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Solstice Drives Down Average Age of Pontiac Buyers

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Fountain of Youth: Solstice Drives Down Average Age of Pontiac Shoppers

Date posted: 04-18-2006

BANDON, Ore. — Pontiac, on the shoulders of its popular Solstice, saw the biggest decline in shopper ages — from 54 in the first quarter of 2005 down to 41 in the first quarter of 2006 — according to a new report by market research firm CNW.

At the other end of the scale from Pontiac, Korean automaker Kia took the lead in snaring older customers. The average age of Kia shoppers in 2006 is 35.5, compared with 30.3 years in 2005. CNW interpreted that as "good news" for Kia, because the brand "wants to move further upscale in both price and content so it needs slightly older buyers who can afford the more expensive vehicles."

The average age of Mini shoppers declined more than 8 percent, from 46.8 in 2005 to 42.9 in 2006. The average age of Mazda shoppers is creeping up, from 39.7 percent in 2005 to 41.3 in 2006.

At the same time, Toyota has seen a dramatic 11-percent increase in the average age of its shoppers, even factoring in its Scion youth brand. The average age of Toyota shoppers was 40.5 in 2005 and is 45 in 2006.

Overall, the age of shoppers is actually older than the average age of buyers, CNW reported. This year, the average age of shoppers is 47, up from 46.5 in 2005, while the average buyer is slightly more than 41 years old, up from 40.9 a year ago.

What this means to you: This report is an important sign of progress for Pontiac, and an important sign of danger for Toyota.

Link: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=110062

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Guest Josh

It is extremly good news for Pontiac and extreme good news for Toyota if you are a GM Enthusiast. Perhaps the "baby boomers" are starting to lose their affect on market conditions and more Gen X'ers such as myself are now purchasing vehicles.

The only thing Toyota has benefited from is the weak offerings from Detroit in the 80's. Other than that, kids from my generation will connect with GM, Ford & Chrysler.

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Some good news, hopefully the SKY brings down Saturn's average buyer age.

If Pontiac introduced a Kappa sedan the average buyer age would drop even more dramatically.

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Toyota themselves admitted their own failure at turning the demographics around with the failure of the Genesis Project cars and the birth of Scion, who still appeals to older people who want a tiny van.

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Well, duh...young people want cheap, but they don't want small. They want to take their friends and their cargo to go places and do things. They want fuel economy if they pay for their own gas...basically they want a crossover with good fuel economy, good styling, and decent power. That would be a "young people mobile." Seriously...who buys those tiny tiny cars? Old people and really poor people...used.

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Guest Josh

I am not old, nor poor, but I am also the exception to the rule. Plus what I've found when I travel, I can fit what I will need on a weekend excursion in the trunk of the Solstice.

Grant it my trips have been with the top up due to weather, but down, I feel my small bag would also fit, my guest would have the same.

This car is by far the best vehicle out on the market today. The looks, the attention, the fun to drive of it, the fuel economy (when I can lay off the gas) is fantastic. It's just overall fun & the younger crowd loves it as well.

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Wait. Did the toyota-sucking media not report the average buyer age of the toyota brand by itself??

{re-reads....} It's unclear: is 45 yrs the average of toyota & scion TOGETHER?? If so, what the everlovin' hell is the average buyer age of toyota without scion: 65?? 72???

This could be monsterous....

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I am not old, nor poor, but I am also the exception to the rule. Plus what I've found when I travel, I can fit what I will need on a weekend excursion in the trunk of the Solstice.

Grant it my trips have been with the top up due to weather, but down, I feel my small bag would also fit, my guest would have the same.

This car is by far the best vehicle out on the market today. The looks, the attention, the fun to drive of it, the fuel economy (when I can lay off the gas) is fantastic. It's just overall fun & the younger crowd loves it as well.

My comments were in reference to the failure of Scion at luring younger buyers.

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So, if we want to bring Buick's age down, maybe we need a hot little roadster? Oh, yeah, we knew this.

Seriously though, the Solstice is like a God send to Pontiac. They nailed that car down perfectly--it's just purely awesome. The car just looks like SO much fun to drive. And I swear, I'd totally consider getting the GXP. And I really thought I was over my "sports car" phase.

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NIIIICE!!!!!!!

GM, the Solstice should show you just how "DAMAGED" Pontiac is!!!!! Sexy and Alluring product SELLS!!!!! And people REMEMBER what Pontiac was meant to be.

At the same time, Toyota has seen a dramatic 11-percent increase in the average age of its shoppers, even factoring in its Scion youth brand. The average age of Toyota shoppers was 40.5 in 2005 and is 45 in 2006.

Well, well...... What do we have here?!?!?! A crack in the foundation? And one that is not easily fixed!

Looks like Scion FAILED at it's main mission!

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It is extremly good news for Pontiac and extreme good news for Toyota if you are a GM Enthusiast. Perhaps the "baby boomers" are starting to lose their affect on market conditions and more Gen X'ers such as myself are now purchasing vehicles.

The only thing Toyota has benefited from is the weak offerings from Detroit in the 80's. Other than that, kids from my generation will connect with GM, Ford & Chrysler.

You know... By and large I find this to be the case with EVERYONE I talk to in our age group.

NOT MANY are that biased against Detroit, (WAY different from the boomers, in which it is a virtual SIN to buy domestic) it's just that Detroit needs to step it up a bit and become more competitive and offer more appealing models especially marketed at our group. And this even applies to "Damaged" brands. ALL of my friends (16-25) LOVE the Solstice and Sky as well as the 300C. That right there shows that even "damaged" brands can devlop new ties to relevance. Most of this age group tends to think of Toyota as reliable, but a 'mature' persons car while Scion (The tC at least) seems to be catching on with the more import oriented and Honda kinda has a universal appeal (I would consider Honda more of a threat than Toyota in this group)

The FLIP SIDE to that though is the fact that THERE IS NO LOYALTY in this age group. They buy what they like no matter who makes it. GM could both leverage this or suffer from it.

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Well, duh...young people want cheap, but they don't want small.  They want to take their friends and their cargo to go places and do things.  They want fuel economy if they pay for their own gas...basically they want a crossover with good fuel economy, good styling, and decent power.  That would be a "young people mobile."  Seriously...who buys those tiny tiny cars?  Old people and really poor people...used.

You just, for the most part, described the Element, which seems to be selling to both young and old, about a 50/50 split. And not all young people want something like that. Scion would have been more successful if they had the xB, the tC (coupe and vert), something along the lines of the previous RAV4, a true large compact/small midsize sedan and maybe even a true compact pickup. Keep the content high and the prices low and they would appeal to most younger people.

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There is a problem with this study/article.

Pontiac's average age is already about 45 and has been for some time.

There is faulty math embedded in there data or just bad data.

Based upon the sales of the Solstice and if a fertilized eggs bought Solsti, it would only drop the average a few years. Not what they claimed.

Bad article.

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You just, for the most part, described the Element, which seems to be selling to both young and old, about a 50/50 split.  And not all young people want something like that.  Scion would have been more successful if they had the xB, the tC (coupe and vert), something along the lines of the previous RAV4, a true large compact/small midsize sedan and maybe even a true compact pickup.  Keep the content high and the prices low and they would appeal to most younger people.

No, Element is too small. With it, the choice becomes people versus cargo, not people AND cargo. Also, Element has awkward styling. I am thinking of vehicles like the new Caliber, the Torrent/Equinox twins, or hell even an Astro or Safari. Those are great vehicles.

If GM were smart, they'd have updated the Astro and sold it with "surf" and "California" packages and marketed it as a retro-cool youth-mobile.

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The Element has more cargo room behind the second row of seats than the Caliber. The Torrent is also comparatively huge, about $3k more expensive in base form than the Element and about $7k more than the Caliber. Insurance on the three is about equal. Of the three, Total cost to own (I know, its Edmunds, but still) the Torrent/Nox are a lot higher than the Element and Caliber.

BTW, the Element would be perfect for me if the gas mileage weren't atrocious.

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This is wonderful news, and Solstice deserves the credit along with Lutz for making it happen.

Also great news on Toyota, may it age itself into oblivion.

I knew Scion would backfire.

I'm happy on all counts. :Toyota::gm_logo:

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Guest YellowJacket894

Scion failed? Well, that's a no brainer. Who wants a mutated Astro or a deformed Matrix for a first or second car? Not me.

And I'm the demographic for Scion.

Nissan better take note, because if they borrow a lot of the main styling from the Urge concept, the age of the average buyer buy will go up for them.

Ugly = Old

Well Crafted = Young

That's how it works, folks.

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It is extremly good news for Pontiac and extreme good news for Toyota if you are a GM Enthusiast. Perhaps the "baby boomers" are starting to lose their affect on market conditions and more Gen X'ers such as myself are now purchasing vehicles.

The only thing Toyota has benefited from is the weak offerings from Detroit in the 80's. Other than that, kids from my generation will connect with GM, Ford & Chrysler.

let's hope. the baby boomers have definitely warped our country in other ways too.

At the same time, Toyota has seen a dramatic 11-percent increase in the average age of its shoppers, even factoring in its Scion youth brand. The average age of Toyota shoppers was 40.5 in 2005 and is 45 in 2006.

this last weekend we visited both parents. my dad is 65 and made a comment about how nice the toyotas are and how much he liked the neighbor's Avalon that shares the big parking garage at the condo. He has a friend there who is like 80+ who bought a new Toyota pickup as well. Of course my dad is warped, he thinks it was two years ago you could buy new LeSabres for 17 grand and new Impalas for 16 grand so now he sees new Lucernes for 25 grand and thinks GM is out to rip everyone off. Apparently he hasn't priced any Toyotas yet.

Then at my father in laws' (he is 80+), he was commenting on how he likes some of the new Toyotas.

yeesh.

My brother in Laws Father who is near 60 just bought an Avalon a few months back.

Maybe Toyota is in line for a harsh reality in about 5-10 years?

Edited by regfootball

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The Element has more cargo room behind the second row of seats than the Caliber.  The Torrent is also comparatively huge, about $3k more expensive in base form than the Element and about $7k more than the Caliber.  Insurance on the three is about equal.  Of the three, Total cost to own (I know, its Edmunds, but still) the Torrent/Nox are a lot higher than the Element and Caliber.

BTW, the Element would be perfect for me if the gas mileage weren't atrocious.

I did the whole Element analysis before we got our Aztek.

My well equipped Aztek v6 FWD with 17" wheels and sunroof was far cheaper then a manual transmission Element.

The Aztek has more useful power and actually gets the same or better real world mileage, if not better. (20 in town/25 on the road)

The Aztek is larger and built sturdier. 4 real doors, seating for 5. The seats can come out of the aztek as opposed to being leaned up against the side windows.

The aztek can haul plywood easily in the cargo bay. try that with your element.

my pontiac dealer was friendly. honda dealers are asses.

40,000 miles and one tiny defect (wheel bearing, likely due to abuse). Been wholy reliable so far. Just like a Honda.

As for looks, each can be their own judge but I actually think my red Aztek with 17's is far nicer to look at than a grey bumpered Element.

Insurance is cheap on the Aztek too.

Pontiac WAS on to something but the styling suggested they were ON something instead. Had they got the styling right, they may have connected with more younger buyers.

The element is ok, but not worth what you pay vs. what you get/can get elsewhere. A new baseline FJ Cruiser CREAMS the Element, IMHO.

Edited by regfootball

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The G6 must also be making a big difference for Pontiac, as they couldn't sell enough Solstices to make that big of an impact.

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