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Young people don't like cars: The story behind a manufactured crisis

Illustration for article titled Young people dont like cars: The story behind a manufactured crisis

One of the most overblown auto industry narratives is that young people — those in Generation Y, also known as Millennials — have little urge to buy vehicles.


Though the numbers show a decline in the percentage of new car sales from young drivers, those figures are a result of circumstance more than a shift in desire. It's not all about smartphones, the "Xbox generation" or an urban city revival.

It's about the money. Specifically, the money Millennials don't have.

Consider the following:


I know all of this because I've lived through all of this. And automotive executives know this too, which is why most aren't losing sleep over this manufactured crisis.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. is now dropping, gross domestic product is growing, young folks are getting jobs and soon will have $200 billion in annual spending power. They'll grow up, move out of their parents' basement and many will have children, and in turn will need an automobile to shuffle their kids between soccer practice and band camp.


As one auto sales analyst put it: "I can't bet against procreation."

Young folks will buy cars; just give it time.

Follow the fun: @karlhenk

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