By Omar C.
Oh Millennials, the most discussed generation of the decade. Whether you belong to them, fear them, loathe them, love them or just choose to ignore them; it’s a fact they make up a large portion of the consumers of today’s world.
And consuming is a thing they tend to do quite a lot, from the newest smartphone to a mislabeled Starbucks chai latte, this generation seems to have high demand of every conceivable product or service.
Feeding off the collective information from the cloud, these young-lings are living in an age where everything gets data sheet and expiration date.
And yet, very few of them are buying new cars, or used ones for that matter.
What is the cause of this? Why is a generation so voracious in seemingly random purchases, not interested in automobiles?
Well, three decades ago, the working man got up in the morning, grabbed a cup of coffee, got into his motorcar and drove to the office. After work, he drove home, spent time with his family and went to bed, all to start over again the next morning.
But the employee of today has a routine that is completely different; she wakes up, checks her phone, gets breakfast, and opens her laptop while reading all her work emails. She grabs her bag, takes the train to her office, and when she is done with work, she goes home, this time on a mobile app based taxi service.
Notice how the routine of today requires little to no driving. Why is that?
Thirty years ago, we didn’t carry a whole office, archive, bookshelf, and phone in our pockets; we actually needed to go to places to retrieve information. A car used to be the most efficient medium to transport ourselves to work, school, family obligations and such.
But now, you don’t even need to leave home to perform half the tasks involved in office work, which means you don’t really need a car.
Another common reason for this trend of car-less Millennials, is the fact that they do not view cars as symbols of freedom, or as something they express themselves with.
For them a car is, at most, a gadget on four wheels, with lots of cool connectivity features; even then it’s just a box to haul them around and go places.
This prospect of a future without drivers is alarming to some and soothing for others. While car enthusiasts cringe in disgust, some people are just relieved that we won’t need driving in the future.
And yet, car manufacturers seem blind to the actual needs of this generation, and we’re not just talking about the automobile itself here. Car ownership costs have raised meteorically in recent years, along with fuel prices, insurance, registration, and above all, Driving Licenses and driver’s education are out of the reach of our Millennials.
Without a need for driving, and deprived of the mere taste of wielding an automobile on the road, this generation seems to have been almost “trained” to leave car ownership behind.
It may even spring to mind that there is an agenda behind this, and that driving will be “phased out”, and self driving econoboxes will take over the world.
By now you must be rather annoyed at Millennials, at the governments, Car Makers, and saddened by this horrifying lack of young car buyers.
But there is an upside, and it’s possibly going to pave the way for the next automotive revolution.
When something cars are no longer necessary, most people will stop wanting them, but, the ones that are passionate about them will keep on following their tradition of tinkering, driving, modifying, and above all, racing.
The low demand and high supply of cars today will create the used car goldmine of tomorrow, giving Millennial and Generation Z enthusiasts the perfect platform to perpetuate and improve car culture through innovation and open source engineering.
We are already seeing this happen, as more and more young people discover car culture through the internet, learning about almost anything in minutes, and best of all, getting back something the car community has lost some time ago: The spirit of curiosity.
Rather than being afraid of a future we can’t control, we must pave the road for the generation of gear heads succeeding us, and give them the opportunity to go beyond.