Car Ownership Unpopular With Younger Generation (Because Car Ownership Is Stupid)

My mother-in-law sent me this article from the NYTimes on Sunday. It’s an interesting piece on the decline of car ownership among the “younger generation”—basically Gen-Y’ers/Millennials. I think this makes sense and it’s a topic she and I discuss frequently.

Here is my response (as it relates to crowdsourcing two paragraphs down):

It’s scary (and kind of hilarious) to imagine what this means:

The five-year strategic vision that Scratch [a consulting arm of MTV] has developed for Chevrolet, kept quiet until now, stretches beyond marketing to a rethinking of the company’s corporate culture. The strategy is to infuse General Motors with the same insights that made MTV reality shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom” breakout hits.

I imagine people fist pumping as they walk down the halls screaming “where are the guidos!?” :p

I hope the car industry goes the direction of the horse-drawn carriage. we need better solutions to transportation than stupid cars. there’s no scale.

GM is kidding itself if they think they’re going to attract young purchasers with stupid lemonade colored cards–and Scratch probably knows it but wants the consulting fees (i.e. “just doing their job”).

The real trend for “the young generation” will be around collective ownership—sharing assets to reduce costs.

Consider: if it costs 60 to 80k to get a decent college education, arguably the bare minimum needed to even start getting into the “middle class income brackets,” and most of this money is procured through student loans, then the “youth of today” will have debt considerably higher than “our parents’ generation,” hence postponing starting family, purchasing homes and cars, etc. outside of home ownership, 20 years ago people would be hard pressed to find 22 year olds carrying debt in the 80k range. That doesn’t even count the people who choose to go to graduate school.

So, yeah, while it’s the right decision to “…abandon the hard sell,” it doesn’t affect the long term trends or take into account the social changes happening due to the internet and an awareness that “collective ownership” is viable and doesn’t have to look like some scary vignette from 1984 or “the evil Soviet Republic.”

On a slightly unrelated note, did everyone checkout Bill Moyers & Company this week?

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