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Old 03-25-2012, 05:42 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default As Young Lose Interest in Cars, G.M. Turns to MTV for Help

“Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18-24 would choose Internet access over owning a car.”

Quote:
The above quote is from a New York Times story yesterday about how GM has turned to a marketing firm to figure out how to attract young people. Their interest in car ownership, or even in cars, is low and continues to sag, according to surveys.

After the bankruptcy, GM finally got religion and hired MTV’s Scratch, part of the Viacom media network, to figure out how to sell product to young people who basically (see comments on the Times story) don’t want to be sold in anything like the traditional industry ways.

Here’s how these branding geniuses think: To excite sales for the forthcoming 2013 Spark, Chevy created some new “youthful” colors,
aimed at “a 23-year-old who shops at H&M and Target and listens to Wale with Beats headphones,” said Rebecca Waldmeir, a color and trim designer for Chevrolet.
In other words, they want to use brands and stuff that appeal to the young and take their cues from how those items get marketed. This, of course, ignores the real problem: meeting the objections and, in some cases, active dislike many young people have for cars.

The article gives passing mention to the “powerful and entrenched culture” of the car industry, but the problem for potential young buyers is far more personal than that.


Kia's 2010 Super Bowl ad

A lot of their dislike of cars stems from how they are treated in showrooms or used-car lots. The Times ran three sets of video interviews with young potential buyers here. It’s a great indictment of how cars are sold in this country—and not just to young people.

Young people get far fewer drivers’ licenses than they did 10 years ago and are driving far fewer miles. They consider cars a necessary evil, at best, and some think they are destroying the environment. Most can’t afford the cost of buying and maintaining a car.

Those in cities often prefer bikes or Vespa-type scooters or using Zipcar. They point out the horrors of traffic, the pollution, the need for better public transport, and they want innovation from the car companies, not the layered-on marketing of another MTV show.

Some of the commenters on this story felt actively insulted by GM’s approach. Wouldn’t it be nice, said one of the interviewees, if car dealers learned to use technology and showed me a web page of their salespeople so that I could find someone I could relate to before getting the high-pressure of the showroom?

In other words, how about customers prequalifying the sales staff—instead of the other way around? What a novel idea.

Will the carmakers ever learn how to sell to younger buyers, or are they lost forever?
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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Wait they don't like sale people and haggling? So they are going to bring saturn back
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by AVANTI R5 View Post
“Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18-24 would choose Internet access over owning a car.”
Yikes! Our youth are crazy!!!!
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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It's definitely a different generation.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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You can't blame them though, traffic and car salespeople often suck.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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what a different generation indeed. im 38 now, but at 16 i couldnt wait to buy a car and get out and explore the world. i saved paper route money and plunked down 1500 on a 1980 mustang off my neighbor. what a terrible, slow pathetic car! and i loved it because it beat walking or going with your parents everywhere.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godmal
You can't blame them though, traffic and car salespeople often suck.
This.

The dealerships in which I've had good experiences are almost exclusively those in which no non-trust fund young buyers would be shopping. The bargain basement marques (e.g. Kia) are the worst, IMO.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #8
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So the brain washing is working. Hello history books, make room for the next worlds greatest empire that crumbled from within.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godmal View Post
You can't blame them though, traffic and car salespeople often suck.
Try selling a car on Craigslist, you'll discover that the salesman's hate for the average shopper is well founded...

I don't think today's kids see cars as extensions of their personality or as status symbols as yesterday's kids did. The next generation will want basic travel, if they can get away with a Zip Car style service or public transit instead of buying their own car that's what they will do to save money.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:56 AM   #10
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My generation is so lazy lol
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RealDealTarheel View Post
So the brain washing is working. Hello history books, make room for the next worlds greatest empire that crumbled from within.
Empires are based on people buying metal boxes with wheels as status symbols?
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:20 PM   #12
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Empires are based on people buying metal boxes with wheels as status symbols?
Yes Where have you been?
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #13
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These days you don't really need to go out. The internet and social media keeps people close. Don't need to go out to stay connected with friends and family.

People could stream videos, therefore no need to go to the theaters. You could order pizza online.

Also, everyone is more "green" conscious.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venividivichi
My generation is so lazy lol
This sentence is really richly ironic.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 424wrx View Post
what a different generation indeed. im 38 now, but at 16 i couldnt wait to buy a car and get out and explore the world. i saved paper route money and plunked down 1500 on a 1980 mustang off my neighbor. what a terrible, slow pathetic car! and i loved it because it beat walking or going with your parents everywhere.
A 16yo can't afford to buy gas to get out of town these days. I was 16 16 years ago.. the price of regular was just then hovering around $1/gallon. I could fill up my 30mpg, 15yo BMW and drive 20 miles out of my way to school every day to pick up my girlfriend and still afford to drive hundreds of miles on the weekends. Gas was crazy cheap compared to minimum wage.

Now, a month of internet access is cheaper than 1 tank of gas and you'll work a full day to fill up your tank.

The economy has changed more than the kids have.

Last edited by Calamity Jesus; 03-25-2012 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:20 PM   #16
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no surprise, and this is how things should be. to most people, cars are seen as a necessity, where as in the grand scheme of things, they're a luxury, and should be treated as such. gasoline is a luxury, not a necessity. f all the politics surrounding gasoline, cheaper gas is not good for anybody. at some point, we need to switch to a more sustainable way of life and society instead of this faux-growth that the baby boomer generation has created.

Aside from the fact that this next generation has no worth ethic, acts severely entitled, and wants free everything, I'm hoping that they can bring about some change to society and get us back to a more sustainable way of life. I'm already on my way there.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
A 16yo can't afford to buy gas to get out of town these days. I was 16 16 years ago.. the price of regular was just then hovering around $1/gallon. I could fill up my 30mpg, 15yo BMW and drive 20 miles out of my way to school every day to pick up my girlfriend and still afford to drive hundreds of miles on the weekends. Gas was crazy cheap compared to minimum wage.

Now, a month of internet access is cheaper than 1 tank of gas and you'll work a full day to fill up your tank.

The economy has changed more than the kids have.
you make alot of sense. i remember 1.29 gas here in ny.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:26 PM   #18
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Yes gas is nearly the highest it has ever been.
The problem is largely that cars that are affordable to drive are not exciting. So kids don't have the attachment they used to to vehicles. I was just talking to a kid about cars who just turned 16 and he could not care less about vehicles, did not want the hassle of owning one and so on.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:53 PM   #19
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"Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18-24 would choose Internet access over owning a car."



Perhaps it's just anecdotal (indeed, it isn't based on any real numbers), but in Phoenix, cars are popular with folks in their late teens and early 20s. My department is primarily made up of folks who are straight out of college. Almost all of them drive, mostly imports. Not necessarily expensive imports, though... VW, Hyundai/Kia, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota. Got a guy who's a big Ford fan and another who is strictly Chevy.

22 years ago, my first car (a base model 4MT Honda Civic HB) was about $8k (with A/C, but no stereo, no passenger side view mirror, no power anything, including steering). That's about $14k adjusted for inflation. Today's Civic starts at $16k, but you get a lot more. Elantras start around $15k, and arguably offer more than the Civic.

Cruze starts at $17k, and I'm still not sure who they want buying that car. As far as appealing to young buyers, Hyundai/Kia has nailed it with their recent advertising campaigns, and they're producing reliable, attractive cars that give you amazing bang for your buck.
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:42 PM   #20
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Too bad the young lost interest in MTV long ago.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:41 PM   #21
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no surprise, and this is how things should be. to most people, cars are seen as a necessity, where as in the grand scheme of things, they're a luxury, and should be treated as such. gasoline is a luxury, not a necessity. f all the politics surrounding gasoline, cheaper gas is not good for anybody. at some point, we need to switch to a more sustainable way of life and society instead of this faux-growth that the baby boomer generation has created.

Aside from the fact that this next generation has no worth ethic, acts severely entitled, and wants free everything, I'm hoping that they can bring about some change to society and get us back to a more sustainable way of life. I'm already on my way there.
Cars are an absolute necessity. Outside of big citties public transportation isn't available.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:53 PM   #22
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The article also makes an interesting point about the sales teams. Part of the reason the Veloster ended up in my garage is because my salesperson was so cool. I liked dealing with her. She kept me up to date on everything, answered all my questions, and was just generally friendly and respectful of me as a person and a customer.
Hell, we still hang out once or twice a month and she's become one of my closest friends.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:03 PM   #23
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I have to say there seems to be some truth to this article. I'm 20 now and 3 years ago, I waited something like 15-18 months to get my license. I've always loved cars since I was really young but couldn't be bothered and chose the computer and internet, as it just so turns out, rather than dealing with the headaches of a car.

Also, purchasing a car as a young person is nothing short of a royal PITA, quite frankly. Unless you are highly knowledgeable about what it is that you are looking at, and can assert yourself, people just walk all over you and I've seen it happen. The other thing is that financing can be very difficult to obtain these days, and especially if you don't have family to back you up.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:06 PM   #24
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This sentence is really richly ironic.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #25
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"Less than 1/2 of drivers aged 18-24 would choose Internet access over owning a car."

Ok. And then?

Quote:
Young people get far fewer drivers’ licenses than they did 10 years ago and are driving far fewer miles. They consider cars a necessary evil, at best, and some think they are destroying the environment. Most can’t afford the cost of buying and maintaining a car.
Great! Finally! Get a car because you need a car, not because you want one. And at that, it's still less than 1/2 that feel this way. I'm fine with that, because there are more of those in that age bracket then there were 10-20-30-40 years ago.

--kC
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