Affordable yet stylish, quality cars matter for millennials

Affordable yet stylish, quality cars matter for millennials

For marketers, the car industry is one of the most difficult sectors as no single factor determines customers’ decision to buy one of their biggest assets. While some consumers focus on the design of a car, others are obsessed with the emblem of luxury car brands.

For those in their 20s and 30s whose wallets are relatively slim, price has been one of key factors that affects their car buying decision. However, millennials, who were born and grew up in an affluent era, prioritize design, quality and affordable prices when they buy vehicles.

Automakers, who took into account the preferences of young drivers, were successful in the entry car market last year.

Tivoli, the compact SUV of Ssangyong Motor is a good example which illustrates what young car buyers want. The local unit of India’s Mahindra & Mahindra debuted the gasoline-fueled Tivoli in January 2015 and launched its diesel version in July.

Demand for Ssangyong’s entry-level SUV, which is in its growth stage, was explosive. The automaker sold 45,201 units at home last year, higher than its annual target of 30,000 to 40,000 units. It also delivered 18,672 units abroad. The Tivoli broke the company’s sales milestone set in 2004 by selling 54,274 units on the back of popularity of its best-selling premium SUV Lexton.

“Riding on the boom of SUVs, the compact Tivoli SUV entices customers not only with an affordable price tag but also a stylish design and the best safety and convenient options in the segment,” said Choi Jin-woung from Ssangyong Motor.

The price of the gasoline-fueled Tivoli starts at 16.3 million won ($ 13,135) and it has many competitive edges over rivals in the segment. Tivoli, which boasts a modern and stylish look like a European car, is the widest in class at 1795 mm. This means the car offers customers more space than rivals.

Ssangyong Motor CEO Choi Johng-sik projected a positive outlook for the entry-level SUV market this year, despite worsening business conditions for carmakers.

As competition in the segment is expected to heat up, the automaker is strengthening the Tivoli lineup by launching the new long-body model to solidify the firm’s foothold in the growing SUV market.

GM Korea’s all-new mini car “The Next Spark’’ is another example which shows the advancements in entry-level cars in line with demand from sophisticated customers.

Chevrolet rolled out a revamped model of Chevrolet Spark last April. It aims to become Korea’s No. 1 automaker in the compact segment.

The automaker failed to achieve this goal last year, but the mini car made up the biggest proportion in sales of GM Korea last year, reaching up to 40 percent.

The automaker said its all-new Spark attracted buyers for a variety of reasons, including its affordable price, modern design, fuel efficiency and premium safety options that have not been offered on other mini cars.

“Entry-level cars, with a double-edged sword of price and quality, are expected to further grow by expanding their customer base into the second-car and the used-car market,’’ Choi said.


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