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Drive to Success: The Millennial Mindset Impacts Auto Ownership

by Lindsay Lauck
on August 12, 2019

Selling cars to a younger generation like Gen Z and millennials, those born sometime between (roughly) the very early 1980’s and mid 1990’s, is becoming the proverbial white whale for modern auto dealers. You know they’re out there—somewhere—and you’ve been told they have money to spend. However, this elusive market continues to baffle marketers, sales people, and analysts alike. Really, though, it’s not that hard. This generation cares deeply about environmental impacts, social and cultural changes, and is feeling the burden of the great recession. Struggling student debt and a growing unease about their generation’s safety hasn’t helped either. However, this smart group of digital natives has an advantage. They have options. It’s not that they don’t want to buy a new or used car, or that they’re too difficult to reach. It may just be that they don’t even need to. Mobility-as-a-Service, ride-sharing, and a growing number of remote professional options are just a few reasons why the auto industry is reeling from the impact of the millennial mindset. Cars may still be necessary…but car ownership? My, my, how the times have changed.

1 – The Reasons Why Millennials Aren’t As Car Crazed As Baby Boomers, And How Self-Driving Cars Fit In

Forbes: The cultural norms and attitudes surrounding car ownership have shifted. The millennials and Gen Z masses have more mobility options, a completely different mindset, and money to spend…money that isn’t going towards big, expensive autos. Can modern dealers overcome the stigma associated with environmental impacts and the dreaded “hard sell” keeping younger buyers from your doorstep?

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2 – Auto Industry Delivering on Big Tech Discoveries

Business Xpansion Journal: Technology, The Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data are changing cars, and the way cars are being used. The “car of the future,” for example, may no longer require a driver to own it, to store it, or even to maintain it. Still, it’s up to the auto industry to supply it.

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3 – DRIVING INSIGHTS: Millennials — Not Only Online

Auto Remarketing: Millennials may be buying their first used car at your dealership—a scary first-time experience. However, up to 62% of millennials, armed to the teeth with hours of online research, feel extremely confident in their ability to determine the mechanical condition of the car they came in to buy. This group has done their homework.

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4 – Kids Today Like Auto Retail

Automotive News: According to Cox Automotive’s 2019 Dealership Staffing Study, millennials and Gen Z professionals—more than 30 percent—are interested in working at your dealership. This is a big jump and a big opportunity. Is your dealership offering flexible schedules, great career paths, and an exciting chance to work in a fun environment?

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5 – How Do We Get Millennials And Gen Z Back Into Cars?

The Globe and Mail: Auto manufacturers are beginning to panic. How can the industry convince millennials and Gen Z to drive more? When it comes to commuting, navigating crowded cities, and paying for up-keep, making driving less of a chore and more enjoyable could go a long way for this group.

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Tags: DMS, Drive to Success, Millennials

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