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Study: Millennials Like Cars More Than Social Media

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author photo by Josh Sadlier February 2015
  • Original research by MTV reveals that millennials depend on their cars and love to drive
  • 75 percent of respondents would rather give up social media for a day than their car keys
  • Most young drivers resent the car-shopping process

It's time to update the commonly held belief that today's teenagers, twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings don't like cars. According to Millenials Have Drive, a new study by MTV, this millennial generation is not only car-dependent, with 80 percent identifying the automobile as their primary form of transportation, but also car-loving, with 70 percent asserting that they "like driving a lot." Remarkably, the millennials' predecessors actually love their cars less: Just 58 percent of baby boomers and 66 percent of generation Xers feel a strong affection for the open road.

The younger generation, meanwhile, would rather give up social media for a day than driving; 75 percent say their wheels are more important than their beloved apps.

This is great news for the automotive industry, but there's a catch. Millennials also happen to be the best-educated and most critical shoppers the market has known, and that means the same-old sales pitches aren't going to work at the local car dealership. A whopping 87 percent want a more transparent car-buying process; similarly, 80 percent believe it should take less time, and half say that current car advertising doesn't speak to them. These shoppers value authenticity and efficiency; historically speaking, automakers and car dealers haven't excelled in either regard.

What it means to you: There are golden opportunities for forward-looking car companies and dealers who are ready to engage millennial shoppers on their own terms. On the flip side, however, those who are unwilling to change run the risk of being left behind as millennials mature into a powerful car-buying force.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Study: Millennials Like Cars More Than Social Media - Autotrader