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Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?
The Atlantic ^ | Mar 25 2012, 9:00 AM ET | By Jordan Weissmann

Posted on 03/27/2012 7:47:55 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin

Kids these days. They don't get married. They don't buy homes. And, much to the dismay of the world's auto makers, they apparently don't feel a deep and abiding urge to own a car.

This week, the New York Times pulled back the curtain on General Motors' recent, slightly bewildered efforts to connect with the Millennials -- that giant generational cohort born in the 1980s and 1990s whose growing consumer power is reshaping the way corporate America markets its wares. Unfortunately for car companies, today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're not even particularly keen on driving.

The Times notes that less than half of potential drivers age 19 or younger had a license in 2008, down from nearly two-thirds in 1998. The fraction of 20-to-24-year-olds with a license has also dropped. And according to CNW research, adults between the ages of 21 and 34 buy just 27 percent of all new vehicles sold in America, a far cry from the peak of 38 percent in 1985.

At a major conference last year, Toyota USA President Jim Lentz offered up a fairly doleful summary of the industry's challenge.

"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." The billion-dollar question for automakers is whether this shift is truly permanent, the result of a baked-in attitude shift among Millennials that will last well into adulthood, or the product of an economy that's been particularly brutal on the young.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
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1 posted on 03/27/2012 7:48:00 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
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To: DeaconBenjamin

They buy used cars. duh.


2 posted on 03/27/2012 7:50:39 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

No job, no money, no car buying.


3 posted on 03/27/2012 7:51:56 PM PDT by Josh Painter ("We intend to change Washington, not accomodate it." - Newt Gingrich)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Welp, the car replaced the horse as the primary source of personal mobility.

Those who don't want personal mobility ---- ????? Does not compute.

4 posted on 03/27/2012 7:52:18 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Twelve years of public indoctrination, uh, I mean schooling, will do that!


5 posted on 03/27/2012 7:53:10 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (FOCUS ON FACTS: 0bamaCare Hated. Worst Recovery. Failed Stimulus. Worst Deficits.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?

No job. No money.

6 posted on 03/27/2012 7:53:10 PM PDT by Jim Noble ("The Germans: At your feet, or at your throat" - Winston Churchill)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
They might consider how often the parents are buying the cars for their live-in children, which show up in the stats as adult buys.
7 posted on 03/27/2012 7:53:10 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: GeronL; DeaconBenjamin; Anoreth

Anoreth has a car, but she’s not married and lives in base housing. It’s a sensible but reasonably sporty black Neon, from the same used-car lot where we bought “The Grape,” the purple Tracer she learned to drive in. The Grape is on its third teen driver, and holding up well.

Buying a new car, in most cases, is not the smartest choice ... although I guess someone has to, or there wouldn’t be used cars!


8 posted on 03/27/2012 7:53:35 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Anoreth is 21 ... you should be so smart, so strong, so killer-cool!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

How can they afford them?


9 posted on 03/27/2012 7:54:00 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Clearly it’s time for the government to compel these youngsters to buy a Volt. I’m sure it is constitutional.


10 posted on 03/27/2012 7:54:14 PM PDT by GnL
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Its easy to not buy a car when you live with mummy and daddy.

Hey millenials, grow up and GTFU out of the nest!


11 posted on 03/27/2012 7:54:41 PM PDT by HerrBlucher (.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Obama gas prices are driving young car buyers to cheap Korean imports.

How’s that Obama support working out, blue state Detroit Auto Workers?

Volt factory workers?

Hmm? Any second thoughts about maybe you’re on the wrong side yet?


12 posted on 03/27/2012 7:54:49 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (There is nothing "public" about government union-controlled schools)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
1) Are they counting illegal aliens?

2) Are they even advertising cars to the male audience anymore?

3) Maybe all the men are home, with their porn?

13 posted on 03/27/2012 7:54:56 PM PDT by donna (Republicans won't change their ways until conservatives draw the line.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

I bought my first car (1981 Toyota mini-pickup) from my parents. That wouldn’t be on anyone’s statistics!


14 posted on 03/27/2012 7:55:09 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Anoreth is 21 ... you should be so smart, so strong, so killer-cool!)
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To: hinckley buzzard
And oh yes, only suckers buy new cars these days, when a two year old used car is half the price and still lasts ten years.
15 posted on 03/27/2012 7:55:19 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Tax-chick

No thanks to “Cash For Suckers”, the price of Used Cars skyrocketed.


16 posted on 03/27/2012 7:55:19 PM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: dfwgator

There was no cash involved, just a chit for a fraction of the cost of another vehicle. Who’s that dumb, anyway?

And we did notice the price of used cars going up, as well as the disappearance of many used-car dealers on the US Highway through our county.


17 posted on 03/27/2012 7:57:39 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Anoreth is 21 ... you should be so smart, so strong, so killer-cool!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin; Clintonfatigued; fieldmarshaldj; Impy; BillyBoy
My two main reasons:

1. My childhood memories (70’s and 80’s) of my parents with their POS American cars that no matter what, never seemed to run right and were always in the shop. I remember my Mom's Pinto in particular - what utter garbage that was. The American Trabant.

2. I will not support the UAW. Sorry Ford, that includes you too. Even though you do produce some nice vehicles.

18 posted on 03/27/2012 7:57:50 PM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Has Mittens won one "Red State" yet?)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The government’s cash for klunkers program destroyed many of what would be “affordable” starter cars. We all had beaters when we were young. We bought better used when we could afford it and then finally new. Uncle Obie plugged the pipeline of cheap starter cars for young folks.


19 posted on 03/27/2012 7:58:08 PM PDT by Sgt_Schultze (A half-truth is a complete lie)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

No money?


20 posted on 03/27/2012 7:58:48 PM PDT by funfan
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To: DeaconBenjamin
In our case it is because the 23 year old got the 2000 Expedition that has 134,000 miles on it with the statement that if she takes good care of it she can get another 100,000 out of it. If anybody is buying new it is going to be momma and me.
21 posted on 03/27/2012 7:58:55 PM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romney - Santorum: Twin Sons of Different Mothers...)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Most of the cars offered today are particularly uninteresting, and those that are seem to be priced far beyond the reach of the average young car buyer.


22 posted on 03/27/2012 7:59:16 PM PDT by Nakota
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Most of the cars offered today are particularly uninteresting, and those that are seem to be priced far beyond the reach of the average young car buyer.


23 posted on 03/27/2012 7:59:34 PM PDT by Nakota
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To: HerrBlucher

And go were? No jobs, no money. Thank you Obama.


24 posted on 03/27/2012 8:00:07 PM PDT by doc1019 (Romney will never get my vote!)
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To: GeronL

Some of them are hoping Obama will give them one!


25 posted on 03/27/2012 8:00:58 PM PDT by JaguarXKE
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To: Tax-chick

True, but since the value of a car is lower than the sticker price... it makes more sense for most people to buy a used car.


26 posted on 03/27/2012 8:01:21 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GOPsterinMA

Buy American.

Unemployed mostly vote Democrat.

Just because you can ruin a factory which employs unions by sending your business to a Korean factory which employs no Americans, doesn’t take away the now-unemployed American former factory workers’ votes.

Buy American.


27 posted on 03/27/2012 8:01:48 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (There is nothing "public" about government union-controlled schools)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

When I was a freshman in high school I couldn’t wait to get a car.

The Seniors from well-off families had GTOs, 427 Corvettes, Boss 302s, Hemi-Cudas, Z/28s, etc. Gas was 37 cents per gallon with 100 octane Hi-Test available for a few cents more.

Kids these days are happy schlumping around in trenchcoats, gang tats and face metal staring at their 4G Chicom whatevers.

I’m glad to have lived at the apex of America. It won’t be pretty from here on out.


28 posted on 03/27/2012 8:03:46 PM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik (In a tornado, even turkeys can fly.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

If Obama had a son, and if his son bought a car, it would be a Kia Soul.

29 posted on 03/27/2012 8:03:55 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: gov_bean_ counter; Anoreth

One of my cousins is still driving my dad’s 1982 RX-7, “The Silver Bullet.” He sold it to my uncle when he got the red BMW (from the factory, when my brother was stationed in Germany), and one of the daughters fell in love with it. My brother’s ex-wife ended up with the red BMW, and Dad is still mad about it if he sees a picture ... otherwise it’s lost to Alzheimer’s.

A lot of memories in our old cars ... driving across the desert in a Buick, listening to the Watergate Hearings on the radio ... from Texas to Rhode Island in the ‘72 240Z, with a pissed-off Siamese cat ... looking for a Japanese alternator in West Texas, “Don’t y’all have a ‘Merican car?”


30 posted on 03/27/2012 8:04:20 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Anoreth is 21 ... you should be so smart, so strong, so killer-cool!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

They don’t make cheap VW beetles any more.

More than likely a kids first car is going to be a hand-me-down.


31 posted on 03/27/2012 8:05:08 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

The cost of the average car, not even anything special, has gotten way out of control.


32 posted on 03/27/2012 8:05:44 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

You people on this thread just do not get it. As the article stated, half of them don’t even want a driver’s license. And I will tell ya why...

The scumbags in our government have put too many restrictions on driver’s licenses for kids under 21. It’s not even worth it anymore for them to get one until they are at least 18 years old. There are so many bullshit laws nowdays and an average teen is scared to get behind a wheel.

Plus, all the affordable used cars are scrounged up by the mexicans and exported to mexico.


33 posted on 03/27/2012 8:07:29 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: DeaconBenjamin
Insurance $$, Gas $$, Maintenance $$....

"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."

34 posted on 03/27/2012 8:08:17 PM PDT by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: GeronL
it makes more sense for most people to buy a used car

15-passenger vans off fleet usage, 30K+ miles at a year old, are reasonably priced if you can find them. We had to replace ours in 2009, and I'm still mad every time I write a check. The 2000 Chevy was paid off!

35 posted on 03/27/2012 8:08:34 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Anoreth is 21 ... you should be so smart, so strong, so killer-cool!)
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To: DeaconBenjamin
"Many young people care more about buying the latest smart phone or gaming console than getting their driver's license."

No need to drive with online porn. Girls are delivered directly to your screen.

36 posted on 03/27/2012 8:09:01 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
“Buy American.”

My Japanese branded cars are made in America, by Americans in non-union plants located in Right to Work (Red) states. That's good enough for me.

I came close to buying a Ford the last time out, but I will not support the UAW. I understand that some or even many of the “rank and file” folks aren't leftists, but the dickwads they vote in to lead their union are.

37 posted on 03/27/2012 8:09:01 PM PDT by GOPsterinMA (Has Mittens won one "Red State" yet?)
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To: Josh Painter

“No job, no money, no car buying.”

Also, unless you can afford a luxury car, most cars made today are duds. You can’t tell a Chevy from a Toyota.


38 posted on 03/27/2012 8:09:49 PM PDT by vette6387
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Might have something to do with cars all costing 20K - 30K any more....


39 posted on 03/27/2012 8:10:34 PM PDT by varmintman
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To: Sgt_Schultze

These survived C4C...the mpg is too good...


40 posted on 03/27/2012 8:11:35 PM PDT by Windcatcher (Obama is a COMMUNIST and the MSM is his armband-wearing propaganda machine.)
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To: GOPsterinMA

If you look more closely, I think you’ll find your Japanese branded car you (think) is made in America, is assembled in America from Japanese manufactured parts.

So pretty much, it’s not made here.

One step up from just buying it off the boat.

But only just.


41 posted on 03/27/2012 8:12:06 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (There is nothing "public" about government union-controlled schools)
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To: mamelukesabre

and I forgot to mention minimum wage!

minimum wage is so high now days no one wants to hire a teen. Without low paying part time jobs, there’s no reason for a teen to have a license or a car.


42 posted on 03/27/2012 8:12:36 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Let’s see...

Feminism (anti-man), the price of new cars (unions), the economy (only for minorities), the courts (anti-men), and government (anti-people) all conspire against young folks. You still expect the young men to marry, get a job, buy a house, and actually enjoy their lives?


43 posted on 03/27/2012 8:12:36 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Windcatcher
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

These survived C4C...the mpg is too good...
44 posted on 03/27/2012 8:13:14 PM PDT by Windcatcher (Obama is a COMMUNIST and the MSM is his armband-wearing propaganda machine.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Maybe they aren’t buying because too many of today’s cars suck. Design something that doesn’t look like a blob of dough and maybe they’ll want to buy.


45 posted on 03/27/2012 8:13:51 PM PDT by Pelham (Marco Rubio, la raza trojan horse.)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Two words: STUDENT LOANS


46 posted on 03/27/2012 8:14:44 PM PDT by BobL (I don't care about his past - Santorum will BRING THE FIGHT to Obama)
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Everything is too expensive. They share apartments to share the cost. They live close to work and either ride a bike or walk.


47 posted on 03/27/2012 8:15:16 PM PDT by Netizen (Path to citizenship = Scamnesty. If you give it away, more will come. Who's pilfering your wallet?)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

american cars are assembled from japanese parts too. So what’s the damn difference?!


48 posted on 03/27/2012 8:15:29 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: DeaconBenjamin

Can’t buy a new car when saddled with massive student loan debt. Drive a beater or one of the parents’ spares.


49 posted on 03/27/2012 8:15:35 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: smokingfrog

And that’s just what I drove for 15 years or so
Though I preferred the campers. They were great on the beach, they were great in the desert, they were great in the mountains.
They sucked on the hiway LoL
They were all still running when I sold them


50 posted on 03/27/2012 8:15:43 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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