Believe it or not, they’re the largest generation in the U.S., and they’re buying a lot of cars.

Millennials are a large group: from recent college graduates, to married couples living in suburbia, they bought four million cars and trucks last year…second only to baby boomers.

And new data from suggest millennials (especially the oldest ones) are buying cars in big numbers this year. In California alone, millennials’ share of the new car market jumped to 28 percent…millennials also outpaced boomers for the first time.

Industry insiders say getting a read on millennials was hard at one point because they weren’t getting driver’s licenses…much less buying cars. That was back in 2010… Obviously, that has changed according to Steven Szakaly Chief Economist for NADA “this whole idea that they’re not going to need cars is absolutely ridiculous. The new car buyer age is just happening much later.”

CNBC says the great recession hit millennials right as they were graduating college, with an unemployment rate at 13%. Today though, unemployment for millennials is around 8%. Add low interest rates and cheap gas in the mix and suddenly, the car market looks more enticing to young buyers.

It might take some time…but Szakaly says give millennials another four to five years to match the spending power of boomers.