German Cars in Pole Position for US Drivers





‘Made in Germany’ means good things to American drivers, according to our data analysis. 

Generally associated with quality, craftsmanship, durability, and premium prices, America’s drivers lust after German made vehicles across several key demographics.

We surveyed thousands of individuals on their car buying habits and aspirations, asking questions about the car brand they would most like to own, and the factors they consider when purchasing a new vehicle. These included: fitting with personal image, affordability, quality, whether the car is driven by celebrities, brand reputation, made in the USA, and the environment.


Big on BMW

Billed as ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ and namechecked in numerous rap songs, BMW is the most desired vehicle for American men. It’s a car that spawned a thousand acronyms, but millennials and women don’t quite get the appeal.


gender brands



What Women Want

German cars and luxury brands are lower down the wishlists of American women, but when it comes to VW-owned Audi, it’s a dead heat, with 7.8% of each gender wanting to own one over other types of car.

Women are also more cost conscious than men. Approximately 10% more women than men consider low cost “extremely important” when purchasing a new car, and they are more likely to look towards Japanese brands Toyota and Honda. 

gender factors


Lexus Lost on Millennials

Millennials favor German brands like Mercedes and Audi more than older groups, but are less keen on BMW. When only considering those defined as “Generation Y”, BMW’s 2% lead disappears completely. Practical Ford remains popular across all groups, but Lexus is lost on millennials, who are two times less likely than the average respondent to select it as their most desired brand.


millennials brands



Hot Wheels

Younger drivers are no more or less concerned than other groups with environmental impact or cars that are made in the USA. Quality and affordability remain the most important factors, but fitting with personal image is a key consideration for younger drivers. This is the biggest differentiator, with a third of younger drivers rating personal image as “extremely important” compared to a quarter of other groups.

millennial factors


Luxe v Green

People who already own a car are more likely to aspire to luxury vehicles like Audi, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes, while those who don’t back American brands Ford and Chevrolet. 


ownership brands


Affordability ranks highest for those without a vehicle, and our analysis also showed more concern for the environment among those without a car. While affordability and quality were by far the biggest considerations for both groups, people without a car were 10% more likely to rank impact on the environment as “extremely important”. Therefore, current car ownership is a better predictor than age when identifying drivers who care most about the environment. 

owner factors


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