Millennials are considered the most transient, tech savvy and at times overly confident generation to enter the workforce. Now, the youngest generation of consumers has presented a perplexing marketing challenge to automakers: disinterest.
According to a number of publications including the New York Times, the youngest generation simply does not care about buying cars. The Federal Highway Administration recorded that only 46.3 percent of potential drivers 19 and younger had drivers licenses, compared with 64.4 percent in 1998.
“We have to face the growing reality that today young people don’t seem to be as interested in cars as previous generations,” Lentz said. “Many young people care more about buying the latest smart phone or gaming console than getting their driver’s license,” Toyota USA President Jim Lentz noted at a major conference last year.
G.M. is one of the automakers trying to understand this new generation of buyers. They’ve hired Ross Martin of MTV Scratch to help the company connect with younger clients. Scratch conducted thousands of research interviews with millennials about their impressions of cars, communication across generation gaps, and the type of experience they want at an auto dealership. G.M. plans to use this knowledge to change their image among young buyers, from creating new “younger” hues for models and training dealers on how to adapt to young car buyers.
The automobile used to be at the center of youth culture, a sign of freedom and independence. When millennials were asked by Scratch which brands they prefer, not one car brand made the top ten. The apathetic sentiment towards cars can be attributed to a number of different factors, such as rising gas prices and environmental concerns.
Of course, it isn’t fair to over generalize millennials with a simple lack of interest. Unemployment rate for new graduates is high, and student debt is higher than ever, and many shy away from the huge responsibility of purchasing their first car. It’s not an easy time to achieve traditional financial milestones, whether it’s a house or car.
At Dealer Protection Group, we know the challenges you face every day. From providing dealership workers compensation programs to service to repairs and maintenance, you guide your customers through the processes involved in getting and maintaining a car, truck, boat, RV or other type of vehicle. We know unique risks and exposures you face; that’s why we offer insurance protection specifically designed for dealerships. Contact us today for more information.