The automotive industry is not very happy with Millennials and Gen Z. It seems that in comparison to the Baby Boomers and Gen X, the latest up-and-coming generations are less car-crazed thus creating great difficulties and consternation for those that are making automobiles.
Purchases of cars by the younger set are dropping world-over. Several surveys have shown that the latest generations don’t put car ownership particularly high on their list of things to do.
Chatting with Millennials and Gen Z reveals that If they can avoid having to drive a car, they will happily and eagerly find a means of doing so. You can contrast this viewpoint to those of us from the prior generations. We grew up believing that having and owning a car was a crucial part of life, something that was a must-do. Being able to legally sit behind the steering wheel was a source of pride. You were in charge of a metal beast, demonstrating your strength and virility! The car was also a source of freedom, being able to escape from the overshadowing heavy-handed control of your parents and stood as a path to your rightful independence.
The latest gen is also aware that gasoline-powered cars are emitting harmful emissions. While they also know that it is much improved in comparison to prior years, nonetheless, it is still a bad thing. They are interested in EVs as an ecological matter, but also unsure about EVs since they are well aware of how labor (and sometimes child labor) is exploited in mining in third-world countries where raw materials for EV batteries are mined. So, they are not willing to commit just yet to EV’s.
One wonders if the latest gen is maybe holding out until driverless cars appear, which would be another explanation for their hesitancy of buying a car today. Would you go out and buy a conventional car or even a semi-autonomous car, if you knew for sure that fully autonomous cars were now ready and able to be obtained? Don’t think you would.
Currently, there is a theory that driverless cars will be owned by large companies, either the automakers themselves or ridesharing firms or other conglomerates that will get into the game. These owners will have fleets of driverless cars. They will position their autonomous cars in places to make as much money as possible, doing so one ride at a time. It could get ugly, though, since you might have competing driverless cars, all vying to get your ride, flowing inside cities and neighborhoods, trolling and roaming to find the next paying passenger.
In the future, you could possibly also buy a driverless car, and when you are at work or sleeping at home, you put it onto a ride-hailing network. It goes off to make you money when you don’t need it, and you bring it back to you when you want it to drive you around! Now that is a real income-producing investment in a car!