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Youths lose interest in cars

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I thought about posting this in the brand loyalty thread, but that seemed like a threadjack. Anyway, interesting NYT piece on A1 today about how the car culture among American youth has dissipated over the decades. Whereas Chevy used to be the ultimate teen status symbol, today less than 50 percent of Americans 19 and under who are eligible to drive actually have their driver's licenses - down from 64 percent in 1998.

    Anyway, GM is recruiting MTV to try to help it appeal to young people today, who stay away from dealerships because they find test driving with a stranger "creepy" and don't like to have product pushed on them - they prefer the Apple store's hands off approach.

    Also noted that with social media today, the car is no longer necessary for socializing. You can do that from anywhere, at any time.

    I'm only in my mid-30s, but a lot of my fondest teen-age memories are of "cruising" around, no place to go. Although even by my generation, it seemed that any old beater would do. I think we had one wealthy girl at our high school who had a Camaro, and it was a huge deal.

  2. FileNotFound

    FileNotFound Well-Known Member

    I was counting the minutes until I turned 16 starting when I was like 10.

    My daughter, 17, couldn't care less about driving and only got her license at all because she goes to a magnet school 20 miles from her home and didn't want to ride the bus anymore.

    Part of kids' "meh" attitude toward driving likely has to do with the cost of insurance. My monthly insurance rate back in the 80's was 11.9 hours of my minimum wage job; hers is 35.7 hours of hers. Basically, she's working to insure her car, and she's paid for the car again in insurance. (And yes, liability only, good student, etc., etc., etc.)
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Same with us. Every night. My dad would get so pissed about it - at times, he would try to put his foot down and demand that I give him a destination. The irony is that, today, with cell phones, cruising would be so much more conducive to parents' peace of mind. It's a cruel world, though, and, alas, now that parents can keep in touch with them, kids are no longer interested.
  4. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    I swear, you remind of The Fonz so much.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I also was counting down the days until I turned 16 from like the age of 10. Couldn't wait, and even now, my car is easily my favorite possession. I love it. I still love just taking it for a drive.

    I can't imagine being at the mercy of a bus schedule or my friends' schedules.

    I recently dated a girl who, at age 23, still doesn't have her license. She failed the test twice and decided, meh, who really needs it anyway? It boggles my mind.
  6. SFIND

    SFIND Well-Known Member

    As a guy who's still in his 20's, I didn't get a drivers license until I was 21. I didn't even get a permit until I was 18, and when it expired a year later, I had gotten behind the wheel of a car zero times.

    And it's because of the reasons you mentioned. If I wanted to socialize, I was a few clicks of a keyboard away on my cell phone from sending a text, or a few clicks away from IMing on a computer. I think many of us Gen Xer's could take or leave it.

    Oh, and I hate driving, and everything that's involved with car maintenance.
  7. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    You figure a weekend of pure cruising now can set you back $80 at the pump. That's a lot of Whoppers to bag.

    What Chevy doesn't get is that brand loyalty doesn't start at 16 by going to the dealership to pick out a new sled. The vast majority of teens start with something used, which means their first impression of GM will be the plastic turds they cranked out over the past decade.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    She pays over $3K a year in insurance, even as a female?

    The next time I hear someone pitying the poor insurance companies, I'll remind them of the rip-off that is teenager car insurance.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    From a journalism standpoint, to go on a tangent for a second, it seems like the NYT is becoming a little more judicious with its "trend" stories on A1 lately. There are stats and data here to back up the assertion, along with testimonials from GM executives and such.

    Before bloggers began holding their feet to the fire a few years ago, this kind of story would have been three or four quotes from some teens on the street and call it a day.

    OK, tangent over with. Carry on.
  10. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    my niece turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and still doesn't have her driver's license. her twin sister got hers the moment they were 16.
  11. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I started saving for my first car when I was 13.

    I didn't care what kind of car it was. I had zero interest in impressing anybody. I just wanted something to drive the second I turned 16.

    I bought a 1989 Nissan Sentra new for $4500 with money I made working baseball card shows. As my best friend and I joked, "Gregg Jefferies paid for our cars."
  12. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Parents in my mostly wealthy town make sure their kids are interested in cars. I can count three boys in the high school's junior class who just got black Mustangs, another got a BMW SUV. I did a photo shoot with the school's all-county footballers and afterward it looked like an NFL motorcade-- BMW, Benz, Audi. Ridiculous.
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