Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 5th, 2010 at 3:30 pm
An interesting article published on MSNBC.com today touched on a trend we've been hearing about for a while now — that today's teens aren't as excited about getting a car as their parents were. Here are the stats via MSNBC:
The percentage of new cars sold to 21- to 34-year-olds hit a high of nearly 38 percent in 1985 but stands at around 27 percent today... Just 31 percent of 16-year-olds had their license in 2008, down from about 42 percent in 1994.
The article cites the bad economy as one of the factors kids aren't hopping into cars as fast as they used to. Cars are a big expense, so young people are thinking harder before putting their scarce funds toward them. Another big trend people are talking about is that teenagers adore their smart phones and other mobile devices so much they don't want to be distracted by driving when they can sit on a bus and text and play games to their heart's content.
But clearly there are larger forces at work here. For years, car makers have spent more than any other industry on advertising and it's becoming harder and harder to influence teens that way, not to mention that kids today are much more media literate than previous generations.
It will be interesting to see is how automakers react to these troubling (for them) statistics. They'll likely continue to turn their cars into one big gadget (which has troubling consequences in terms of distracted driving); but will that be enough? One thing you can count on is that they won't simply give up.
Do you have teenagers? Are they chomping at the bit for a new car?