Finished Lubricants

Publishers Letter


The United States is seeing a decline in teen driving, a trend that may raise a red flag for engine oil marketers. Larry Solomon offers a fascinating look at this issue in Late to the Party, on page 20.

At the SEMA Show last November, Melinda Zabritski of Experian Automotive gave a paper chock full of information about generational automotive trends in the U.S. She cited research that vividly illustrates the demographic shift to older drivers. Thirty years ago, nearly half of all 16-year-olds were licensed drivers, compared to fewer than a third today. By contrast, only about 55 percent of the 70-and-older crowd were licensed in 1983, while today 78 percent of our elderlies retain their driving privileges.

Different generations have different model preferences, too. Millennials lean towards small economy cars, while the Silent generation, Boomers and women gravitate to crossover utility vehicles. The Honda Civic is the top choice of Millennials; Generation X and the Boomers make the Ford F-150 their top pick; and the Silent generation goes most for the Toyota Camry.

Gender also makes a big difference when it comes to vehicle choice, Zabritski indicated. Women purchase crossover utility vehicles 50 percent more often than men, while men purchase full-size pickups 233 percent more than women. Men also purchase Fords nearly 34 percent more than women, while women favor Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, Hyundais and Kias.

Did I mention that men like trucks?

Nancy J. DeMarco

Related Topics

Finished Lubricants    North America    Region