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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 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.


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