In the last few years, the idea that Millennials (roughly, people born between the years 1980 and 2004) were not a reliable market for car dealerships. According to many experts, the up and coming generation preferred public transportation and ride-sharing services like Uber to the old-fashioned romance of vehicle ownership that enchanted their parents and grandparents. As such, many predicted a sales implosion in the near future of the auto industry, as the lack of desire to own cars of their own kept Millennials away from the dealership.
Fortunately, these predictions of car market collapse appear to have been premature. According to recent sales data, Millennials accounted for 27 percent of new car sales in 2014 – up from 18 percent in 2010.[i] By 2015, Millennials had become the second biggest demographic of the car buying public, with only Baby Boomers buying more vehicles that year.
In California, the world’s largest car market, Millennials even outpaced Boomers with the number of vehicles purchased last year.[ii] After a slow start, Millennials are finally becoming a reliable part of the auto industry’s customer base, and there’s a number of factors that are contributing to the change.
The Average Age for Car Ownership Is Going Up
Millennials’ slow start at buying their first cars and trucks wasn’t a sign that vehicle ownership, on the whole, was on the way out – it just signaled a shift in the average age at which someone buys their first vehicle. For the last few decades, getting your first car was one of the most important coming of age rituals for many American teenagers. By the 2000s, however, many young Americans were waiting to get their drivers’ licenses until their 20s.
Graduated License Laws
One of the main reasons that American teenagers were putting off getting their drivers’ licenses was the introduction of graduated license laws. In many states, new laws restricted teenage drivers’ rights on the road, such as restricting the number of passengers they could have in their car or requiring them to go through multiple stages to become fully licensed. Rather than deal with the hassle and increased scrutiny, many new drivers simply decided to wait until adulthood, when they could become licensed more easily.
The Great Recession Hit Millennials Incredibly Hard
The Great Recession of the late 2000s affected everyone in America, but Millennials were hit especially hard. As the economy crumbled, many of the job opportunities that would have been young peoples’ entry into the job market disappeared, just as the easy credit that had been available to previous generations suddenly dried up. For many Millennials, buying a car during the years 2008-2012 just wasn’t financially feasible.
Now that the economy has improved, Millennials are stretching their financial muscles and buying cars, trucks, and SUVs of their own.
Whether you’re looking for your first car or need to upgrade your current vehicle, Valley Chevy is your number one source for Spencer, Indiana Chevrolets. Contact us today at 812-829-4843.