The Automotive Generation Drives Chevrolet

by: Kimberly Ballard

They are called Baby Boomers, Generation Jones, and just plain Boomers – a segment of the consumer market born between 1943 and 1964 that today, have already raised their families, have a sightline to retirement, and are now focused on what they want, or what they have dreamed about having all their lives. Chevrolet knows these Boomers well. They are the Automotive Generation and one thing is certain – they love their ride!

A generation raised on muscle cars like the Camaro; on luxury cars like the Impala; on the affordable family-style Malibu, and on the sheer need for speed like the Corvette; unlike the generations before them, the Automotive Generation grew up on motorized vehicles and the freedom of the open road. Whether by interstates, highways, or byways, they demand fashionable, affordable, safe, and economical auto-mobility.

The Chevrolet family knows that most Boomers always remember their first car and according to Scotia Economics, a research and policy development company, Baby Boomers account for more than half of all new vehicle purchases and make up almost 60% of all drivers. According to George Hoffer, an auto analyst, they have a “fixation'' on their cars born out of the days when gas was cheap, credit was easy, and for the first time in history, you could just jump in your car and go. This generation of car buyers has driven automotive styling for the past 50 years, and that is why several of Chevrolet’s models have lasted just that long, evolving as times change.

No automobile proves this point better than the generation who grew up lusting after the Corvettes and Stingrays of the 1960s - and turning 50 doesn’t seem to dampened the passion for the Vette’s sleek curves. According to Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and insights for pricing at, the lifelong dream of owning a Corvette is representative of a group of Boomers now known as empty nesters. Corvettes are “…aspirational vehicles. They're getting it for themselves, not the family. It's what they've always wanted.'' And according to Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North American division who recently spoke about the next generation of Corvettes on FOX News, “There is a good chance every new Corvette we do has got to be dramatically different…. As we go through time, there will always be an evolution of materials…. Fiberglass is at the heart of the car. Materials are continually more efficient, stronger, and I think you’ll see that in whatever we do with the Corvette.” 

The Impala was the first of the full-sized luxury Chevrolet automobiles. From 1958 until the mid 1960s, it remained the most expensive Chevrolet on the market until they introduced the larger Caprice. Throughout the 1960s, the Impala was not only the best-selling automobile in America, but it was also the most collected car of its type. Redesigned in 1971 and again in 1980, the Impala became the favorite among law enforcement before discontinuing it in 1985. Resurrected in 2000, the 2010 Impala starts at just $23,000 and comes standard with six airbags. The Luxury Edition Package features E85 FlexFuel-capability, a versatile flip-and-fold-flat rear seat, a six-passenger option, heated front bucket seats, a Bose® premium sound system, Universal Home Remote, auto-dimming rearview mirror, outside heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, Automatic Crash Response, and OnStar Advisor.

Breaking out from the sporty Chevelle “muscle car” lineup, the Chevrolet Malibu, named for Malibu, CA hit the market in 1964, designed as a typical American family car sold at an affordable price. Today, the Chevy Malibu is wildly popular as a conservative midsize sedan, famous for its safety, and beloved by American start-up families.

Speaking of muscle cars – when the Chevrolet Camaro hit the market in 1967 as an answer to Ford’s Mustang, it has remained a mainstay of affordable American muscle car performance. Its two-plus-two seating configuration makes it a high performance sports car suitable for everyday use. In the 1970s, Chevy gave it European styling with hideaway lights and four-speed transmission. Known first as the Rally Sport (RS), it soon evolved into the Z-28 with an exciting new feature known as T-tops. Today, the fifth generation 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS Midway design is retro 1969 with a 6.2 liter V8 rated at 426 horsepower when mated to the six-speed manual transmission; and it not only has the power to match its pedigree, but also has a finely tuned chassis that will outperform them all!

The 1970s Automotive Generation lived through a decade of Arab oil embargos, soaring gasoline prices, and federal government intervention that threatened engineering’s ability to keep up with the mandates on how to design cars to meet the requirements of tight laws that control exhaust emissions, and new safety standards to improve highway crash survival. Although Boomer preferences still drive production, as cars began to downsize, they continued to retain luxury and style, and by the turn of the millennium, rumors of global warming, political correctness, and a sobering recession ushered in the era of smaller cars and hybrids

From the compact four or 5-door sedan Chevrolet Aveo introduced in 2004, to the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Super Sport compact with its turbocharged engine; these economical, no-frills models still provide great gas mileage in today’s atmosphere of unpredictable gas prices and a tottering economy. This is in spite of their unsettling size disadvantage in heavy traffic against SUVs and monster four-wheel drive trucks.

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