Sadly you read right, it seems that a new study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates between January and August on various auto-related websites, personal blogs and social services like Twitter or Facebook has reached the conclusion that young people, specifically the Generation Y, with people born in the 1980s and early 90s, don’t consider cars a necessity in the same way as older generations.
The study divided the sample into teens (12-18) and early careerists (22-29). The results were very suggestive: “Online discussions by teens indicate shifts in perceptions regarding the necessity of and desire to have cars.”
It is believed that many factors have impacted young people into shifting their behavior. First of all, the economic recession has seriously made a dent in budgets and the cost of running and maintaining a car don’t justify themselves for many people. “Also, with the advent of social media and other forms of electronic communities, teens perceive less of a need to physically congregate, and less of a need for a mode of transportation,” revealed the study.
“The negative perceptions of the automotive industry that teens and early careerists hold could have implications on future vehicle sales,” said Chance Parker, VP and general manager of J.D. Power and Associates. “Generation Y could have the greatest spending power of any generation — even surpassing that of the Baby Boomers. It will be essential for automakers to earn the trust and loyalty of Gen-Y consumers, who are particularly critical of brands and products.”
What’s worse is that the precedent has already been felt by Japan, which is the first big country to record a decrease in car sales, as many young people, especially from crowded city areas like Tokyo, don’t feel the need for a car.
But car makers shouldn’t worry, as there will always be China, in which over 1 billion people can’t get enough of cars and feel practically no recession at all, meaning that spending budgets are pretty big in most cases.
What about you? Do you feel the need for a car in these troubled times? While I do own one (and I’m also a member of the Generation Y) unless it is necessary and convenient, I prefer public transportation to driving my car, as it allows me to focus on other things and avoid the stress of driving through a crowded city filled with angry motorists. Don’t be shy to drop a comment below with your thoughts on the matter.