Print 58 comment(s) - last by Taft12.. on Aug 14 at 11:03 PM

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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Plus Autos Cost a Lot More
By TSS on 8/14/2012 9:41:59 AM , Rating: 0
Actually, i'm one of the few that can pinpoint gen Y's start, since i've observed it to happen, litteraly.

1987-1988. (keep in mind that it's not any single day, just a transitional period, where in the middle 50% gen x and 50% gen y is born). Personally i was born march 31st 1987 and i'm already a late Gen-X.

Let me explain. I failed my 2nd year of high school through my own fault (you can be as smart as you want kids if you don't pay attention you *will* fail). In that year, ending summer 2001 i belive, 3 kids in my class failed including me. Just for reference, it was the highest difficulty of freshman class, so the smart kids. I had to do the year over cause my parents forced me to, the other 2 went on to the 3rd year only on a lower level of difficulty. Other classes had similar results.

Now the 2nd time i did that year, ended quite differently. I dropped out half way because i was bullied out (lets not get into that) but i did meet one of my old classmates in a store in the summer, and i asked how the year ended. A whopping 9 people failed, and either continued on a lower difficulty or had to do the year over. I asked about the other classes (there where about 9-10 of 20ish kids total) and the picture was the pretty much the same across the board.

I saw it again in IT college (remember kids, if your smart you can talk your way into anything). At the end of the 3rd year in college i was part of a student run helpdesk, which we needed to transfer control of to the next year's students, as the final year was all internship and no school.

Now, this education *sucked*. I got my degree in 2007, they NEVER taught us windows XP, while being trained as system operators. We got 1 year of windows 98, 1.5 years of windows NT, 6 weeks of win 2000, then 3 weeks novell. Yeah. This is important to remember because of what i'll say next.

When we entered the room to transfer what was called servicepoint, we did it as the rowdy bunch we where. We had just survived (litteraly) 3 years of the worst education possible, so we where very jaded. Made alot of noise, threw our bags in a corner sensitive equipment or no, sat at the table in no position to write down anything and didn't even bother to take out notes or a plan or whatever, even though we had it. Because we knew, it wouldn't make a difference. Besides i had written a detailed plan left on the servicepoint computers so i told em to "go read that".

But these kids.... There where 5 of em. All sitting at a table. Neatly. Their coats not on the chairs but on the coat hangar. They all had their notebooks open in front of them. Pen in hand. An eager face to absorb the knowledge we where supposed to give them. It blew me away when i saw it, these kids actually thought we where going to teach them something!

Why is that a bad thing? Because they didn't think for themselves. Their education was only slightly better because we spent the year before them bitching about everything, but it still sucked. But they didn't bitch. They accepted the knowledge as the truth. I knew then that they had believed *everything* the teachers had told them in their education. Even the teachers themselves said it to us, how different it was teaching these kids. Where we would always make noise and try to have fun, disrupting class and whatnot, they where quiet, taking notes, never causing any trouble. One of the teachers even called it "eerie".

For reference, i only remembered 5 things i was taught in my entire education when i went to my internship. I applied all 5, all 5 where WRONG. and incredibly so. And service point? When i left i had written a detailed, multiyear plan that would expand and increase efficiency of the service. I later heard that the year after us it went OK (they must've stuck to the plan), the year after that it crashed and burned and was discontinued in it's entirety

It's a mindset, a completly different mindset. It's like they can't think creatively. They do not question stuff like the kids just 1 year before did. Now i'm not sure what could've caused this massive shift. But i do know that it has to do with what i consider my early childhood. I consider the 90's to be my early childhood. If i'd say it ended anywhere it was around 2000, when i entered my teens. I still remember my first year of highschool lamenting this new "rap" fad that had popped up, and pining for the days of happy hardcore, when life was a party instead of a contest of arrogance.

I'm not blaming it on music, that would be too easy. If it's any one thing it's merely the presence of time, and those who came before getting older and those who came after feeling a need to rebel against those who came before. But the mainstream style of music is usually a good indicator for the times.

And things went bad when we traded the boy/girl bands and synths for the sluts (talkin britney and christina here, we all know how that ended) and arrogance of rap. Maybe it's simply because the party had to end sometime.

As far as Millenials are concirned, they come about 10 years later, born around 1998-2000 somewhere. Which is strange by itself since generations usually last 20 years or so, while we've now had atleast 1 shift after 10 years. I blame technology and the increase in the speed of living for those (as my dad says, i never spend a day looking out of the window out of sheer boredom. He used to have to do that all the time).

If you're wondering which generation you belong to (though you should instinctively know by your own mindset), i will say this: if you've never heard the sound of a modem while it's being used, you're a millenial. If you've never seen MS-DOS, you're Gen Y (in my IT education first year, out of 23 only 3 people including me had worked with MS-DOS). If you remember the commodore, Gen X. If you bought the commodore, baby boomer. If you've never had an interest in commodore, golden generation. If you'd trade a commodore for a turnip, depression generation. If your buried below the turnip, WW1.

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.

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki