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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:]
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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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

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.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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