08 October 2009

Geny Y and the Car?

Does Generation Y (roughly those born between late 70's and early 90's) hate the All American car?

"James Dean might be rolling in his grave" about a recent JD Power and Associates study on Generation Y attitudes towards cars; that is if you share the view of the LA Times Auto Blog. Not surprisingly the study finds that Gen Y'ers have lower opinions about automakers. The study also seems to indicate a lower interest among particularly young professionals in cars and car ownership. Unfortunately, the study and the writer of the blog seems to miss the more than obvious reasons why.

It is Urban Mechanic's professional view (aka opinion) that young urban people don't just have low opinions of cars and car companies as factors of a bad economy or bad marketing. Young people get that being totally auto-dependent is horrible for the environment no matter what type of hybrid you drive. It's also expensive. A young urban professional can cut her expenses by as much as a $1,000 a month without owning a car.

Also, a great deal of those who have grown up being shuttled around in cars recognize that complete automobile dependence is plain bad for us. Not only does it (car dependence) help contribute to being antisocial and getting fat, but car accidents are among the leading causes of death among young people. Driving is not all cruising through picturesque Acadian landscapes. Urban Mechanic's suggestion for JD Power and Associates and the Car Industry...

Don't spend the next decade and billions of dollars trying brain wash young people back into cars.

Young people are discovering the joys of bicycling, walking, transit, and even ZipCar. More important, they're discovering that real communities aren't built around cars, but people and interactions with people, not just "free motoring."

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