Your #1 source for auto industry news and content

Automotive trends forecast: same headwinds, new buyers

Cars.com latest automotive trends forecast predicts that affordability challenges will persist even as fresh buyers enter the market

Cars.com, a technology firm serving the vehicle industry, has released its 2024 Automotive Trends report, forecasting the predominant behaviors of the new and used car markets in the coming months.

Last year saw the return of pre-pandemic norms to the industry, including higher rates of manufacturing, lower prices, and stable vehicle inventories. Some of these automotive trends are expected to persist throughout 2024. Cars.com expects buyers to continue prioritizing affordability, noting that almost 50% of surveyed consumers are aiming to shop for sub-$30,000 listings. However, even as transaction prices have dropped slightly under the weight of OEM incentives, the company notes that only 12% of new vehicles cost less than $30,000.

Due to the limited availability of affordable models, Cars.com expects the used car market to remain under tight inventory pressures throughout the coming months. However, both buyers and sellers of preowned vehicles are in luck. Trade-in values, while lower than their pandemic-era peak, are still higher than in 2019, giving consumers more cash for a down payment. Dealers can also use this automotive trend to attract consumers and boost their trade-in rates, allowing them to fill out their used vehicle inventories.

Last year was also marked by the arrival of several new factors that seemed to have caught the sector off guard. Included in these unprecedented changes was the digitization of the car buying experience, a shift that has been difficult to process for dealers, many of whom have conducted business in the same manner as their former managers or owners. This automotive trend will continue to shape the car business throughout 2024.

That being said, Cars.com notes that this technological shift may occur slower than some think. Only 16% of millennials prefer to conduct the car buying process entirely online. The number is even lower than Gen Z, of whom only 9% wish to purchase through exclusively digital means. One automotive trend that younger buyers are changing, however, is the average age of vehicle ownership. Presently, 42% of Gen Z drivers purchased their first car between the ages of 16 and 18, compared to only 32% of millennials.

Stay up to date on exclusive content from CBT News by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive all the latest news, insight and trends impacting the automotive industry.

CBT News is part of the JBF Business Media family.

Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

Related Articles

Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News

Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners