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: Q: Is there anything you have cut out of your life (or something you’d like to cut out) just because it takes up too much time? What is it? A: “School takes up a lot of time. I'm learning stuff that I can't use in real life.” –Female, 22, NY

Over the weekend, news that nude photos of several actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, had been released thanks to a hacker set the internet ablaze. But the reactions to the photos, including this trending BuzzFeed post suggesting that readers “not [be] scandalized at all,” reflect our predictions of the end of scandal as we know it for Millennials. A group that has grown up accustomed to having digital skeletons in their closets is increasingly reacting to “scandals” from leaked photos to drunken arrests with a resounding, “Whatever.” (BuzzFeed)

Paramount is tapping into the social anonymity trend to promote the upcoming Men, Women & Children, and attract young consumersThe trailer directs viewers to Whisper, where they’re being invited to share secrets under the hashtag #MWC and the movie’s tag will be featured as the Whisper of the day. The film follows a group of teens and their parents, focusing on the ways their online lives change their offline relationships. (Mashable)

Urban Outfitter’s disappointing sales point to an “obvious loss of cultural clout” with young consumers, and could be traced back to several PR “disasters,” including tee shirts printed with offensive designs, several products that were deemed derogatory to Native Americans, and the company president’s donations to conservative Rick Santorum, all of which do not appeal to liberal minded and politically correct Millennials. The brand has also lost its fashion clout and has more competition from affordable brands like Forever 21 and H&M. (Adweek)

New research by Eventbrite claims that one in five Millennials attended a music festival in the past year, and that festivals are “one of young Americans’ favorite pastimes.” The study scanned social media conversations from the last year and found that South by Southwest was the most-discussed festival, and EDM fests made up eight of the top 25 most talked about events. Ypulse’s own bi-weekly survey found that 31% of 14-29-year-olds planned to go to a music festival in 2013. (Quartz)

Millennials have a different approach to buying food than previous generations, and they are changing the way that grocery shopping is done. These foodies are more likely to plan their shopping around a specific recipe they’re planning to cook, to buy ingredients the same day they’re preparing a meal, and look for minimally processed and locally grown food and beverages. Their preferences put pressure on big-box stores and traditional groceries who need to adapt to attract the new generation of shopper. (Washington Post)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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