According to Forrester analyst Mark Dixon Bunger, a whopping 21 percent of respondents declared themselves automotive "enthusiasts," while 9 percent were self-described "strong enthusiasts." Now, that doesn't necessarily mean they are the ones rushing out to buy the latest Bentley, Corvette or Dodge Charger. In fact, enthusiasts come in every shape and size, never mind age and income level. The one minor exception: gender. Women account for only slightly more than one in four of these Alpha car buyers, Bunger noted, or 11 percent of all motorists. But he agrees that the number has likely been rising over the years -- just check out that woman in the hot car flashing her lights to pass you.
Alpha buyers are tech savvy, and "tech optimists," Forrester found. If you're reading this page, you're very likely one of them. A whopping 83 percent said they read automotive websites, compared to the non-enthusiast. And alphas will check the Internet all the time, not just when they're looking to buy. They are quick to spread the word once they find something interesting, so if you're an industry marketer, you "have to get good at spotting these Alphas," stressed Bunger. Spend all you want on advertising, but these folks will do a much better job by word-of-mouth.