The media has been telling us for years that young people are not interested in cars the way their parents were. The reports suggest those born after 1980 are content to live in their parent’s basement, play video games, take public transportation, and do speed dating on the internet (This describes about half the people I know. – Chris). In theory, if they purchase a car at all it will be a small econobox with a minimal carbon footprint, ideally an electric vehicle.
But if there is one truth about people everywhere it is they eventually start a family of their own. It’s simple biology. And a family means having lots of stuff to carry around, stuff that doesn’t fit into a tiny little car, a bus or a subway car. What’s a Millennial to do?
According to a new study by Maritz Research, many of them are buying SUVs, just like Mom and Dad drive. Surprised? Maybe you shouldn’t be.
If you are a young family, being able to carry your stuff is more important than gas mileage or carbon emissions. That stuff includes strollers, cribs, diaper bags, and toys together with skis, kayaks, bicycles and camping gear and that’s what makes an SUV the logical choice for many Millennials. Sub-compacts like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit are seeing shrinking sales among Gen Y buyers, while sport utility vehicles like the Nissan Juke and Ford Explorer are selling well to this demographic.
There are now 80 million Americas born since 1980 according to the US Census Bureau. 40% of those tell J.D. Power & Associates they plan to purchase a new car within the next 5 years, and savvy car manufacturers know that Millenials are far more tech savvy then their parents were, so they are packing their new models with high tech infotainment systems that can access the internet as we drive. Chevrolet is planning to make 4G wi-fi hot spots standard equipment on some models in a bid to lure younger buyers.
But technology cannot offset the fact that as we get older, we acquire more stuff. It’s a law of nature, like entropy or gravity. In the final analysis, only cars that can haul all that stuff people feel they need to bring with them are going to move from dealer’s lots into people’s driveways, regardless the age of the buyers.
Source: The Detroit Bureau