Car companies worldwide have had a terrible track record creating cars that attract hip, young buyers. Despite all their best efforts to cater to the cool cats, the 18-24 demographic prefers to defy categorization.
But now it seems car companies have a new, more vexing problem. The 18-24 crowd doesn't want cars at all.

General Motors knows all too well about its aging demographics and has turned to a creative new marketing firm to have a shot at bringing down the age of their average buyer. The firm is called Scratch and is part of MTV (owned by Viacom). Ross Martin, 37, is executive VP of Scratch and says 20-somethings really don't even want a car.

"They think of a car as a giant bummer," Martin tells the New York Times. "Think about your dashboard. It's filled with nothing but bad news."

Research showed 60% of 18-24 year-old drivers would choose Internet access over owning a car. To the Autoblog staff, that's like asking them to choose between air and water. And if your dashboard is all bad news, you're doing it wrong!

The New York Times story is full of tidbits about how GM and MTV are chasing the cool crowd, like how they're trying to "General Motors with the same insights that made MTV reality shows like 'Jersey Shore' and 'Teen Mom' breakout hits." Hmmm. Yeah, that oughta make recent college grads want to buy a Volt.

Whatdya think? MTV still got enough cool cred to help transform the old gray General?


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  • 81 Comments
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      can 18-24 year olds afford cars these days?
        jackthofer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        That's where carmakers need to focus their efforts. Europe has lots of great, fun cars that young people can afford, with stuff like free insurance with the car, and a wide range of hot hatches. There needs to be a market for young people, that doesn't make them complete slaves to a car payment.
      Generic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aside from the horrible unemployment rate for the youth, minimum wage has not risen with the cost of new cars, so exactly what are the youth suppose to actually buy a new Chevy with? Hopes and dreams? At best, GM should aim for service and parts from the youth, but not new car sales. That just isn't very realistic.
      Mark Werther
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoa! Wait a minute. 18-24 yr olds don't want cars? Are you freakin' kidding me? Hanging out with friends, dating, getting to school / work all by bus? NOT! The fact is, they need wheels, but they are gonna do what we all did at that age...BUY USED!!! Who the hell can afford a NEW car, insurance etc... at this age? My first car at age 18 was a 1981 Caprice 2 Door that I bought for $500 (that was for the car, not per month) in 1993. (I promptly put 17" 5 spokes on it, BIG upgrade!) THAT'S how this demographic rolls. So go ahead GM, spend big money on a marketing firm to get 18-24 to part with their money, but remember, when given the choice between the latest Apple product and a Chevy Cruze, I think you're gonna be SOL.
      theblackemblem
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think GM should get over it. The only reason why our generation is not interested in cars is simple: they're so expensive to maintain one, let alone BUY one. I'm a 19-year old car maniac, and even I don't want a car because I can hardly afford to pay the MSRP, insurance, and gas. Just ask Toyota how well they're doing with attracting us young people.
      Stix
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is GM following that stupid mindset of an 18-24 yr old young adult based on the 1960's or 1970's? I'm pretty sure around that time, young adults were able to buy a brand, spanking new car with their own money. Unfourtunately, this is 2012. Whatever might've worked 40 to 50 years ago, will not work again this time.
      Chunky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aside from internet, you're asking 18-24 year olds to tack this onto college debt in addition to full coverage insurance which is in high risk status until they are 25. I think the problem is much more than simple advertising.
      BrunoT
      • 2 Years Ago
      MTV, eh? Maybe they'll have the characters in the commercials screwing like rabbits, fighting like demons, and sprayed a nice shade of orange.
      ron
      • 2 Years Ago
      "I did'nt know MTV was still on"
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ron
        Spoiler: THey don't play much music anymore.
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Think about your dashboard. It's filled with nothing but bad news." Some pretty vague and nonsensical wording there. Dashboards are just full of wires, plastics, a couple of little motors for ventilation, a few circuit boards. Not much different than a laptop or a cellphone, items your 20-somethings find to be pretty darn good. On a completely different note, anyone who thinks it's fine to put their feet out of a car window like that shouldn't be in a car anyways.
      Radioactive Flea
      • 2 Years Ago
      Actually, I really can’t blame GM for trying. It's not there fault. It is a generational problem. After years of theft by the baby boomers, I am surprised anyone under 35 can afford even a used car. It just goes to show how little our elders really care about anyone but themselves. Then they wonder why no one is buying housing.
      Carbon Fibre
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes because college students can afford new year cars... the hell these people on?
      Camaroman101
      • 2 Years Ago
      how many of the 18-24 year olds polled actually had the money to afford a car let alone a new one? my guess, not many
        S.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Camaroman101
        Heck. I'm 25 and I still can't afford a new car. Let alone a new-ish used one!
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