As Ford gets ready for an SUV bonanza at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company has released the results of a survey that serves to validate its investment in bringing five new SUVs and crossovers to market in the next three years.
The Ford sponsored survey shows that SUVs are highly desired by millennials, indicating Europe’s SUV boom is poised to accelerate as this generation reaches prime new car buying age.
‘Millennial’ is a handy word used by marketeers to describe those aged between 17 and 34, the group that came of age during the time of the Internet, social media and mass connectivity. In other words, if you’re older than that you’re a dinosaur and shouldn’t be allowed a smartphone.
I’m interested in this age group because a) I fall into it (right side of 30, wrong side of 25) and b) there’s a lot of stuff being written about this generation and brands seem to be scrambling around wondering how they can attract this group into their cars. That is if they actually want or can afford a car (I had a rant on this before, which you can read here).
Millennials account for 24% of Europe’s adult population. The new survey shows one in four millennials who intend to purchase a vehicle in the next year are considering an SUV. An SUV!
But why? Well this is where it gets really interesting. The results in my opinion show that the youth of today is somewhat misguided when it comes to SUVs, so I want to tear down some false beliefs and get them back into the hot hatches where they belong. So let’s get started shall we?
1) According to the survey, more so than other age groups millennials say SUVs make them feel powerful when they drive them, are the kind of vehicle they want to be seen in and are more sporty and fun to drive than any other vehicle type.
It’s the last part of this I take issue with as I can see how being perched up in an SUV with a big kick ass grille can make you feel powerful and maybe impress your friends too. But sporty and fun? It depends on how much you’re willing to spend, but the SUVs that will hunker down on the road for you like a hot hatch are few and far between and very expensive.
2) 54% millennials believe SUVs are better than any other type of car at going anywhere in city or countryside.
Just because it’s covered up to the gills in plastic cladding, the majority of the most fashionable SUVs you will see on the road today are front wheel drive. Which is the same as your standard road car. If you really want to do some hardcore off-roading you’re going to want four wheel drive. But even a humble Fiat Panda can offer you that.
3) 52% millennials believe SUVs are better at keeping them safe than other types of vehicle.
Depends on what you hit and at what speed. There’s a standardised system for measuring how ‘safe’ a car is. All cars are crash tested and awarded a safety rating based on the Euro NCAP star rating system, with five stars being the top rating.
4) 84% millennials believe SUVs have become more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly over the last five years.
Yeah but so have hot hatches.
5) 52% millennials intending to buy an SUV consider them the only type of vehicle that delivers toughness as well as lifestyle, rational and emotional appeal in a single package
You really need to check out an estate car.
By all means choose an SUV if you want one, but not because you hold false beliefs on what it can deliver.