Millennials And Car Culture: They Care About Driving, But Not About Driving New Cars

Millennials bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles than their older peers, but the fact is, they still drive even though they have to abandon text messaging and social media while they do so.

We’ve been seeing plenty of headlines this week about how Millennials don’t like cars and don’t want to drive. The auto industry is sweating because Millennials aren’t buying cars at the same rate that Boomers did in their youth, citing their preference for technology and the Internet over cars. The ultimate question is whether this shift is driven by a new mindset about driving (which will likely not change) or economic conditions (which will likely change). Of course, there’s a possibility that it’s both.

 

Millennials do bring unique attitudes and a different cultural mindset to vehicles, but the fact is, they still drive. But an article in The New York Times cites stats including:

"In 2008, 46.3 percent of potential drivers 19 years old and younger had drivers’ licenses, compared with 64.4 percent in 1998, according to the Federal Highway Administration."

And:

"Forty-six percent of drivers aged 18 to 24 said they would choose Internet access over owning a car, according to the research firm Gartner."

What it fails to note, however, is that new laws restricting licenses for drivers under age 18 took effect during the decade reference, reducing the number of fully licensed teen drivers. As for the 46% of 18-24 year olds who would choose the Internet over driving, that doesn’t reflect the number that would like to do both. What’s more, that figure also means a majority of 18-24 year olds (54%) would choose a car over a computer.

An article in The Atlantic says:

"Growing up in the 'burbs was part of the reason driving was so central to Baby Boomers' lives. Car keys meant freedom. To city dwellers, they mean struggling to find an empty parking spot."

It also notes:

“Surveys have found that 88 percent [of Millennials] want to live in an urban…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I won’t buy an already-made costume to dress up in for Halloween because most of the ready-made options for women are overly sexualized.” –Female, 19, TX

She's a Barbie girl, but it's not exactly a Barbie world. It’s been a hard year for the blondest toy, as we’ve detailed before, and sales of the doll have continued to fall, dropping another 21% in the third quarter of this year. American Girl doll sales also dropped during that time period, and the struggles highlight how the “affections of the target audience—little girls—can be fleeting.” But there are plenty of other potential reasons for Barbie’s tough times: Girls today want edgier dolls, and spend more on tech toys. (Huffington PostBusiness Insider

If done right, young consumers have proven they will continue to buy tickets to see superheroes on screen, and there are a lot more of these movies in the works. This week, Warner Brothers announced plans for 10 new DC comics superhero movies over the next five years, including Wonder WomanAquaman, and The Flash. A movie featuring Lego Batman is also being fast-tracked for next year, so kids and adults alike can look forward to another fix of awesome. (Wired)

It’s 13 days until Halloween, and this year could be the most costume-filled holiday ever. A recent survey has shown that over two thirds of Americans plan to buy a costume, the most in eleven years. The fact that Halloween falls on a Friday has likely been a factor in the boost. Ypulse’s own most recent bi-weekly survey found that 36% of 13-32-year-olds plan to don in a costume to celebrate, 30% of those who plan to dress up will buy a pre-made costume, while 54% say they will purchase some items to make a costume of their own. (Ad Age)

MAC cosmetics is creating an entirely new kind of store that will target today’s teens and tweens. The stores will be designed completely differently to appeal to the younger consumers, including a “major focus on selfies” and a table full of products to sample on the spot. When explaining the new approach, global brand president Karen Buglisi Weiler told WWD, “One store doesn't fit all…You have to be in the world of customization and relevancy now." The first location opened over the summer in Orlando, and is reportedly already one of MAC’s top five stores in North America. (Racked)

Some of the hottest tech startups today are part of the “photo economy.” Millennials and teens have made their penchant for visual communication clear, and helped to make multiple photo sharing apps into huge success stories. Now entrepreneurs are fighting into the space with photo apps that put an emphasis on “storytelling, shopping, and storage.” Competition is tough, and so far the many startups that have tried to make photos shoppable have not succeeded. But still clearly the apps to know next will likely have something to do with this picture-obsession. (Fast Company)

Did you know that thanks to our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-olds nationwide, we track trends in social media, entertainment viewing, earnings, spending, and more? Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following average daily spend and items purchased broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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