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|DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE "LOW SPECIALTY" MARKET|
The typical buyer of current sporty small cars offered on the U.S. market is included in the rapidly expanding 25-to-34 age segment of the population.
For example, the typical Capri buyer is 26, with two years of college and an average income of $11,400. More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of Capri buyers are male.
The average Datsun 240 Z buyer is a man 28 years old, with three years of college and an income of $15,000.
Current Mustang buyers average 28 years of age, with one year of college and $11,900 income. Seventy-one per cent are men. (Pinto deomographics fall in the same range: 28, one year of college, $11,800, 75 per cent male.)
The demographic similarities, then, indicate that the current Mustang appeals to the same type of buyer as do the smaller, sporty imports (and the subcompact domestic cars.) Sales, however, indicate that the current Mustang does not appeal to a large enough number of these buyers.
A significant number of Mustang "defectors" has turned to small sporty imports, as well as to subcompact domestic models. For example, the Capri currently claims 5.1 per cent of its buyers from former Mustang owners, the Datsun 240 Z 4.2 per cent, and the Pinto 6.4 per cent.
As for penetration of the under-35 new-car-buying market, Mustang-type cars have dropped from 15 to 6 per cent over the past five years, while other compact-size car sales have increased their penetration of this market from 8 to 14 per cent and subcompacts have hiked theirs from 12 to 32 per cent.
Small cars - including compacts, small specialty cars and subcompacts, both domestic and imported - now attract more than half (52 per cent) of all new-car buyers under 35 years of age, up from 35 per cent five years ago.
Meanwhile, the under-35 buyers, who accounted for 30 per cent of all new car purchases just five years ago, are expected to buy 43 per cent of all new cars by 1975.
Within that under-35 market, the 24-to-35 age group deserves closer study, because it now is the fastest-growing population segment in America.
This age group is expected to increase during the 1970's from about 25 million to nearly 37 million - with more than half of that gain coming by 1975.
Of the expected 20 million increase in total U.S. population during the 1970's, the 25-to-34 group will account for more than half.
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