Millennials hold the key to reversing the slump in the automotive industry. That’s according to the Millennials and Auto Trends Report published today.
Market uncertainty, anti-diesel legislation, low emission zones and the popularity of ride-hailing apps such as Uber paint a gloomy picture for the industry. But the survey of 2,150 millennials (aged 23 to 28) from across the world presents a brighter outlook.
In Europe, 79 percent of millennials already own a vehicle, while half of respondents who do not own a car expect to buy one within the next five years.
Interestingly, despite the common perception of millennials as an environmentally conscious generation, petrol and diesel are the engines of choice for 53 percent. On the flip side, that would suggest 47 percent of the respondents drive an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV).
Perhaps surprisingly, 82 percent of the respondents have never used a ride-hailing app or use them less than once a week. Those who thought the rise of Uber, car sharing schemes and short term rentals would kill the car could be mistaken.
What do millennials look for in a car?
What’s important to young car buyers? The infotainment system? Smartphone connectivity? The colour? Not necessarily.
Seventy percent of the respondents said price is an important consideration, which suggests competitive PCP deals could be around for a little while longer.
Other factors include fuel economy (59 percent), style (34 percent) and safety (30 percent).
Paul Teuten, managing director at Duff & Phelps, the company behind the survey, said: “Our Millennials and Auto Trends Report challenges conventional wisdom that millennials prefer alternatives to car ownership and provides encouraging evidence that millennials will drive the automotive industry forward.
“The European findings, in particular with over 80 percent of millennials never or rarely using ride-hailing and car-sharing services, underscores this and casts doubt on the presumed notion that ride-hailing services are increasingly used by this population. The automotive industry should take note and adapt to this by continuing to make the right technological investments to satisfy millennial preferences.”
With 77 percent of the respondents saying car ownership is a necessity for independence, it’s going to take a major shift in culture and legislation to release the automobile’s grip on our lives.