Chip shortage hits young vehicle consumers hardest, study shows

Young consumers have been the most affected by the current shortage of available vehicles when looking to make a purchase, according to a study by GfK AutoMobility released Tuesday.

Consumers in the 65-plus age group were the most aware of the inventory constraints brought on by the chip shortage, at 59 percent, according to the firm’s research, conducted June 1-28. Those in the 18-to-29 age group were the most likely to change their purchase plans or opt for a different vehicle.

Older consumers were more likely to wait for their first-choice vehicle: While 45 percent of those under 45 said they changed their purchase plans, just 11 percent of those 65-plus did so. The older group was either waiting until existing orders are fulfilled, placing future orders or delaying their purchases altogether, according to a news release.

“Older consumers are showing that they have the resources to wait out today’s shortages, while younger buyers need to replace their vehicles quickly — sometimes by opting for a used or pre-owned car,” said Julie Kenar, senior vice president of GfK AutoMobility.

According to Kenar, higher-end models are disproportionately impacted because of their microchip-dependent advanced technology. Those looking to buy these vehicles might choose other options, she said.

Consumers looking to buy or lease a new sports car or luxury coupe were the most likely to report that their decisions had been affected by the shortages. Those planning to buy an entry-level vehicle or a small car were generally less affected.

Sixty-one percent of consumers 18 to 29 years old switched to another, more available vehicle — new or used — or were willing to give up their preferred features.

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