Generation Y Wants iPhones/Tablets, Not Cars
August 13, 2012 5:33 PM
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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.
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
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RE: Student loan debt, poor job prospects, cars suck in general
8/14/2012 7:01:15 PM
I believe it was John Stossle I saw the other day(not my most favorite journalist by a long shot) who actually said something that struck a note with me. For years government has been trying to "make up the difference so to speak" with giving universities money to help offset the cost of tuition. The problem is tuition has only gotten higher. Seems Universities have simply decided that if the government will help make up the difference in tuition costs they just raise the tuition so that students are still paying as much relative to what they would pay with no subsidies from the government and taking the government portion and blowing it on whatever they want. That is why so many students are being pushed to get college degrees, simply because the more students the universities get, the more money they get from the government, and the more they can pad their expenses with it.
Talking to some of the old professors I had in college 20 years ago, and some of the new ones there now, seems that salaries have not increased in proportion to the increase in tuition. So where has all that money gone? Electricity and natural gas for lights and heating of the building has not gone up 4x in the last 20 years, plus more building now days are much more energy efficient than they were back then. Salaries are fairly stagnant, number of staff is probably not that much greater. The money is going somewhere, and it is not going to improve the quality of education as it should, so where is it going?
RE: Student loan debt, poor job prospects, cars suck in general
8/14/2012 10:56:51 PM
number of staff is probably not that much greater.
Number of administrative staff is MUCH greater. It's where a lot of the extra tuition cost is going (for minimal benefit I might add). Things like advertising didn't have the enormous budget they do now (again no benefit to students). The president's salary certainly hasn't been stagnant!
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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