Generation Y continues to flummox automakers

Will the Toyota Yaris, Honda  Fit and the upcoming Nissan Versa join the Buick Le Sabre and even the Toyota Camry as "Grandparent's Most Favorite Ride?" That's what analysts think about the new wave of subcompacts arriving in America. According to John Wolkonowicz, automakers are once again making the mistake that younger buyers' primary concern is cost. "This is not a meek generation. They (Generation Y) want you to see them arrive," says the Global Insight analyst. "A car is like clothing."
Other analysts agree with Wolkonowicz's statement, saying while some Gen Y buyers will purchase vehicles based on cost, they'll abandon them as soon as they can afford something more "interesting" like a Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, or Hummer H2. The analysts are a bit perplexed, since sales of MINIs and Scions illustrate Gen Y's priority: good-looking, "cool" cars that evoke emotions. Of course, those brands have a fair percentage of elderly buyers themselves. Automakers can be forgiven, though, since it takes three to five years for them to bring a new vehicle to production, during which Gen Y likely changes its mind about a dozen times. Damn video game generation.

There is a trend of younger drivers coveting more classic vehicles, and it would be interesting to read analysts' views on that phenomenon, as well. Perhaps there are some readers out there who were born in the '80s that can testify to the allure of a good classic.

Will the American market's new small cars resonate with young buyers?
Gen Y gets automakers' attention

[Source: Chicago Tribune via South Coast Today]

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