Mac Blog - Are GenYers Losing Their Zest?


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By Mac Gordon
The Auto Channel

NEW YORK 04-02-2013; According to a New York Times story (03-29 p. B3) younger drivers are not as zealous about taking off in a new or used car as were their parents or grandparents.

Buttressing this conclusion are drivers-license applications, new-car sales data-plus surveys showing receding response to 2013-model cars and certified pre-owned units.

To say that teens are cooling as auto buffs is a first in auto history. Even brand managers agree that their entry-level vehicles “may” be losing their appeal.

Says Audi of America brand marketing Chief Loren Angelo: “Digitalization of our world, mobile phones and social media (twitter and e-mail) a 'Teen Vogue' web site, have not stirred teen buyers from a sag in new-car interest.

Says Angelo, “Audi seeks to offer through the A3 subcompact, and the R8 sport scar products that teens would aspire to, using LED headlights and especially social media.”

Audi's approval is shared by Scion v-p Doug Murtha, speaking for all Toyota brands, even Lexus. “Things have changed globally,” says Murtha, “and we have to acknowledge that.

Murtha and his peers in all global brands ascribe one factor in GenY car attrition to economic stresses among younger prospects.

Which is why Toyota devotes special marketing attention to advanced technologies in entry-priced cars.

Affirming that the “youth pull” campaigns are found on new-products are radical designs, such as those on Toyota's Yaris, Nissan's “refreshed” all-electric Leaf, Honda's 2014-model Fit, Hyundai's up styled Accent, Kia's Rio and Forte and VW's upcoming Golf and Golf GTI.

Automakers the world around also have turned to safer and higher-performing small cars plus reduced profit margins and lease payments, not to mention the latest in economy-centered products.

“We learned a lesson in making our entry brands affordable and more attractive during the recession and bankruptcies,” says Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

“From now on, the industry will offer technologies and products available on fullsize and midsize cars on all models, as we do with airbags, seat belts, video players, you name it,” the NY auto show media conference was told by GM CEO Dan Akerson.

“The kids deserve equal treatment, the same perks across the board. Why should a Cruze or Malibu owner be denied the same safety features of the Impala or Cadillac?”

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