Three-quarters of millennials own cars – most expect to purchase or lease a new car in the next five years.
The future isn't certain, but 75% of the respondents to our global survey currently own or lease a car–and of that group, 83% expect to purchase or lease another car in the next five years. Diving into different regions also provided important information about the future of car ownership.
Global Ownership or Leasing of Cars is High for Millennials
At a regional level, responses across Asia varied the most. China (other than Hong Kong) and India had very high levels of respondents who own or lease, at 89% and 87%, respectively. Hong Kong and Singapore reported lower levels, at 62% and 46%, respectively. Japanese respondents reported average levels of ownership or leasing at 71%.
The high percentages in China (other than Hong Kong) and India are not that surprising given the growth in automotive sales in those countries over the last decade as well as the status attached to car ownership, particularly in China.3 Lower ownership and leasing rates in Hong Kong and Singapore likely stem from highly regarded public transportation systems in those countries. Additionally, Singapore's government limits4 the number of license plates and has enacted high taxes on car ownership.
Tracking with the global findings, 83% of Asian car owners who responded to the survey expect to buy or lease another car in the next five years, with only Japan well below that mark at just 67%. China (other than Hong Kong) was somewhat of an outlier (in Asia) on the other end of the spectrum with 92% expecting to buy or lease another car in the next five years–a surprising finding given that car sales in China are declining5 for the first time since the 1990s.6 Millennials in China may be optimistic about their medium- to long-term economic prospects despite the current market downturn.
3. "Why Do the Chinese Love Long Wheelbase Cars?," OneShift, accessed September 25, 2019, https://www.oneshift.com/features/11805/why-do-the-chinese-love-long-wheelbase-cars.
4. Mimi Kirk, "In Singapore, Making Cars Unaffordable Has Only Made Them More Desirable," City Lab, accessed September 25, 2019, https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2013/06/singapore-making-cars-unaffordable-has-only-made-them-more-desirable/5931/.
5. "Chinese Automobile Sales Decline for 14th Time in 15 Months," Bloomberg, accessed September 25, 2019, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-09/chinese-automobile-sales-decline-for-14th-time-in-15-months.
6. Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, "China car sales hit reverse for first time since 1990s, Reuters, accessed September 25, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-autos/china-car-sales-hit-reverse-for-first-time-since-1990s-idUSKCN1P805Z.
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