Too often we hear that the millennials (Americans born between 1981 - 1997) are not interested in cars. In the age of sharing economy and clean energy, cars have been portrayed as old fashion and dirty. The likes of Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, Amazon have greatly reduced the need of a privately owned car….or has it?
New evidence are showing this may not be the case. Last year millennials bought 4 million cars and trucks in the U.S., second only to the baby boomers. Millennials’ share of the new car market jumped to 28% and in California, millennials outpaced boomers for the first time. Perhaps they are just starting late. The great subprime crisis in 2008 happened just when they were graduating from college and starting their careers. As if that’s not enough, price of oil reached it’s peak in 2008 too. Talk about two “once in a century” events happening at the same time to discourage you from buying your first car! No wonder many delayed their purchase.
Now that the older millennials are well on their way to starting a family, they are doing what their parents did. They are buying homes in the suburb for the safe neighborhoods with reasonable housing costs. They are also heading to car dealerships too. With oil price at record lows, increasing employment and falling used car prices, now may be a great time for millennials to purchase their first car! Car manufacturers certainly have noticed and responded by adding more in-car technology and partnering up with ride-hailing and car-sharing services. Millennials may have different habits from the older generations but the car culture is certainly still intact in the U.S.