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sheepdog 44 10-19-2013 07:39 PM

POPSCI: Why you can't sell me a car,
A millennial’s message to automakers.
Why You Can't sell me a car


...I recoil from the idea of buying one. Cars equal liability. Accidents are practically inevitable, no matter how well you drive. They cost more and more to own and maintain, and (electric or not) they defile the environment. And good luck parking one anywhere without it getting ticketed or towed.

So what would it take you, the automakers, to sell me, a punk kid of the "expectant" generation, a car?

...Self driving cars, .... Sustainable.... Electric...
Finally, make cars affordable.
I disagree with a lot what he says, but the facts remain that America has gone past "peak" miles driven, Many young people are not buying cars, and a growing proportion don't even have drivers licences! The statistics don't compare favorable to decades past when driving a car as a teen was almost a right of passage.

I do believe that the current offering of cars has little aesthetic appeal to me. The economics of new vehicle ownership don't make sense. I'm also a little turned off by the material investment of cars.

What i would want to buy though is different than most millennial's i presume. I would want any hyper-efficient aerodynamic concept and modded car that is being built on this forum. A Carben, Stromlinnet, Tigon, Vetter? absolutely!

user removed 10-19-2013 07:56 PM

Maybe his first car should have been a Toyota Echo, instead of a Rodeo, but if he thinks accidents are inevitable, then I'd rather not have him on the highway near myself.


B440 10-19-2013 10:08 PM

Cars in the 60's were the "must have" technology of today. Kids don't want cars. They want gadgets, like that brick on the kid's wrist. The cost of new cars is completely out of the budget of these millennials and so is the cost of fuel. Times change, tastes change.

I live out in the country where it is necessity to own a car, not privilege as the DMV considers it. I love open space and farms, so the "walkable" community is ridiculous to me.

If he thinks liability when thinking about cars, then stay in the city and take the bus. Let the rest of us enjoy the open twisty back roads in our stress-relieving cars and motorcycles. Teens think they know everything... until they grow up. I was once a teen.

mechman600 10-19-2013 10:42 PM

You want your car to drive itself? Take the bus.

You don't want to wreck the planet with manufacturing? I know: let's grow cars on trees. What about all your iCrap gadgets you buy...are those so innocent?

Wow. I am never reading a Popular Science magazine again.

Flakbadger 10-19-2013 10:44 PM

I'll be perfectly honest. I'm 26, and I find that guy to be kind of a douche-canoe. I think the only thing I REALLY agreed with him on is making cars cheaper.

I can't believe the idea of an "inexpensive" car to automakers is like 18 grand. Americans in general (not just Millennials) want cheap cars that do well on gas and are safe.

I bought my car because I couldn't find any other economy cars in my price range. Well, other than the Nissan Versa that is (yuck!)... and even my car was used. I can't afford an 18k car. Make cars cheap and people will buy them!

War_Wagon 10-19-2013 10:49 PM

A few points I'd like to make about this. 1. A walkable lifestyle is great, but it's certainly something that most of us would consider a luxury. And if you could wave a magic wand and centralize all the things you need to live your life into a small area, then guess what, so would a lot of other people. It's called downtown. And the same people that say a car is too expensive to own would also be saying it's too expensive to live in the area where they don't need one. If you are lucky enough to have the resources to live within walking distance of where you work/enjoy your life, that's great, but for most people it's not that likely.

2. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that assuming a 20 something year old should be able to buy a brand new car from the manufacturer is a good example of the "expectant" generation being just that - who here bought a brand new car in their 20s? Good on you if you did, but I can't think of many people I know that were able to, and it was a big deal if someone did. I have had a few cars over the years, and to this day I've still never owned a new one. They are a big financial commitment, and always have been. This guy saying that he wants all this charging infrastructure, low foot print production stuff is all fine and good, until he says he wants it all cheaper. Like the old hot rod saying goes "Cheap, fast, or nice - pick any two."

People that don't want to drive shouldn't. But they will spend more on rent/mortgage to be able to do that. If they are lucky enough to live somewhere with a decent transit system then that's another option, and personally I'd rather see more money spent on that than on making it easier for people that don't want to drive, drive. But trying to sell a new car to a guy like the one in that video is a waste of time. Until he gets married and has kids. Then let's see how long it takes him to put down his iPad and go buy a minivan. Car sales will drop off here, just like newspaper circulation (when was the last time you bought a paper?), it's just a sign of the times. Auto makers will have to focus on China and India if they want to survive, and ironically the cars that they have to develop for those parts of the world would probably sell pretty well here! Just my 2 cents, but being in the car business I see everyday that I am one of the younger people that actually do it for a living, and not a lot of retail customers are much younger than I am.

mechman600 10-19-2013 10:50 PM

Douche-canoe. LOL. A good one and so true. CLEARLY he is not a gear head like 99% of the members of this forum. He deserves a self-driving car.

War_Wagon 10-19-2013 11:08 PM

What's that Dead Kennedys line? "The convenience you wanted is now mandatory"? I'm sure I got it wrong, but you get the idea. Having a tech geek give an opinion about what the auto industry needs to do is like having me give an opinion about what the mining industry needs to do. I know they exist, and I have benefitted from them, but I have no clue about how it actually works!

jamesqf 10-20-2013 12:39 AM


Originally Posted by War_Wagon (Post 396154)
1. A walkable lifestyle is great, but it's certainly something that most of us would consider a luxury.

I dunno... Me, I'd consider it the human equivalent of a cattle feedlot.


I don't know about you, but it seems to me that assuming a 20 something year old should be able to buy a brand new car from the manufacturer is a good example of the "expectant" generation being just that - who here bought a brand new car in their 20s?
In their 20s? I've never bought a new car either, and probably never will. (Though I could easily afford one.) Might have made an exception for Aptera, though.

sheepdog 44 10-20-2013 01:26 AM

I understand the idea of "millennial's" being adverse to owning cars, but that guy was clearly a poor representation of a generation. My older brother doesn't have a license and it boggles me why. Many of my younger coworkers don't even own cheap used cars. It used to be and still is somewhat that you got your permit as early as possible, and drove a beater to highschool or whatever your parents handed you. Among my younger brothers crowd (who also doesn't have a license) it seems 1 in 4 of his friends has a car, and social events gravitate around that one car.

My take is that the economy has been tough on this recent generation. Recession, high debt, worthless college degrees, jobs that would rather have experienced older workers. Has this been the case in previous decades?

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