Young people don’t buy cars, right?
We’ve been hearing it since the millennial generation reached adulthood. The rise of car sharing services such as Uber and Lyft gave pundits and writers evidence to cite, while carmakers and dealers tried to figure out sales tactics to woo young people.
Does the youngest generation really despise car-ownership, though?
Probably not, though they do have certain expectations when considering the purchase of a car.
Bloomberg published a piece that traced where the idea of millennial car-shunning came from:
The notion can be traced to “The Cheapest Generation,” a 2012 article by Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann in the Atlantic. The idea went viral. “Millennials have been reluctant to buy items such as cars, music and luxury goods,” a recent Goldman Sachs presentation said. “Instead, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what’s being called a ‘sharing economy.'” Who needs a car when there’s Uber and Zipcar?
That’s not necessarily true, though.
While car-sharing services are growing, they often replace traditional cabs rather than displace actual car owners.
Automotive News cited a study that said:
large majorities of Americans consider owning their own vehicles safer, more convenient and more reliable than car- and ride-sharing services. It also found 76 percent of respondents who use sharing services said they intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within two years.
The results throw into question the notion that sharing services are an imminent threat to vehicle ownership rates.
The millennials are certainly using ride-share companies, but they are purchasing cars too.
J.D. Power said last spring that millennials accounted for 27 percent of cars sold in 2014, up from 18 percent in 2010.
The Florida Times Union said,
As the largest population in the U.S. today, according to data from the Census Bureau, millennials have a big impact on the economy.
Bill Olive, general manager of O’Steen Volkswagen on Philips Highway, has seen that here in Jacksonville. He said more than half of O’Steen’s business is going to millennials.
Young people expect the same conveniences in their cars as in their living rooms, so the more tech-laden cars become, the more likely young people will continue to buy them, rather than borrow them.
Do you still prefer car ownership to car sharing?