Special Report: U.S. Auto Demand

January 2024

Report summary

High earners have been driving recovery in the auto market while low income adults increasingly back away from purchases.

Key Takeaways

  • Higher income adults are more likely to consider and follow through with car purchases than their middle and lower income peers.
  • The share of high earners considering and making purchases has trended upward over the past year—especially for used cars, which have had substantial price relief over the last year.
  • Lower earners, meanwhile, are less likely to pull the trigger on car purchases, despite falling prices. This cohort tends to have lower credit scores and can be subject to less favorable interest terms for auto loans, potentially discouraging demand.

About the author

A headshot photograph of Kayla Bruun
Kayla Bruun
Senior Economist

Kayla Bruun is a senior economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she analyzes consumer spending, inflation and household finance trends, leveraging the company’s proprietary high-frequency data.

Prior to joining Morning Consult, Kayla was a key member of the corporate strategy team at telecommunications company SES, where she produced market intelligence and industry analysis of mobility markets. 

Kayla also served as an economist at IHS Markit, where she covered global services industries, provided price forecasts, produced written analyses and served as a subject-matter expert on client-facing consulting projects. 

Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University and an MBA with a certificate in nonmarket strategy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Follow her on Twitter @KaylaBruun. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]