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Automakers are struggling to capture this particular age group as sales drop

Automakers are starting to see a shift in the priorities of potential young car buyers today. Gone are the days of late teens and twenty-somethings rushing to buy their first car for a taste of freedom. Instead, this age group, or Generation Y, would prefer the latest smartphone or tablet. 
 
"A vehicle is really a discretionary purchase and a secondary need versus an iPhone, mobile phone or personal computer," said Joe Vitale, an automotive consultant with Deloitte. 
 
The car is no longer a teenager or 20-year-old's only chance at freedom. This generation can now connect via smartphone, tablet or laptop no matter where they are. 


Generation Y seems to be more into fancy gadgets than monthly car payments [Image Source: softwarewithstyle.com]
 
The other issue here is that members of this age group don’t typically have fat wallets. A cash-strapped twenty-something will choose the latest gadget to keep connected with friends and family rather than buy a car, pay to keep it maintained, purchase car insurance, etc. This is obviously much easier for those that live in large cities with reliable public transportation.
 
But having the latest device over a car isn't always a frivolous choice. Many companies today keep employees connected through email, a company website or other networks. Having a mobile device almost essential for the employed or even job seekers that need to have a way for potential employers to contact them at any time.  
 
So what does this mean for the auto industry? It means that automakers have to find new ways to capture this audience. The number of U.S. auto buyers ages 18-34 dropped to 11 percent in April 2012, compared to 17 percent in April 2007, which was before the recession. A total of 14 million U.S. auto buyers ages 18-34 are expected to make a vehicle purchase in 2012, which is the best year yet since 2007, but is still a drop from the annual average of 16.8 million from 2000-2007. 


Scion xB
 
Companies like Ford and Toyota have built inexpensive, subcompact cars like the Ford Fiesta and Scion xB/xD for the frugal youngsters that make up Generation Y. Automakers have also tried to lure this age group by adding increased technology for music and social networking in their vehicles, although the U.S. Department of Transportation has been trying to eliminate unnecessary technology in vehicles to reduce distracted driving. Automakers, however, have been rebelling and adding new tech anyway in order to give the public what it wants and increase sales. 
 
But the issue remains that if this generation just doesn't have the cash or the need for a car, automakers may have to find other ways to sell to this age group. 

Source: The Detroit News



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By tayb on 8/13/2012 6:45:17 PM , Rating: 5
There are lots of reasons why generation Y (my generation) chooses gadgets over cars but the choice is an effect, not a cause. We don't choose to not buy cars because we would rather have gadgets, that's silly.

The cause is extremely high student loan debt, poor post-graduation job prospects, poor pay at most entry level positions, and just a general shift in opinion from cars being "must haves" to "nice to haves."

I am young, I am not married, I do not have kids, I have a degree in Computer Engineering, I graduated with $40,000 in student loan debt (which I've paid off), I have a job that pays well, and I drive a 1998 Toyota Rav4 out of choice. I would be one of the most ideal people to buy a new car given my lack of debt and income but I don't have a desire. New cars are expensive, you lose money as soon as you sign, they cost more to insure, and the vast majority of the time I spend driving is in traffic. What would be my motivation to buy a new car? The thrill of driving...? ...in traffic?

Then you get to the people who haven't been as fortunate or as lucky as I have been. They aren't able to find jobs that pay well, they aren't able to find jobs at all, they graduates with enormous amounts of student loan debt, or any combination of those three. These people can't afford new cars so they learn to live without new cars. Once you've lived without something long enough you stop desiring it and I believe that is what is happening.

Of course there are always exceptions. There are plenty of people my age who go out and buy new cars and what not but I would say these people are the exception, not the rule. The rule for my generation is to hunker down, save money, and stay flexible in case of job loss which means don't get tied down with car or house payments. This mindset, combined with the student loan bubble that will eventually pop, is going to have far reaching effects in my opinion, which only exasperates the problem as kids my age expect the situation to get worse before it gets better.




By Azsen on 8/13/2012 7:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with your post tayb, it sums up my situation as well. I would rather save money than buy a car at the moment. Since graduating 6 years ago I've had 6 different IT jobs. There were 4 contract positions and two permanent positions in that time, one of which ended in redundancy during the 2010 banking crisis. I have absolutely no interest in buying a car at the moment and I make do on public transport even though it's inconvenient and dictates that I live near a direct train/bus line to work. Why? Well that 5-10K or whatever that I would use to buy a car could be used as backup money in case the inevitable happens again and I lose another job. I'd rather have the backup money there so I can live off it for 3 months or so which is the time it will take to find another job usually.

Buying a new car is a terrible investment. For starters cars always depreciate in value. Also look at the model of car these dealers are peddling to our Gen Y age range. Looks awful. Box styles. I wouldn't be seen dead in one of those. Where's the sporty looking diesel-hybrid electric models? Gas prices are ridiculous these days. To be honest catching the train or bus in is a lot cheaper and they run on schedule. No traffic or operating costs running a vehicle.

Houses are also a terrible investment at the moment. In my country they're way overpriced forcing you to get a $500-600K mortgage in the city I'm in. That's the general house prices at the moment which is ridiculous. Generally I've read you aim for 3 times your salary. As a single person I'd be hoping for a mortgage of 170K. If I went for a $500K one I'd be overextending myself. Especially if there's no job certainty. I'd need to get married and have the wife earning as much as I do to be even considering it. Or I'd have to move to some backwater town in my country to get a 100-200K house but there'd be no IT jobs down there to support me. So houses are out of the question too.

My options, keep saving money and try and get by/stay entertained on the new technology gadgets in the meantime.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/13/2012 8:27:52 PM , Rating: 5
Some of this I can agree with, and some of it I need to wave the bullshit flag on.

quote:
The cause is extremely high student loan debt, poor post-graduation job prospects, poor pay at most entry level positions, and just a general shift in opinion from cars being "must haves" to "nice to haves."

I'll agree to this in principle, but I will point out that poor post-graduation job prospects is worsened by people drinking the kool-aid. I know growing up (I was an '86 kid) that there has been a steady shift in life goals. Where as the previous generation grew up being lectured to get a decent job, even if you don't exactly like it, we didn't. You work to make ends meet and support a family, if that means you end up in a career field you aren't exactly happy with, but it pays well, so be it. Instead my generation Gen Y seems to have been fed a line of bullshit from the get go. They teach you to follow your dreams, wherever they take you. That's fine and dandy but the graduation statistics every year show that the USA graduates a high percentage of lawyers, and liberal arts majors. The former can find jobs because lawyers come in different flavors, such as Tax, Criminal, etc... Liberal arts majors? More or less useless if you don't want to be a teacher. That high priced college degree in liberal arts? Not worth the investment unless you get lucky. Psychology and Business majors are the current flavor of the month and both of them are dime a dozen, yet neither field does anything tangible save for a few outliers.

The job prospects? Pretty damn good if you went to school with the intention of landing a decent paying job with career growth in mind. The hard sciences are always popular and cover everything from Biology to Software Engineering. Your science and math majors are finding jobs that average 50k straight out of college, growth depends on their ability to keep learning and improving. IT is one of the more difficult fields due to the pace of changing technology, you are constantly in a vicious cycle of mastering what you just learned and learning what comes next. Chemistry/Biology that tie in Pharmaceuticals is also a HUGE job market that pays well, but again the work isn't easy and there is a lot of pressure to produce the next miracle drug that will rake in billions.

As for the whole car thing, part of this is poor parenting rather than economics. These kids are comfortable with the fact that their parents will accomodate them even if they are 17, 18, 19, 20+ by transporting them as needed to where they need to be. If more parents cracked the whip and said get a job, buy a scooter or something cheap and get to work on your own then you would see the traditional priorities assert themselves once more. As it is, these kids are not being forced to fend for themselves and as such are just getting lazy. Frankly I weep for my generation, but at the same time I have no competition in my job field from Americans. My stiffest competition are those from Pakistan, India, Korea and Japan where their cultures still push for working hard to get ahead, they also encourage learning practical skills that can land them jobs. The current Gen Y crowd has lost the drive to work hard and get ahead.

If you are a Gen Y kid, take a look around, the few of you that know what working hard is can attest to the simple truth that most of your peers growing up are losers. Yes, I used the term and I'll use it again. Losers. These losers and some of their parents are the reason things like the "Honor Roll" are being taken out of schools. We're in a time where we believe that putting forth your best effort is all that is required and you get an "A for effort". There's a quote for that.

"Failure - For when your best isn't good enough".


By stm1185 on 8/13/2012 9:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
50% of Gen Y who actually bothered to go to college can't get anything with their degree. Cars are not a priority in this clusterfuck period.


By Flunk on 8/13/2012 10:47:41 PM , Rating: 1
Part of the problem is that the world only needs so many History and English majors. It's hard to hire entry-level positions that need Computer Science or Engineering degrees. People have been told "follow your dream" for too long without considering the practical situation.

I will tell you, as a member of this demographic I bought a (small fuel efficient) car as soon as I could afford to after college. I couldn't afford a car in highschool, who can? Mostly Mommy and Daddy pay.


By Dr of crap on 8/14/2012 8:30:18 AM , Rating: 2
And that's what I was going to say.
When I was in high school, I could buy a car and pay for insurance from what I made at my job while in high school.

What kid can do that now??

Insurance is through the roof and car prices aren't very good either.

And I suspect these "polls" are taken in New York, and maybe Chicago. Here our public trans sucks and to get around you need a car, so they NEED to do another govt funded study!


By mcnabney on 8/14/2012 8:59:47 AM , Rating: 3
But this survey is about new cars - not just having a car. A more accurate statement about Gen-Y would be that they don't equate having an expensive new car with the same status as previous generations. Instead, they think carrying a Macbook Pro and current generation iPhone/iPad implies the same degree of conspicuous consumption that flashy cars did in the past. They are certainly cheaper status items than cars.


By bah12 on 8/14/2012 9:43:13 AM , Rating: 3
I think that is the root cause here. Cars just aren't a status symbol anymore. I have several nieces/nephews in high school, and they just don't care what they drive.

Gen X (myself) spent their Friday nights on the "drag", he with the coolest ride was king. As the article alludes to, this was our primary way of connecting with other youth outside of school. The internet barely existed, and the only other options was to pick up the 1 phone in the house if Dad/Mom wasn't on it. Today every kid has their own personal device on them 100% of the time to connect them to literally anyone in the world. A car really is just a secondary item to them, it is no longer required for social standing.


By RufusM on 8/14/2012 9:04:11 AM , Rating: 3
I disagree completely. A person can buy a drivable car for about $2,000 today. When I was in high school in 1988 my first car cost $1,000 and I was making $3.75/hr. which is about the equivalent to today's costs and wages.

I couldn't afford the insurance so my parents payed 50% of it as long as I maintained a B average to get the discount.

It's perfectly doable for someone in high school to buy a car. It certainly won't be a new car, but it will be drivable. The student would also need to learn how to repair and maintain it too like I did.


By Rukkian on 8/14/2012 9:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
While I was in the same boat, cars today are not that easy to work on, and with some you need very expensive tools to fix things. It is not like when I was a kid, and the cars we had (which were 15 years old), you could climb inside the engine compartment next to the block (maybe just taking out the headers) with a set of sockets and take almost everything apart in a few hours.


By JediJeb on 8/14/2012 6:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
I graduated high school in 1985 and at the time it is true $1000 would buy you a fairly nice vehicle. My grandfather even bought a new Dodge D50 mini pickup for I believe $7000. Today even a $2000 car is not that great. You can certainly get around in it, but if you even try to do some tweaking it will easily end up doubling the cost, just nice wheels and tires can do that now days.

The sad thing is, I remember back in 1973 my father was making $8000 per year as a mechanic and he went out and bought a Plymouth Fury III, big 4 door hardtop just a step down from a Cadillac at the time and paid a whopping $3000 for it. That is someone making just over minimum wage buying a top end mid range vehicle for less than half their yearly wages. That would be something like a $40,000-$60,000 vehicle today, and people making just over minimum wage do not make over $100,000 per year! That wage to price ratio would have someone making around $18,000 per year being able to buy at least a Toyota Camry for around $10,000 brand new. Lack of purchasing power for young people is exactly why they are not buying new cars these days, no so much that they don't want them. Make a dollar worth something like it was 30-40 years ago and you will see people actually buying things again.


By Natch on 8/14/2012 9:56:50 AM , Rating: 3
That's the liberal arts push that colleges have gotten away with, for too long, IMHO. What kid wants to hear that, in order to get an engineering/science/doctor's degree, they'll have to work for it? To heck with that, take our underwater basket weaving course of study, and you'll breeze your way through our $20K/year tuition school!!

Of course, they find out afterwards the difficult lesson that you reap what you sow. While this recession has had it's share of engineers that were laid off, I'd be willing to bet that they find good paying positions faster than the hoards of liberal arts degree holders that were laid off.


By teldar on 8/14/2012 10:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
You are a poor, sadly mistaken fool of you think your college career what you take. The colleges i went to had multiple schools available and offered many fine courses.
The engineering school basically had its own campus with a nuclear reactor, two aerospace engineering buildings, a naval architecture program... They also win the yearly solar race. Like the last 7 years in a row. You may get the idea. They spend a lot of money on engineering. I think they would be unhappy if nobody went there. They also have a top 5 medical school. And a top 3-5 business school.
I don't think they are forcing people to English and history degrees.


By Odysseus145 on 8/14/2012 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
If you want to blame someone, blame the high schools for de-emphasizing science and critical thought for so long. Colleges don't force majors on anyone.


By wordsworm on 8/13/2012 10:29:50 PM , Rating: 3
Kool Aid is not the big problem. It's the guns and alcohol.

Liberal arts undergrads are generally the folks who take up jobs which require advanced reading and writing ability. There are a lot of jobs that require those abilities in everything from the folks who run public services, to education, and to a variety of business roles. There are more jobs requiring a BA than there are BS or BE.

If you go to Korea, where engineering graduate degrees are a common goal, you'll find a lot of engineers working 12h/day, 6 days per week, for roughly the same amount of money based on hours as I did teaching ESL for 20h/week, 5 days per week.

Of course, education in Korea is a lot different than it is here. Middle-class Parents put their kids in public schools six days per week until about 1pm. Then, they send them to private schools. The end of their day can be anywhere between 8-10pm, depending on how hard the parents push. If parents did that in the US, they'd be labelled as abusers and their children would be taken away. I have heard that Chinese and Japanese parents have a similar approach to education.

Another side-note that's kind of cool about Korea is that if you buy a 50cc or less motorcycle, you don't need insurance. There would be a lot more people on the road if that sort of thing were allowed in Canada/US.


By TerranMagistrate on 8/14/2012 12:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
Even in the field of engineering, job prospects are only great for the very top students and/or if you have plenty of relevant and useful experience.

For the rest of us, keep praying because companies simply aren't willing to invest in training like they did in the good old days.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/14/2012 6:46:08 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Even in the field of engineering, job prospects are only great for the very top students and/or if you have plenty of relevant and useful experience.

Experience wins every time, that has not changed since the dawn of time.

quote:
For the rest of us, keep praying because companies simply aren't willing to invest in training like they did in the good old days.

I take issue with this piece. The majority of my co-workers are in the 40-50 range and have been since I started white collar work. They all have this same mindset that when they need to learn something new that the company will teach them, or send them to a class, or buy some books. I find that whole idea laughable and always have. If the company has to poke, prod, and hand you a carrot to get you to keep your skills relevant to the ever changing landscape then you are always a day late and a dollar short. It's past time for people to take some personal responsibility for themselves and their skillset. If things are changing (and they always are), the onus is on you and you alone to improve your marketability. The days of companies investing in their employees is rapidly drawing to a close and aren't coming back. It's up to the employees themselves to grow on their own. This brings me to my next point.

The old mentality of working for the same company for 10, 20, 30+ years is gone. These days you will do 2-4 in a specific job/company and then switch because you will stagnate if you stay longer. Granted if you work in contracting or projects, simply switching to a new contract/project can provide the same benefit. Companies know this and they see it regularly. It's the reason almost every company's HR department is crying about low retention rates. People with any shred of ambition take their career into their own hands and improve themselves and their marketability. They use these improvements to land their next job, which typically comes with a nice pay raise. I highly suggest anyone new to the job market keep this reality in mind.


By 1prophet on 8/14/2012 7:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
And that King of the Mountain mentality creates individuals who may be smart and talented but in the end are vain, selfish, greedy and look down at those not like themselves.

The corporations not wanting to invest in their employees are hurting themselves in the long run,

by creating a culture where employees who will not invest in them and just like a self serving whore will jump to the next John with a larger wallet.

It may be appear good for the individual in the short term, but in the end is detrimental to business, society and the country as a whole.


By WalksTheWalk on 8/14/2012 8:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
Many companies invest in a certain amount of employee training, but they expect the employee to do their part on their own as well.

It's a two way street. We have some people at my office that rest on their laurels and have been passed up by other employees in skill and compensation. They don't want to do work outside of their comfort zone and learn about new things. Any training they receive goes to waste because they don't WANT to take on anything new. As soon as the thing they work on goes away, and it will, they will be out of a job.

The fact is, if you keep your skill set current and do good work, you'll find employment somewhere.


By kmmatney on 8/13/2012 11:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your post. GenY has it a lot harder than I did.
If I was graduating now, I don't think there is any way I would be buying a new car.

I was born in 1970, GenX through and through. I graduated with an Engineering degree with no debt. I went to UCLA, and tuition was $1500/year! My wife and I had no debt, we both got jobs, and went out and bought cars. At least I didn't go overboard - I just bought a Camry, which I kept until this year. However quite a few friends of mine went out and bought large trucks and 4Runners, and some even lost their jobs and couldn't make the payments. They were just careless, buying more than they could afford. At least GenY is more careful.

It's not just GenY, though. Now I'm 41, have had a good job since graduation, and can afford to buy any car. However when I replaced my Camry this year, I bought base model RAV 4, which I will be driving until I'm 50. We have 3 kids, and want to offset the cost of college as much as we can. They will probably still have a lot of debt, though. There are just more important things to spend money on than a new car.



By someguy123 on 8/13/2012 11:16:05 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not so sure about Gen Y having it harder in general, but I definitely share the same sentiment about schooling costs, especially at UCs nowadays. Estimated UCLA student budget for 9 months is 23 thousand dollars at the cheapest. Even years ago back when I went for my degree my father would constantly rant about how much cheaper tuition was and how he'd probably would've just dropped out considering he was working part time to pay for it. I'm a lucky guy and I give him lots of respect for helping me through those years, but if I had to work out of high school to pay for classes I probably would've been forced to go community, if at all.


By JediJeb on 8/14/2012 7:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
I believe it was John Stossle I saw the other day(not my most favorite journalist by a long shot) who actually said something that struck a note with me. For years government has been trying to "make up the difference so to speak" with giving universities money to help offset the cost of tuition. The problem is tuition has only gotten higher. Seems Universities have simply decided that if the government will help make up the difference in tuition costs they just raise the tuition so that students are still paying as much relative to what they would pay with no subsidies from the government and taking the government portion and blowing it on whatever they want. That is why so many students are being pushed to get college degrees, simply because the more students the universities get, the more money they get from the government, and the more they can pad their expenses with it.

Talking to some of the old professors I had in college 20 years ago, and some of the new ones there now, seems that salaries have not increased in proportion to the increase in tuition. So where has all that money gone? Electricity and natural gas for lights and heating of the building has not gone up 4x in the last 20 years, plus more building now days are much more energy efficient than they were back then. Salaries are fairly stagnant, number of staff is probably not that much greater. The money is going somewhere, and it is not going to improve the quality of education as it should, so where is it going?


By Taft12 on 8/14/2012 10:56:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
number of staff is probably not that much greater.


Number of administrative staff is MUCH greater. It's where a lot of the extra tuition cost is going (for minimal benefit I might add). Things like advertising didn't have the enormous budget they do now (again no benefit to students). The president's salary certainly hasn't been stagnant!


By tecknurd on 8/14/2012 5:06:39 AM , Rating: 2
I agree what tayb said. For me in order to get a degree, I have to get a student loan that is close to $100,000. That is a huge loan and my chances of getting a job after I get that degree is low thanks to someone saying OK to out source. I rather have no degree and be debt free compared to be in deep debt forever. I sacrifice of not getting in a job that I will like to to do and just do entry jobs until something turns up. I need a new car because the repairs and gas is getting very costly. The new car will be a used car.

Cars to me do not relate to freedom. Cars to me relate to chores or it is a chore to drive some where. I do not like driving. I do not know the names of cars, so I do not care what car I get. To me it is a car. Though what I do know is my car is a white one. :D

I am "Generation Y" and the fancy gadgets that I have are about 10 years old besides an eReader that I recently got. I do not own a smartphone or a tablet.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 3:21:27 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Cars to me do not relate to freedom. Cars to me relate to chores or it is a chore to drive some where. I do not like driving. I do not know the names of cars, so I do not care what car I get. To me it is a car. Though what I do know is my car is a white one. :D


Wow....

Damnit, I got nothing. That's just f'ed up though. Your generation sucks BAD.

Cars good. Public transportation bad. Repeat this 5,000 times a day, every day.


By tayb on 8/14/2012 4:42:33 PM , Rating: 1
I spend approximately 112 hours a week awake. Of those 112 hours approximately 6 are spent driving. That's about 5.4% of my awake hours behind the wheel. I strive to only spend 50% of my net income so in my opinion I should only spend 2.7% of my net income on car related expenses. I spend such a tiny amount of time in my car, usually sitting in traffic, that I just can't justify much more than absolute minimum.

My priorities are elsewhere. I like vacationing, electronics, nice things inside my house/apartment, etc. A car is just an expense to me that I would cut in a heartbeat if I could. Public transportation allows me to be productive while I commute and allows me to do it for a fraction of the cost. If public transportation was built out better here in Dallas I would sell my car in a heart beat.

It's just a different of priorities. To each their own, I suppose.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2012 5:11:48 PM , Rating: 1
I think what you guys are basically saying is that you don't want the responsibility that comes along with an automobile. Oh I'll take public transportation, it's "free" someone else is paying for that. I don't want to deal with the insurance, the maintenance. I just want an apartment (the least responsible housing option) and gadgets and instant gratification.

Responsibility is the key word here. And when you look at how "Generation Y" votes and abdicates all personal responsibility, and how society is turning into a piece of crap, well it just goes to show.


By tayb on 8/14/2012 5:29:39 PM , Rating: 1
Why am I not surprised that this would be the type of response from you. You are either the epitome of troll or the greatest accidental troll on DT.

Your generation loves to waste a ton of money and refuses to make sound financial decisions. You buy cars without calculating the expenses purely on whim. See how easy that was? I feel like reclaimer now.


By Meinolf on 8/14/2012 8:32:00 AM , Rating: 3
The reason is a college can charge just about anything they want because they know Students will get GOVERNMENT Loans to pay for it. A Student fails to pay them/drops out the College already has the money and the government/us gets the bills. I think the colleges need to take on the loans. Michigan-Ann Arbor In-State Tuition (2011-2012)$12,634 Out-of-State Tuition (2011-2012)$37,782


By Ammohunt on 8/14/2012 2:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The cause is extremely high student loan debt, poor post-graduation job prospects, poor pay at most entry level positions, and just a general shift in opinion from cars being "must haves" to "nice to haves."


The problem as i see it is that current generations have been sold the lie that College Degree = Guaranteed high paying job = wealth with out hard work and sacrifice(outside of academia). You were smart enough to get a degree in something that is actually in demand right now; my hippie neighbour with a degree in architecture is still waiting for his dream job to fall out of the sky probably explains all the spare time he has to occupy and protest. My advice to young people is skip college and get a real job or go to trade school and learn a skill that is in demand then use that as stepping stone to realize higher education dreams.


By tayb on 8/14/2012 2:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
I worked the entire time I was in college. The first job I had (and one I still do part time to this day) was test prep instruction for the Princeton Review. On the very first day of class I would ask the kids why they wanted to do well on the SAT, why they wanted to go to college, and why they wanted to study what they wanted to study. I could tell the things I said were things that they had NEVER heard before. And when their parents found out the things that I had told them, I received angry phone calls.

It's a systemic problem. From an early age kids are taught that the ONLY way to ever be successful is to get a college degree. The public education system has been catered toward preparing kids to go to college as opposed to preparing them to enter the workforce. When my parents were growing up they took shop, business, and other such classes that prepared them to be productive immediately following high school. College was recommended but completely unnecessary if you didn't desire increased learning or an advanced position. You could go grab a white collar job or an office position immediately. Now? I have several friends that spent $35,000 a year going to a private school to get a degree in business who now sell insurance full time. Why do you need a degree, much less a degree from a private school, to sell insurance? A 16 year should be able to sell insurance.

Fast forward to 2012 and college is an extension of high school. You aren't prepared to enter the work force and college is just the next level just as high school was the next level from middle school. Demand for college has increased dramatically and the flow of money has increased dramatically. Institutions have continued to increase their tuition as the laws of supply and demand dictate they should. What was once a $15,000 degree is now $60,000 at a public school and $100,000+ at a private school... and it's still rising.

Then you have high school advisors, university advisors, and parents telling naive kids that they should "follow their dreams" and study whatever they think will be interesting. The same people who should be looking out for their interests are the same people sending them down a path to nowhere.

And at the end of the day the kids are naive enough to believe it, the parents were stupid enough to perpetuate it, the advisors failed to do their jobs, and the banks and universities and government were all too willing to take and give the money all along the way. More often than not the outcome is a combination of the outcomes I mentioned above. And the failure is systemic.


By Ammohunt on 8/14/2012 9:25:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree the said part is that we get to fund the welfare system that will allow these kids from starving that is if everything doesn't crater before then.


Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By WalksTheWalk on 8/13/2012 5:58:40 PM , Rating: 3
Phones = hundreds of dollars/euros/etc.
Cars = thousands of dollars/euros/etc.

Given that young people are cash-strapped, it stands to reason they would buy things that are just less expensive and there's a huge cost delta between phones and cars.

I get the point that people can now communicate better thus there's less of a need to be in physical proximity, but isn't it apples and oranges comparing the two?




RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By TSS on 8/13/2012 6:20:40 PM , Rating: 5
It's not just apples to oranges, it's apples to bullshit.

Cmon, REALLY?! young people are buying less cars because they want an ipad? That's the reason? That's the excuse?

No, no your right. That's true. It's the ipads and pods and intarwebs causing all dis problem lol. It clearly has nothing to do with that trillion in student loan debt. Clearly. No doubt there. Nope.

It's also generation Y who ran up the national debt, deficit, crashed the stock market, and sunk the titanic dontchaknow.

I swear if these news articles get any more ridicolous i don't think i've got enough crazy in me to respond adequatly.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By Uncle on 8/13/2012 6:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
This.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By geddarkstorm on 8/13/2012 6:33:39 PM , Rating: 4
Didn't generation Y start with those born in the 80's? Or is that the millennial generation? You know what, these things are so nebulous, I think they are basically useless. Why don't we just use age ranges?


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By tayb on 8/13/2012 6:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
The term "generation Y" is usually used to refer to the people who were born in the 80s or 90s.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By TSS on 8/14/12, Rating: 0
RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By mcnabney on 8/14/2012 11:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
Greatest - 1901-1924
Silent - 1925-1945
Boomers - 1946-1964
Gen-X - 1965-1981
Gen-Y - 1982-1999 (aka -Millenials, Boomer-echo)
Internet - 2000-?

Know your place in history.


By StevoLincolnite on 8/13/2012 11:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
They could always test the theory out and bundle an ipad with a every car sold.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By amanojaku on 8/13/2012 6:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Captain Obvious' findings stemmed from an earlier survey performed last year or so. It asked what young adults consider coming of age. Up until the 90's or so it used to be a car, house, and family. Now, it's a smartphone, an apartment and a job. People's goals have changed, but that's mostly because of the lousy economy. The upfront and ongoing costs of a car, house or family are just too much for most of us.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By someguy123 on 8/13/2012 8:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, the real change is because of the status symbol and necessarily because of cash. Kids would want cars in the past even if they were buckets. Nowadays a smartphone is the status icon that is meant to magically reflect your maturity. I highly doubt that it's the real reason for drops in new car sales, though, especially considering the article itself points out that sales are close 2007 numbers when tablet and smartphone saturation are at an all time high.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By BSMonitor on 8/13/2012 9:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
More than that.. Cars are everywhere now. In the 70s and 80s, people bumming rides all the time. Now, cars are everywhere. It isn't so novel as it used to buy your first car, etc etc...

Now all it means is that you too pay too much gas and insurance.


RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By Flunk on 8/13/2012 10:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know where you live but my friends are always bumming rides off me. Maybe you've just progressed past the point in your life were your friends are all poor as hell.


Note to Car makers
By Mithdraug on 8/13/2012 7:01:20 PM , Rating: 2
Make cheaper more reliable cars and allow us to pay what you pay the automanufacturers. i.e. $2500/unit.




RE: Note to Car makers
By amanojaku on 8/13/2012 9:28:47 PM , Rating: 3
Um... I don't think a car is as cheap as $2,500 a unit, unless you're buying a Tata Nano. The problem is jobs and cost of living. Salaries remain flat, while inflation continues. You're paying more for food, utilities, medical care, taxes, etc...


RE: Note to Car makers
By Camikazi on 8/13/2012 9:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
That would never happen, if we only paid what the auto sellers paid then who would gouge us on car prices?


RE: Note to Car makers
By Taft12 on 8/14/2012 11:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
Safety regulations make that an impossible price point in North America or Europe.


Darn.
By Motoman on 8/13/2012 6:39:49 PM , Rating: 5
Wow, I'd really like to buy that jet-powered speed boat...but I only have $5 in my wallet. Guess I'll get a Big Mac instead.

"GENERATION ECKS BYPASSING JET BOATS IN FAVOR OF FAST FOOD!"




Let them walk...
By CrazyBernie on 8/13/2012 6:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
That shiny new phone is going to have problems carrying their asses where they need to go.

They'll come around.




RE: Let them walk...
By MadMan007 on 8/14/2012 6:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
Let them eat pavement!


Still need the car
By macca007 on 8/14/2012 3:23:24 AM , Rating: 2
A phone can only do so much, They still need a car to take the "real life" girl out on a date! Not exactly romantic to pick them up in a taxi or take the bus, But if it's a hired Limo then I make an exception and you are going to get some action that night as that is sure to impress. ;)




What happens when we get to Gen Z?
By topkill on 8/14/2012 9:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
We've gone through Gen X, now Gen Y....if we get to Gen Z do we all have to drink the kool-aid and let the monkeys start over?




Stuck in the middle...
By Adam M on 8/14/2012 6:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Im a little late for Gen X and a bit early to be considered Gen Y. My friends and I all love having new toys (phones, tablets, consoles, and so on), but a car has always been more important. Never has a girl came up to me and asked if that was the latest Android or iPhone. I have never gotten laid over a tablet. On the other hand, I have been asked if that was my car and it certainly offers a better impression when I say "I'll pick you up at 8" instead of "meet me at the bus stop at 8:15, I don't want to miss the bus."




Life is too easy for many
By Beenthere on 8/14/2012 11:19:12 AM , Rating: 1
Many young people have life too easy and have no incentive to work. If they get everything handed to them for free, why should they bother getting a job or contributing to society?

A car is only a necessity if you don't have good public transportation. If Mommy and Daddy are footing the bill, then the kids are on the gravy train and lovin it.




LMAO at stupid posters
By BSMonitor on 8/13/12, Rating: -1
RE: LMAO at stupid posters
By Motoman on 8/13/2012 10:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
...what a dumb@ss.

"Well, I can't actually get a job or go anywhere since I don't have a car...but I did blow all the money I had on an iPad, so at least I can play Angry Birds."


RE: LMAO at stupid posters
By Dr of crap on 8/14/2012 8:40:00 AM , Rating: 2
Did you read what you posted?

Either you spend ALL your money on a car, but can't get insurance and gas and the car doesn't take you anywhere, or you spend all you cash on an ipad and play games and it does take you anywhere- Hmmm seems about the same.


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