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Demographic Groups Rank Favorite Vehicles

IRVINE, Calif. (May 25, 2006) -- When it comes to different age groups and ethnicities, vehicle preference varies. Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research recently shed some light into these trends with their annual AutoVIBES Demographics series of reports.

The AutoVIBES study revealed that vehicle shoppers of all generations are viewing domestic vehicles as the most "buzz-worthy," although each generation ranks a different domestic vehicle in top place. The youngest age group surveyed, Generation Y, and the oldest age group questioned, Pre-Boomers, had only one vehicle in common on this top five "buzz" list -- the Dodge Charger.

"Domestic manufacturers have recently introduced some exciting new products that are catching the eye of many consumers," explained Jack Nerad, executive editorial director for Kelley Blue Book and "The highly anticipated Dodge Charger is making waves among buyers in many different demographics."

Although different age groups selected a variety of vehicles as buzz-worthy, study executives discovered a universal agreement among those surveyed that the Mercedes-Benz CLS was the most sophisticated. Moreover, the report found that the Pontiac Solstice received a high rank by all groups for being exciting and imaginative.

"The knowledge gained from these reports provides insight into the various similarities, differences and preferences among vehicle shoppers of all ages, ethnicities and consideration groups," said Rick Wainschel, vice president of marketing research and brand communications for Kelley Blue Book.

"As auto manufacturer marketing campaigns become more targeted toward specific demographics, understanding the impact of new-model launches as well as key purchase decision factors among these groups could prove invaluable," he added.

According to the study, the most buzz-worthy new nameplates among demographic/vehicle consideration groups are:

Generation Y (Born from 1977-1986): Chevrolet Cobalt

Generation X (Born from 1965-1976): Hummer H3

Baby Boomers (Born from 1946-1964): Dodge Charger

Pre-Boomers (Born 1945 and earlier): Ford Five Hundred

Hispanic: Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500

Asian: Lexus 400h

African-American: Dodge Charger

Luxury Considerers: Mercedes-Benz CLS

Minivan Considerers: Ford Freestyle

Truck Considerers: Dodge Charger

SUV Considerers: Hummer H3

Sports Car Considerers: Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500

Sedan Considerers: Ford Five Hundred

Hybrid/alternative fuel considerers: Dodge Charger

Additionally, the report shared the top five selections via Generation Y, as compared to Pre-Boomers:

Generation Y

1. Chevrolet Cobalt

2. Dodge Charger

3. Ford Shelby Cobra GT 500

4. Hummer H3

5. Pontiac G6


1. Ford Five Hundred

2. Buick LaCrosse

3. Cadillac DTS

4. Ford Freestyle

5. Dodge Charger

For the AutoVIBES report, executives said they examined 49 new-nameplate launches in 2005, including 25 domestics. Car buyers from 14 demographic/vehicle consideration groups rated 12 domestics and only two imports as being the most buzz-worthy, executives concluded.
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