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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Honda has and continues to market the Element to the 20 somethings (with really bad TV commercials). But it appears they really missed the mark. Business Week has an article that states that the Element's "typical buyer turned out to be 41 years old." (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_23/b3836050.htm).

This is all detailed well in an Autoweek.com acticle.
(http://autoweek.com/search/search_d...76&Search_Type=STD&Search_ID=1293687&record=1)

It will interesting to see if Honda figures out that their market is 35-50 year olds who want a reliable and functional vehicle and not the 22 year old no-job-no-money-nose-ring-wearing-surfer that they are dreaming about.
 

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Yes, the Element's AVERAGE buyer is 41. It's the youngest average buyer for any model Honda.

The new car with the youngest average buyer in the United States is the VW GTI with an average age of 37! There are only about 7 cars with average age buyers between 31 and 41 and there are about 6 others that average 41. Based on average buyer ages, it appears that no car sells well to younger people. And that's why the average by itself doesn't mean squat.

Simply providing the AVERAGE buyer doesn't tell you a thing about the distribution of ages for those buying the car. If a car is any good, many will sell to people with money (read older) and that will skew the average age up. That the average is 41 in no way allows one to conclude that Honda hasn't attracted more younger buyers with the E than it would have without the E. You'd need information on the range of ages of the buyers to make any informed judgement on that matter.
 

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You can sell an old man a young man's car, but you can't sell a young man an old man's car.

Honda marketing is doing thier job perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here's your ranges:

Power Information Network data show that the Element has a two-humped bell curve of buyers. One hump is in the 31- to 35-year-old bracket; another is in the 41-to-45 set.

Also, about two-thirds of all Element buyers are over 36!

Further, the average age of the Element owner is 41 - just two years younger than the average age of 43 of all Honda buyers.

Still not getting the 20 somethings are they.
 

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>>>>quote:nose-ring-wearing-surfer <<<<<

they got it partly rite... :mrgreen:
 

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You're missing the point.

First of all, most reasearch shows that over 70% of car buyers don't buy new cars until they are almost 30 years old.

People in their 20's simply do not represent a huge market opportunity (in terms of immediate sales) but if you can get even some younger buyers in the door and begin building some brand loyalty that carries much more weight over the long haul.

Second, if young buyers don't buy all that many cars then you better be marketing at the audience with the most money - that's right - people in thier 30's to 50's.

And what's the best way to attract this audience? Build a vehicle that fits thier utilitarian lifestyles but is still fun. Tell them it's for young people and they'll buy it to feel young themselves.:twisted:

Like I said, Honda marketing are doing thier jobs perfectly.
 

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I think it's the "Fast and Furious" effect. Right now, young males want coupes and sedans that they can turn into street racers - in their minds, if not in reality. A utilitarian, hummer-wannabe, euro-milk truck just isn't going to cut it. But it's great for us "older" males (37 myself) who don't feel like we're old at all... As far as the females go, they're just smart shoppers with a sense of style!
 

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i'm a 25 year old tree huggin' womanizing bio-degree-having IT professional :)

i think if you look at the psychological age of E buyers, you'll land in the 20's. read some posts-- the people on these boards are all alike. i see a certain degree of the "fun at all costs" mentality. also a mentality that tends to reject comfort zones in favor of exploring and fresh experiences. i'd love to see a psychological analysis of e owners versus perhaps beamer owners.

</end meaningless rambling>

this is regardless a good point of discussion-- thanks for bringing up the stats!
 

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[quote:7fd5cfa691="meanelvis"]
i think if you look at the psychological age of E buyers, you'll land in the 20's. read some posts-- the people on these boards are all alike. ![/quote:7fd5cfa691]

Elvis, you rock. You absolutely hit nailed what I think is the crux of the issue, and you put it very well.

Of course, Staggie and AlienE and EMass make rocking good points too.

(1) 20-somethings buy used cars, for the most part. Because new cars are expen$ive.

(2) Everybody wants to be - and some of us are - 20something in our mind and spirit, if not in our waistline (Sigh!) So young-marketing will appeal to people who are young at heart, and bold enough to take a risk on this type of neo-SUV.

(3) Honda had to break out of the 'reliable = staid and boring' feeling to reach out to new buyers, young and not-so-young. I drove the CR-V. It thought it was a good vehicle but I wasn't jazzed about it. It appealed to me as sensible, not sensational. But, oh boy, the Element - now that's pure fun. And who doesn't need more fun in their life???!!!!
 

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All I can tell you is that I am 64 and can't wait for my Element to get here. I have been in love with this vehicle since the first day I saw it. I may be 64 but people tell me I look 44 and that I act 24. Well, I don't think I look that young but I do probably act 24. I guess that is what makes us "old" folks love this vehicle so much. I think it is a vehicle for the active "young at heart" people. 8)
 

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[quote:5010c07ebc="buckaroo99"]
Still not getting the 20 somethings are they.[/quote:5010c07ebc]

Nope. You still don't have the data to back that up. Just because the bell curve has humps doesn't mean that the end doesn't extend into those precious 20 year old buyers. And it may extend up to some 95 year old buyers too. And just because 2/3rds are older than 36 doesn't either (but they're probably much more likely to be able to afford such a purchase).

Also, the stats reflect the age of the BUYER, not the age of the person for whom the car may have been purchased. So if Mom & Dad buy their surfing, biking, x-games, pierced little darling an E because he wants one, it wont show as a young buyer. I'm not claiming that most are bought for young kids, or by young kids, but the data doesn't show that Honda's not making some sales in Gen Y that otherwise would not have looked at a Honda. Note that I'm also not saying that the stats show that any 20 year olds have bought the car--the stats provided don't allow any conclusions to be made either way.

So for all that, I'm 37 and love the dang thing. I'm still finding excuses to run out on errands just to drive it some more, and the gleeful grin is a cool side-effect of the ride.
 

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[quote:38baa7e2df="buckaroo99"]

Still not getting the 20 somethings are they.[/quote:38baa7e2df]

Okay, IF this were true (I am not entirely convinced that the age statistic is any valid measure of the car's success anyway, especially considering that the youngest average age buyer of ANY car is 37) I still have to ask........what's your point?

Are you trying to say that

the car is a failure?
that the marketing is a failure?
that the car won't work for the target market?

What?
 

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It's the car that rich people buy their kids upon driver ed graduation...the car that normal teenagers wish they could afford ( and will be able to in a few years... either as a used vehicle, or new... as they get old enough to afford one) And it's the vehicle for people who need a change from the ocean of overpriced, staid designs which offer less utility and reliability.

Speaking of the reliability factor... here's a question...

If Hyundai had designed this car... would it sell as well as it's seems to be doing now for Honda???
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by The Luscious Hellcat

Are you trying to say that

the car is a failure?
that the marketing is a failure?
that the car won't work for the target market?

What?
To answer your questions Hellcat:

No; Maybe; No

I think the Element is a great success and I expect that it will do better and better as time goes on. But I really think that the success is primarily due to the unpredicted strong interest by the 35-50 age group. Does anyone really believe that if the Element didn't appeal to the 35-50 somethings and only to the 20s that it would be one of the top 10 fastest sellers now.

I think that you'll see quite a different story with the XB Scion from Toyota (which launches today). I doubt that it will attract the older crowd (lacks the functionality and appeal of the Element) and as a result the sales may not be as quick. Of course, a price of only about 13k, might make up for any lack of older buyers.

Anyway, the point I have been trying to make is that it is interesting that a company like Honda, that is so skilled at making great cars (and selling them), could goof in its marketing in this case. Maybe it's the marketing company they hired or just that they were blinded by a very strong desire to grab an untapped market, who knows.

The only thing I fear it that with an older and better financed customer base, that Honda will change the Element and increase its price. features, power, size, etc. If so, the Element will loose what makes it so unique compared to all the other SUVs out there.
 

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how many of us actually bought a 20k car right out of college? we drove that old beat up car we had for a few years.

we (wife and i) wanted to buy a car a year ago. (i'm 27 and she's 24) but we couldn't find anything that would satisfy our needs....and the fact that every decent suv out there is about 30 grand, we had pretty much given up shopping for cars. everything out there offered is just plain and boring compared to the element.

the element is perfect for people who are smart w/their money, and want a practical car w/distinct looks.
 

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I'd say that you're all correct. (what a cop out, huh?) The Honda corp wanted a "young" new niche and they got it. It got the attention of the young at heart and those who like the functionality of it all. I'm 30 and I love it, my wife, who drives the Element, is 28 and she loves it. She sold a BMW conv so we could get this.
My parents, in their 50's, came to visit and they loved it. My kids, they love it. My wife gets stares and gets stopped all the time.

As far as the lies, darn lies, and statistics, the average age can be 41, but the variance in the age distribution could still easily hook the 20-90 age group (even with a double normal distribution) But be sure that whether it's 3 or 6 sigma's away, it's a fun car, regardless of age
 

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See this:
http://globalautonet.com/clipsheet.cfm?article_id=990&today=07/18/03&mode=display&brand_id=3

Paul has always been lukewarm to the Element. I have been thinking about this and what makes the SCION xB even considered cool is that it is useless compared to the Element. The more mature, practical person would pick an Element. The Scion is not totally useless but by comparion frivilous and fashionable. Only a young person with no family or endeavors or cargo would want. And knowing that the Element is bigger and more useful makes the xB the anti-choice for young people. Essentially what a tuner car is about is all power, all flash, no cargo space just speakers, amps and lights. I don't think the xB is a bad car just not my type which is why it fits with GenY. Atl least for a while until it goes out of fashion fast or Honda takes its Civic or Jazz or whatever platform and makes a real cube. How hard is that and probably already designed and ready to go given Honda's flex plant system. I really think only Kia could make a throwaway cube car at a price youth could buy new.

I mean how useful is a nose ring. :wink:
 
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