Tuesday, October 15, 2013
American auto companies are suffering from culture shock. It seems that the millennial generation is not driving as much as their parents. There are any number of reasons for it, including the cost of a car and its upkeep, but the fact is that car manufacturers no longer just market their brand but also the joy of driving. Who would have thought that it would come to this? Mobility is a deeply held desire of humans. In Third World countries where the most that one can afford is a two-wheel motorbike, it is common to see whole families of five, six or seven crammed onto a cycle and weaving through traffic. If millennials persist in avoiding driving, that will pressure public transportation, which already is stressed in many places. There is a precarious balance between those who drive to work and those who ride. Is it possible that millennials will change their minds about driving as they mature, marry and start families? Probably, but that means they will be out of the market for years more. Look for more PR and image campaigns that portray freedom behind a wheel.