotten that new-car smell.
Outline the benefits of the new fuel-efficient vehicles on the market and target your suburban consumers who lack as much access to public transportation as city-dwellers.
Reach Them on Their Turf
Dealerships are doing a better and better job of getting their stores on Facebook and Twitter, finding these consumers in the place where they are most comfortable.
Don't just use these sites as additional places to list inventory. Start a conversation. Poll your followers on recent concept cars, offer special coupons for followers only and post interesting articles that reach outside of automotive news and focus on other interests as well.
It seems the real car stars on lots at the moment are used vehicles.
Hype specials for those and promote service repairs to keep cars on the road longer. Until the economy fully recovers, this generation is shell-shocked and facing employment challenges that are part of a down market.
Laurie Halter owns Charisma! Communications.