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.
November 6, 2010, 5am PDT | George Haugh
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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 edmunds.com 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.

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Published on Thursday, November 4, 2010 in MSNBC News
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