March 31, 2012
Selling to Millennials poses a special set of challenges, especially for older generations. But those marketing and selling cars to Millennials have an even higher bar to clear: Millennials are just not that interested in driving or owning automobiles.
According to the New York Times, less than half of teenagers eligible to drive had obtained a license in 2008, down from two thirds in 1998. The number of twenty-somethings with a driver’s license has also dropped. And only 27% of new car buyers are in their twenties or early thirties, down from 38% a generation ago.
As with their reluctance to buy a home, part of Millennials’ reluctance to buy cars is a result of their economic circumstances, including high generational unemployment and high indebtedness. A car represents the kind of adult investment that many Millennials have been reluctant to undertake. In addition, many Millennials live in urban areas with public transportation and some may even be sensitive to the environmental impact of automobile ownership.
As we’ve noted (http://www.generationalinsights.com/chevy-rolls-out-cars-for-millennials/ ) carmakers are attempting to woo potential Millennial car buyers with generationally-specific features and marketing. But first, they have to somehow get them interested in driving.