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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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By Master Kenobi on 8/14/2012 6:46:08 AM , Rating: 3
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.

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.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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