Generation Y Increasingly Uninterested In Car Ownership

New analysis from the CNW group shows that the percentage of new cars sold to 21-34 year-olds hit a high of nearly 38 percent in 1985 but decreased to 27 percent today. The shift is changing life in our cities and manufacturers marketing strategies.

One reason is economic, but there is also a more general trend away from cars for today's young adults for whom spending on gadgetry and computers is more attractive. This could be due to the internet, which allows people to connect to those around them through social networks without leaving the house.

Karl Brauer, researcher at auto website said this 'generation also is thinking more than any other about the repercussions of driving, both in terms of the environment and our dependence on oil.' Probably because they are the generation most likely to have to deal with the costs of half a century of oil dependency.

The prognosis isn't necessarily encouraging, either. In 2008, 82 percent of 20 to 24 year-olds had their driver's license, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Although that's gone up a tiny bit in the past few years, it's down from more than 87 percent in 1994. This market news is a response to the increasing connection available within America's largest cities, where public transit, cabs, and hire services like Zipcar allow people to navigate without owning a car.

Full Story: Carmakers' Next Problem: Generation Y



about not driving

A few months ago I engaged some anxious consultants who drive a lot to ply their trade in the usual variety of consulting tasks, business to business style, or advice to managers methods. They were hotly opposed to trains in Wisconsin and I was able to present them with the voice of a CEO who said, "my new recruits are telling me that they do not want to drive to work." One CEO who really gets it and worked with us to save the local bus system, as well. I brought that quote to the discussion (on Linked In) and one fellow said about that quote: "Now, where did that come from?" The car probably puts more people out of touch with reality than maybe we have been aware.

Bill Sell

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