Generation Y Wants iPhones/Tablets, Not Cars
August 13, 2012 5:33 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
Companies like Ford and Toyota have built inexpensive, subcompact cars like the
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.
The Detroit News
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Student loan debt, poor job prospects, cars suck in general
8/14/2012 8:59:47 AM
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.
RE: Student loan debt, poor job prospects, cars suck in general
8/14/2012 9:43:13 AM
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.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
Sales of Chevrolet Volt Surge as Nissan Leaf Sales Wither
August 2, 2012, 9:43 AM
Fixes For Distracted Driving Remain Unclear
June 12, 2012, 9:04 AM
Automakers Keep Adding "Distracting" Technology to Vehicles, U.S. Gov Not Happy
May 21, 2012, 9:47 AM
Ford Lets Parents Ban Teens' In-Car Calls
October 28, 2011, 12:06 AM
UPDATED: Test Driving Ford's Fuel Efficient Fiesta: Our Impressions
September 28, 2010, 12:13 AM
Michigan Governor Signs “Anti Tesla” Bill That Bans Direct Sales, GM Applauds Decision
October 22, 2014, 8:56 AM
Report: 2015 Ford Focus Electric MSRP Slashed by $6,000, Will Retail for $29,995
October 18, 2014, 6:23 PM
Chevrolet Sonic EV to Have 200-mile Range, Debut in 2017
October 10, 2014, 12:01 PM
Auto Start-Stop Systems Will be Installed on Nearly 60% of New Vehicles by 2020
October 8, 2014, 4:19 PM
Volvo XC90 to Receive Triple-turbocharged, 450hp 2.0-liter Four-cylinder Engine
October 7, 2014, 2:29 PM
Nissan Still Trying to Make a Profit on Leaf EV
October 6, 2014, 5:46 PM
Most Popular Articles
Chinese Government Declares Digital War Against America's Top Tech Firms
October 20, 2014, 12:07 PM
Samsung Announces Galaxy S5 Plus with Snapdragon 805 Processor, LTE-A
October 22, 2014, 3:40 PM
Windows 8.1 + Android "Sell Mini PC" w/ Bay Trail Creates New PC Form Factor
October 20, 2014, 5:07 PM
Apple's iPad Air 2 Features Triple-core A8X Processor, 2GB of RAM
October 21, 2014, 8:32 PM
Apple Releases iOS 8.1; Adds Apple Pay Support, SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot
October 20, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information