PORTLAND -- Americans borrowed more money to finance cars in June, a sure sign the economy is on the road to recovery.
But it's not the “Generation Y” crowd the car makers were looking to put behind the wheel. It's actually their parents.
Baby boomers are now the number-one buyer of new cars, according to a new study by the University of Michigan.
A lot of boomers, 55 to 64 years old, are still in the workforce and will be for a while, mainly because of the hit they took during the great recession.
Now as the economy improves, they want a nice ride and they want the technology that goes with it.
The study also finds people near or in retirement are also still in a buying mood.
“I like cars. I grew up with cars from the 50s that what we all dreamed of having was a nice new car,” said car buyer Rick Holmboe. “
They have the experience, brand loyalty, and they have the ware-with-all to buy that stuff,” said Brad Prebble with Carr Chevrolet.
Some boomers are going after the Chevy Cruze, a car marketed to a much younger driver. But, some experts question why Detroit spends billions of dollars chasing the young when many don't even get their license when they’re eligible.
The study also found consumers age 75 and older bought cars at a higher rate than 25 to 34-year-olds and 18 to 24-year-olds.
KGW business reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.