For decades, many a red-blooded American teen had a passionate interest about cars, especially the muscle cars like the Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, GTO, Challenger, and more.But it seems that today’s teen teenagers and twenty year olds are not as knocked out by the car. According to the Los Angeles Times, a J.D. Power and Associates study has found that Generation Y doesn’t have the same crush as their parents and grandparents did on cars.
J.D. Power analyzed “conversations” on auto-related websites as well as social network sites like Twitter and Facebook between January and August of this year. The analysis divided Gen Ys into two groups — teens (12-18 years old) and “early careerists” (22 to 29 years old).
The survey found that teens showed less of a “necessity of and desire to have cars.”
Already pundits are trying to explain it. Some say that teens and 20 year olds are more content making contact with friends via the internet and texting so there is less need to physically congregate and thus less need for transportation.
As you can imagine, the findings are causing worry among car execs in Detroit and all over the world.
The hand writing is already on the wall. Japan is the first major developed country that is experiencing a decline in car ownership. Worse, businesses that rely on the car for their customers to get to them are starting to experience problems. These include establishments like restaurants and retail stores that are not located near public transportation routes. If the Gen Ys continue their non-love affair with the car, then sales will no doubt be impacted for several years to come.
Note there are a few growth spots. A J.D. Power and Associates analysis of the Chinese car market showed that the Chinese are “wild” about cars. And, at a population of a hefty 1.3 billion, it is no accident that monthly auto sales in China is greater than it is in the U.S. Major world auto manufacturers are looking toward China for future sales growth.