Big Three Car Buyers in America Aren’t Like People Who Buy Imports, Study Says

A new report finds that people who buy from Detroit’s Big Three automakers tend to be older, poorer, and more rural than the average American car buyer. And they really don’t want a self-driving car.

byWill Sabel Courtney|
Big Three Car Buyers in America Aren’t Like People Who Buy Imports, Study Says


Americans who choose cars made by Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler—Detroit's Big Three automakers—differ from other U.S. car buyers in several ways, according to a study released by new and used car listing website Autolist

The Autolist report, which surveyed 5,249 vehicle owners across the country, found that buyers who chose Detroit vehicles tended overall to be older, less cosmopolitan, and less well-off than Americans who went with imported automotive brands.  They were also reportedly less likely to be interested in a hybrid or electric vehicle, and much less likely to be interested in a self-driving car. 

Survey found Ram, Mustang, and Cadillac CTS highly rated among Big Three buyers

Interestingly enough, when asked to choose the highest-rated vehicle for each of the Big Three, buyers assigned each automaker a car from a very different category: luxury cars, muscle cars, and pickup trucks. General Motors's top car was the Cadillac CTS; Ford's top-ranked car was the Mustang; and the number one choice for FCA was the Ram 1500. 

Of course, this is just one study, which should be taken with the appropriate grains of salt. Still, it's an interesting look into the psyche of American car buyers—and a topic that's worthy of further study. 

You can check out the survey results—and see more detail about how the company performed the study—in greater detail in the infographic below.