The demographic threat to Detroit’s automakers

The future of Detroit's automakers, even if they survive the current recession, looks grim. Cohort analysis of 24 years of US consumer household data suggests that the younger the head of the household, the more likely it is that the household automotive fleet includes foreign automakers' vehicles. Furthermore, preferences for foreign vehicles increase slightly as heads of households age. A regression model confirms and extends this finding. The risk to Detroit automakers is that their US customer base is dying out. doi: 10.1057/jt.2009.8; published online 8 June 2009 Keywords: Detroit automakers; market share; cohort analysis; cohort effects; life cycle effects