The love affair between Americans and their cars may be going cold with the Millennial generation, which is considerably less interested in the latest makes and models than their parents or grandparents were. Statistics from social media monitoring firm Social360 examined the cooling off between automakers and the Millennial generation.
Millennials are broke
Many Millennials have convinced themselves that owning a car just isn't in their best financial interest. A survey from Auto News found that 83% of respondents said they do not own a car because they can't afford one. That sentiment was reflected on Twitter. Social360 cited one Minnesota-based user with more than 400 followers who said, “I don't understand how kids my age can afford a new truck and a new car…”
They also prefer cities – and their more sustainable transportation options
Social360 also cited social media discussions that reflect Millennials' living preferences in urban areas where cars aren't needed. Other social media users noted that cars that have a minimal impact on the environment just don't exist yet, with even electric or hybrid models not fitting the bill.
Millennials are more into mobile technology
Technology has also driven a wedge between Millennial consumers and cars and trucks by making mass-transit easier to use through the advent of public Wi-Fi, bike-sharing systems, and real-time bus and subway information.
Electronic devices are also for many Millennials the coming-of-age product that a car used to be for past generations. Digital Trends' article, “5 reasons young people are not buying cars or getting their driver's license,” which was shared more than 180 times, notes that “while having a car was status and freedom for generations past, the modern cell phone, Internet, and the instant connectivity they engender are the new freedoms.”
More than 1,000 sources also circulated an article by Time, which states, “Overall, the impression one gets is that Millennials just don't have the passion for driving and owning a set of wheels that previous generations have had – at least not to the extent that they'll devote a significant portion of their income to owning a car.”