Scion tC Sport Coupe
Generation Y car
Chevrolet Sonic Hatchback
Monday, November 28, 2011 - 13:48:25
More evidence indicating cars are not a priority for Generation Y
The first signs of this peculiar phenomenon appeared a few years ago in Japan where a study showed the younger generation shows almost no interest for cars at all. Millennials or Generation Y, as they are otherwise known, are more concerned about what type of smartphone or other technological gizmo to buy than the latest car model. And that comes from the country where technology consumption is at its highest and where some of the best cars are produced.
At that time few considered their actions to be the start of something bigger. But now it seems the same is happening on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, in the USA. More and more Millennials are showing a lack of interest for wheeled transportation focusing instead on intelligent phones instead.
A study performed by General Motors found out that teenagers think time could be better spent texting messages via smartphone than driving a car. And now, a more in depth analysis is being done by Gartner, the final results of which will be made public in the near future. Thilo Koslowski, automotive analyst for Gartner, said “these devices offer a degree of freedom and social reach that previously only the automobile offered.”
Another interesting aspect revealed by the study is the fact that 46 percent of people age 18-24 would give up owning a car over internet access. A significant departure from what the 15 percent of older generations say. This shows that the symbol of independence and freedom once represented by cars is now steadily replaced by smartphones. Koslowski: “The iPhone is the Ford Mustang
The roots of this process can be traced all the way to the late 70s early 80s. In 1978 half the 16 year old teens would get their license compared to just 30 percent in 2008. Stricter laws have an impact on this matter but perhaps other factors are also to blame. Factors like the rising prices of cars, gas, and overall living, as well as the harder economic conditions may have something to do with it. Owning a car and maintaining it requires a stable job, something increasingly harder to get. And those already owing one drive it less.
Also, the previous data discovered by GM that points out to teens favoring virtual socializing to face to face meetings has lead to a lower need for a car. If the latter is a valid point, the whole planet will soon be faced with a declining interest for cars from young people.
That is both good and bad news. Good in that no auto company will have an advantage over the other in attracting customer. Bad, because sales will go down the drain and bringing a client to a showroom will be quite a feat. Until cars smarter than intelligent phones will be a common sight on the streets that is the likely scenario.
Bottom line is American and Japanese automakers will soon need to find ways of appealing to the younger ones, as will European ones.