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Why doesn't the younger generation "love" cars like the older?

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by AnOutsider, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    #1 AnOutsider, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
    Sparked by this post:

    I've seen this quoted a number of times, and it definitely seems true from my own anecdotal experiences. My own opinion is that with the internet, social media, cell phones, video games etc, this generation pretty much has all they want at their finger tips and don't really need to travel for it. Perhaps in the past, they had to bug mom or dad for a ride somewhere -- lacking the desire to go somewhere, why need a car? Anyone see the movie "Chronicle"? Notice how, even among real life friends, the kids seem glued to their cell phones? I see it happen in real life all too often (heck, even I do it).

    If we end up in a world like Asimov wrote about, we might not even need cars in the end:

    The Naked Sun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    *edit* I also think that with all you can do in the palm of your hand right now, driving is boring. People (myself included) likely prefer to be driven somewhere so they can tinker on their devices on the way. I know I'm guilty of it too. If we're going somewhere and my wife decides to drive, I bring my iPad so I can surf on the car's wifi.

    Perhaps as cars become more connected (safely), people won't mind as much.
     
  2. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    #2 ElSupreme, Mar 23, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2012
    I actually noticed this in High school. I was prepared and got my permit on my birthday at 8AM when the DMV opened up. I got my license at 8AM the day after (DMV not open Sunday :frown:) my birthday. I had friends that went MONTHS before they got their permit or full on license. I was amazed. All I wanted to do from about 12 years old was drive a car.

    It is even worse now. I don't know why. Driving cars is SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME.

    Frank Deford did a NASCAR bit on NPR the other day that echoed this observation.
     
  3. Teslawisher

    Teslawisher Member

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    I'm with you El. Even today, I'm the driver. Don't care where we're going, for how long, who I'm with, etc. I want to be behind the wheel.

    I do see the younger ones that CANNOT stay off their devices. Heck, I've even fired one or two for it. I just don't get it. I've seen couples who are each on their phones. Hopefully, not texting or facebooking each other while sitting face to face. I don't know how this translates to desire to drive or their love for cars, but my guess is that if they have a choice, they are in any seat other than the drivers one doodling with their toys. Maybe if I actually had a smart phone, I might be more tempted to do this, but right now, i just don't see it.
     
  4. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    There's a lot going on here. Young people are much more cynical/skeptical than previous generations, yet car dealerships still do the same hard sales pitch to anyone who walks in the door which completely turns off young people. Worse, they ignore young people walking in with cargo shorts and flip flops on, even if they may have tons of money to spend on a car (I've seen this happen repeatedly). Unfortunately for the existing car makers (and fortunately for Tesla), as the article notes, entrenched interests (dealership networks, unions etc.) make it very difficult to change the dynamics of making and selling cars. Every time someone criticizes Tesla for the way they're making and marketing their cars, it probably makes them feel better about what they're doing! I loved the point in the article where the analyst said that young people love going into Apple stores -- is there anything more opposite in experience than a traditional car dealership?!

    For decades, getting your license and a car meant freedom and adulthood and liberation from the confines of your immediate environment. Other than clothes, what a person drove said as much about them as anything. The internet and other technologies have eviscerated that dynamic and I think cars are now what my parents always said they were -- a way to get you from point A to point B -- and nothing more.

    And yet.......millenials love stuff that's cool and unconventional. And they love technology. Doesn't Tesla hit all those points? Couldn't Tesla potentially become an iconic brand for the this generation? I think the potential is definitely there. This movie coming out The Naked Brand kind of hits all of these points. Kids can see through the b.s. and see which companies are great and really making a difference.
     
  5. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    This is EXACTLY what I was wearing when shopping for an Audi A3. Not only that I had CASH to pay for it. I spent 45 minutes at the dealership and not a SINGLE person came to talk to me. What made it worse was I was in their store about 2 months previous talking to one of their sales people (who actually attempted to talk to me) about ordering the exact A3 I wanted. He had left to sell Porsches. I was with my brother and cousin (about 20 and 23 at the time) which probably didn't help, even though they were dressed a bit nicer than I was.

    I crossed the street and drove a Prius, decided that wasn't a good idea for me trying to pull out of the lot. And the next week went to a VW dealership and bought my GTI. I actually ended up financing about 50% of it and keeping some cash on hand to start my house down payment fund.
     
  6. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    This happens all the time where I live in South Florida (may be different in Silicon Valley where no one is dressed up). It's happened to me a bunch of time. I'm young-looking for my age (I'm told) and dress like that on the weekends. I've had it happen at car dealerships, high end electronics stores, clothing stores etc. If you aren't wearing a 48mm blinged-out watch and other showy clothes, you're assumed to be a pauper.
     
  7. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    I'm the same way, but I'm in my forties. I grew up (like many kids my age) with pictures of Porsches and Ferraris on my wall. How many kids today do you think are doing that? I used to gobble up Car & Driver and Road & Track with my friends when we were teenagers -- what do you think the average age of their readers are now (in print or online)? Cars are not the cultural marker they used to be for the generations coming up. Tesla may be able to change that.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The problem is more fundamental than marketing a specific car brand to the young generation. A large fraction of them simply don't give a damn about driving.

    I know quite a number of young people who don't have their license and have no interest whatsoever in getting it. Parents are saying "you should have your license" and they're "like meh". That's not to say everyone feels that way; I certainly do know quite a few young people who drive. But overall I do think there's a lot less interest.

    When I was young I hated taking the bus. The places I wanted to go to often took an hour or two of total boredom, if you could even get there. I couldn't wait to get my license, and then got my own car as soon as I could manage it. I wasn't into fast cars, I simply craved the freedom and flexibility.

    Today instead of sitting on the bus bored to tears, they're on their phones, texting away with ten friends at once. They probably look at it as a nice quiet opportunity to socialize, with no one to bother them from it. Why would they want to put down the phone and have to work to get someplace?
     
  9. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    If this is true, then public transit may well be able to gain traction in the years to come. I see that as a plus in terms of overall people-moving efficiency.

    I'll take those lemons and make lemonade :wink:
     
  10. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I don't think Atlanta is as bad about this as Miami but it happens. It was a late summer day and was like 95 degrees outside. Sure I should have put on my Birkenstocks (read 'upscale flip-flops) instead of my 1$ Orange flip-flops. But I still had a nice haircut, and decent cargo shorts and t-shirt (ok I typed that an I realize how absurd it sounds). They were new, and not heavily worn. And well I wear a Timex. Not because I can't read a dial watch.

    That whole Audi expierence was surreal. I remember standing next to the car I wanted (it had a navigation that I didn't want, but it was the one on the lot I was happy to drive away with) with checkbook in my cargo pocket. Telling my brother and cousin that I would tell the first salesperson "I want to buy *this* car. I have cash. How long do you think it will take." and perfecting my statement. It never came. The last place I expected to be ignored was a car dealership. I still have the expectation that if I walked into a Porsche dealership in rags I would not be ignored. So weird.

    But because it is superior in almost EVERY way to a mechanical watch. It loses in lifespan (only 3-4 years), and EMP resistance. I now have a decent dial watch to wear to avoid those unfortunate circumstances.
     
  11. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Public transport is nice. My commute is 60 miles each way. I am happy that I mostly can take the train. Then I can sleep, read the paper or sufr on the iPad for the hour it takes to ride to work. I do drive the Leaf to work when I have to (no trains 5am in the weekends or after midnight, I work shifts), but I'd hate to have to drive every day. Especially after working nights...
     
  12. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I believe that the loss of Love for Cars in this generation is totally due to computers. When I was growing up, having access to a car meant being able to go places and do things rather than being stuck at the house. Freedom!!! Today kids are entertained at home with games, facebook, video chat, homework and research from the desk in their room. My kids in high school each have their own car, and sometimes they will not get started in over a week. I lived in my car practically when I was their age.
     
  13. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    It was the same for me. I'm 26. I got my permit the day I turned 16 (which is the minimum age to get a permit in MA). I then proceeded to drive home from the RMV in my mom's car. I got my license almost exactly when I turned 16 and a half (which is the minimum age to get a license in MA). Personally, I love driving. I've loved it since I started driving. Driving in the county is relaxing. It's nice to not have to be connected to work sometimes. Driving in the city is fun. As you drive you can almost learn the personalities of the drivers around you based on how they react to certain difficult driving situations (which are quite common in Boston). I like that personal feeling. And I like that it's real. It's not a post on a Facebook wall or a bunch of text on a cell phone screen.

    A lot of my friends didn't get their license until later (usually around 18 or so). I almost couldn't believe it. Why would someone not want to drive? Cell phones and the internet weren't that big 10 years ago. 10 years ago we had dial-up at home, and no one in my family had a cell phone.

    I suppose I can understand why kids today don't want to drive, what with all the texting in internet on their phone, but I also don't think it's very healthy to be addicted to this always-on connection to everyone and everything. I mean, I do have an iPhone and I text and use the internet on it, but it's also nice to go on a long relaxing drive with the cell-phone turned off.

    Oh, and just to touch on the texting-while-with-someone topic, if I'm having a conversation with someone IRL, I'm not texting. Period. If I need to send or read a text, I'll do so when we're done talking.
     
  14. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    I have no insights to what motivates the younger generation, other than if I want to get in touch with my nieces it has to be via facebook or a text message.:biggrin:

    I would love to see the younger generation do a better job than my generation in advocating for mass transit. As others have stated I believe the Tesla brand and way of marketing will appeal to folks of all generations. Heck, I never cared about cars until now. :redface:

    So, when a more reasonably priced Tesla is finally ready for the younger generation, I'm convinced it will appeal to them.

    Larry
     
  15. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    I once was at a Porsche dealership with a friend who was seriously looking and no one was helping us. When a salesman finally came over he started talking to me, not my friend. Later, I asked him why he thought I was interested and he said he noticed my watch, which is discreet but fairly expensive for those who know watches (Panerai). I told him I couldn't believe he made such a superficial judgment to determine who was worthwhile talking to. He made the (somewhat fair) point that he doesn't want to waste two hours with someone who just wants to take a Porsche for a joyride, and they don't have much else to go on when you walk in the dealership, so they look for any clue that someone can actually afford one of their cars.

    Of course, Tesla avoids this problem by not putting their people in the stores on commission!
     
  16. JRod0802

    JRod0802 Member

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    It makes you wonder.... will Tesla have a "joyride" problem where it's difficult for a potential buyer to get a test drive because so maybe people are just there to joyride?
     
  17. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I doubt it. For quite a while you can walk in and say "I am a reservation holder, #7701. I was wondering ..." and I bet you get moved to the front of the line. For everyone else even the joy riders are potential customers. Hell that is half the reason I drive a GTI and not a Golf.
     
  18. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Like an Apple store, this is exactly what Tesla wants! Look how many Roadster owners had no plans to buy one until they drove it. The reason salespeople don't think like this at traditional car dealerships is they're paid almost solely on commissions, so they don't care about things like brand loyalty, convincing people to drive a certain type of car (EV) over another, or any of the other things Tesla is trying to do. Although I'm pretty sure that overall sales is a component of compensation in the stores, they know their main goal is to get people in the store and feel/see/touch/drive Teslas so that they spread the word and/or become customers themselves, but without the heavy-handed sales tactics you normally get in a car dealership.

    Quick story -- soon after the S. Florida store opened I went in and met with one of the sales guys. I told him I was considering upgrading from a regular P reservation to a Sig, and he told me that I'd better hurry because they were running out of Sig slots (this was in mid-2010 I think). When I called HQ the next day they told me not to worry at all, that there will still plenty of Sig slot still available, and that they'd "coach" the guy I'd spoken to not to use those types of scarcity sales tactics, which are so common in regular car dealerships (which is where he had come from). Not long after, Will was put in charge of that store and I haven't seen that guy since. I'm sure it wasn't only because of my experience, but he seemed like he couldn't help himself using the tactics he'd learned over many years selling regular cars, and that Tesla wanted to treat people differently. I would've been pretty pissed if I had "rushed" to get a Sig only to find out I was in the mid-200s or whatever it would have been then.
     
  19. jory

    jory Member

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    i agree with much of what had been suggested in this thread.

    another thing that may lessen the appeal of cars these days is that newer cars are less commonly serviced/serviceable/modified (OBD-2, increased reliability, denser designs, etc) by the user/owner compared to simpler older vehicles that allowed for (and to a degree required) a certain amount of fiddling. that sort of DIY/hobbyist interaction can create a stronger bond and ongoing interest that a modern turn-key-run-forever toyota or honda may not offer.
     
  20. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I have heard this a lot. But based on the number of phones hacked/jailbroken and all the OSes installed on them. I don't think complexity is really the key issue. Certainly a contributing factor but I doubt the underlying reason.
     

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