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Gen Y, Cars & Those Who Don’t Seem to Care


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One of the concerns shared by many automotive execs is the seeming disinterest among people in their teens when it comes to car ownership—or even driving, for that matter. While there is serious salivation vis-à-vis the buying power of Gen Y, if they’re going to spend that money on things other than those that have four wheels, then things are going to be getting a bit tough for OEMs, be they based in Detroit, Stuttgart or Tokyo. But if those 80-million or so get geeked about cars. . . .

Some results from a survey recently conducted by Automotive.com of the U.S. market could provide a quantum of solace for OEMs.


The results show that 22% of the respondents got their first car at age 16, the most common age. Forty-seven percent didn’t get a car until a later age.

Sixteen percent indicated that they got their first car at age 15 (there are a handful of states that have 15 as a minimum age for unsupervised driving).

But while this could mean that there is a solid 38% of drivers who were/are of Gen Y age when they got their first car, some of the respondents could be part of the Greatest Generation, so it isn’t necessarily a slam dunk when it comes to youthful interest in cars.

What could offset this optimism, however, is this result: 15% say that they still haven’t gotten their first car. No matter how you look at that, no matter what age lens you use, 15% without a car is not a good thing for companies who are interested in selling them.

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