‘Shifting Gears’, a comprehensive study that delves deeply into the world of Gen Z and examines their shifting mindsets on mobility and car ownership was tabled today. Read the report in full HERE.
Commissioned by carsales and conducted by Crowd DNA, the study comprehensively canvasses the influential cohort’s attitudes to mobility.
From the rising importance placed on sustainability and the global pandemic to the emergence of car sharing, mainstream EVs and the residual impacts of COVID on supply chain, seismic shifts of late have reshaped the way in which Gen Z approaches the automotive category.
The ‘Shifting Gears’ study highlights Gen Z’s unique perspective on car ownership and offers a better understanding of this generation’s future-first mindset.
“’Shifting Gears’ was an opportunity for us to delve further into Gen Z and see if the current climate has impacted their car buying habits and how they approach the automotive category,” said carsales general manager of customer advocacy & research, Deb Heaphy.
“The research taps into these shifts and offers guidance on how we can better connect with them,” continued Heaphy.
Born between 1990 and 2010 and growing up in a world flux, Gen Z is no stranger to tough and uncertain times – frugal, fearful of debt and concerned about the future, 66 per cent of Gen Z respondents are feeling negative emotions towards the future. At the same time, they are also more optimistic than other generation, with 86 per cent feeling at least one positive emotion. These contradictory views, opinions, values and behaviours are what has led them to be termed the “hybrid generation”.
Gen Zs are taking active steps to mitigate their financial worries, with 56 per cent of respondents saving with a goal in mind. They are open-minded and avoid definitive binary labels, and these values extend to mobility. Indeed, the research indicates that Gen Z is the age group most open to using the most diverse range of transport options available to them and choose the mode of transport that best fits their lifestyle and needs at that moment in time.
While Gen Z has a diverse mobility mindset with a variety of options at their disposal, buying and owning a car is still an essential milestone of adulthood and remains aspirational for this generation with 53% claiming they ‘can’t wait to buy and own a car’.
“Crowd DNA’s research has underpinned the idea that Gen Z are pragmatic, optimistic and financially frugal, and see cars as the aspirational mode of transport best delivering on freedom – the relevance of car ownership continues to grow,” said Heaphy.
Gen Z’s fear of debt translates into how they finance their car purchase, with three in five respondents preferring to buy their car with cash or savings.
Important lifestyle factors considered by Gen Z when deciding to buy a new car include a good price (66 per cent), fuel efficiency (48 per cent) and size of the car (45 per cent).
The research also suggests they are brand-agnostic, indicating a shift away from the rusted-on loyalties displayed by their parents, while climate change plays a big factor in their transport choices.
“An eco-lifestyle is possible to achieve with particular makes and models, and we can better educate Gen Z on the pros and cons of hybrids and EVs and highlight affordable options in line with their shifting mindset,” said Heaphy.