THE LIFE

September 21st, 2010

Generation Y Giving Cars a Pass

car lot

Selling cars to young adults under 30 is proving to be a real challenge for automakers. Unlike their elders, Generation Yers own fewer cars and don’t drive much. They’re likely to see autos as a source of pollution, not as a sex or status symbol.

Motorists aged 21 to 30 now account for 14% of miles driven, down from 21% in 1995.Preview

They’re more apt to ride mass transit to work and use car sharing services — pioneered by Zipcar — for longer trips. And car sharing choices are expanding, with car rental firms moving into the market, making it convenient for young folks to rent with hourly rates and easy insurance. Connect by Hertz, for example, is rolling out its car sharing services in the New York metropolitan area, with plans to eventually expand them to around 40 college campuses nationwide.

The trend won’t cause car sales to tank, of course, but the generational shift doesn’t bode well for manufacturers and auto dealers, which for decades have counted on wooing young new drivers to their brands in hopes of cementing lifetime customer relationships.

Gen Yers are a big potential market: At 80 million strong, they represent the biggest generation in U.S. history. Baby boomers are a close second, but millions of them begin turning 65 next year — an age at which car purchases drop off sharply.

“It’s a matter of mind-set far more than affordability,” says William Draves, president of Learning Resources Network, an association that studies consumer trends and provides education and training services.

“This generation focuses its buying on computers, BlackBerrys, music and software and views commuting a few hours by car a huge productivity waste when they can work using PDAs while taking the bus and train,” says Draves.

Moreover, in survey after survey, Gen Yers say that they believe cars are damaging to the environment. Even hybrid electric vehicles don’t seem to be changing young consumers’ attitudes much.

(via Kiplinger)


About the Author

Socialtik Mag
Socialtik Mag is a progressive platform for young, aspiring professionals to express our views on the issues and ideas in the world around us. It’s the Gen-Y perspective of life in the new decade. In addition to the original content we produce, we post from sites around the internet to keep our peers aware of what’s positive, what’s fresh, and most importantly, what’s progressive.




 
 

 
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6 Comments


  1. I have been interested in this topic for quite some time. I have been researching it for a couple of hours and found your post to be very interesting. Cheers.


  2. Wonderful platform indeed, I’m just glad to mention that I’ve got a really good feeling I came across the very things I was ready for. I’ll ensure to remember this blog and go here consistently, Thanks for sharing keep on sharing more!


  3. I agree that the generation Y will less likely be enticed to own a car because they have many reasons not to, on top of the green factor. The finances are high and the maintenance adds on to the burden. I for one, would cycle or walk or go public for my daily commute and simply go for rental should the need to ride comes. It saves a tremendous amount of money and saves the Earth too.


  4. This is a revelation for the younger generation when it comes to car ownership. I am not surprised because when I happen to meet my staff children who are in this generation, they are very adamant in owning a car. One young man who came over to rent awedding party bus
    with us was even sharing that his first car, which he uses until now for almost 5 years, is a 2nd hand hybrid car that he bought from his father. The father was changing to a new car and instead of scrapping the old car that is still in good condition, the son bought it. Until now, the car is still in good condition.


  5. So this Monday, November 2nd, make your way to your designated polling place and vote! Remember if you’re not apart of the solution, you are apart of the problem.



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