For the first time ever, Generation Y consumers now represent a larger portion of the U.S. new-vehicle buyers than their Generation X car buyers.
Both are still behind the Baby Boomers however, according to data collected by the Power Information Network.
So far this year, Gen Y car shoppers (those born in 1977-94) have accounted for 26 percent of new-vehicle retail sales in the U.S. compared to Gen X (1965-'76).
Baby Boomers (1946-'64) are still No. 1 at 38 percent.
"As Gen Y consumers enter new life stages, earn higher incomes and grow their families, their ability and desire to acquire new vehicles is increasing," said Thomas King, vice president of PIN, according to Edmunds. "As new-vehicle demand among Gen Y consumers increases, it will be important for automakers to respond to the needs of these consumers, not only in terms of the vehicle design, but also the marketing, sales and service experience."
PIN researcher also mentions that those in Gen Y tend to favor smaller vehicles.
A recent survey conducted by Deloitte showed that affordability is the main consideration when Millennials go car shopping, both in terms of ongoing costs, like insurance and maintenance and purchase price.
Technology-related features are a close second, according to the Deloitte study, including advanced safety features, alternative powertrains, and infotainment systems.
"Millennials represent one of the greatest challenges and biggest opportunities for automakers," said online Dealer Marketing Magazine in an article recently. "Despite challenging times, dealers and automakers can leverage technology to attract and market to this audience and turn them into long-term customers."