When Buying New Car, Many Choose Same Brand as Parents

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It’s natural for young people to assert their independence, but when it comes time to actually get a car, many of them follow in the footsteps of their parents.

Michigan State University economist Soren T. Anderson investigated consumers' car-buying habits and found that 39 percent will pick the same brand as what their parents chose.

To draw this conclusion, Anderson and his team studied data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which painstakingly compiled statistics from households of families over generations.

Even as the car industry spends an estimated $33 billion in ads every year to entice people to buy their brands, many Americans will continue driving the kind of car that they grew up riding in.

So powerful is this learned behavior that when someone decides to move up from an economy car to a luxury model, Anderson says brand loyalty will likely prevail.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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