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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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This is How Reed-Lallier Chevy Sold More Used Cars – and How We Helped

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Are Millennials Killing The Car Industry?

Where have all the drivers gone? Something shifted with regards to our driving behaviors during the mid 2000's and we simply started driving less even though the population continued to grow.

Are Millennials Killing The Car Industry

So many different factors may have contributed to this decline: economic factors, gas prices, family dynamics, people working from home, and changes in air travel activity. General family dynamics have changed as well - younger people today simply don't need to go as many places as we needed to at that age - their connected lifestyle has changed the entire concept of ownership and the need to physically go somewhere to acquire something is different. Want to buy something? It's simply a click away.

Consider this statistic: Today's 20-something Amercians drive approximately 20% less today that their parents did while they were in their 20's.

The question remains though, what happens when this segment of the population ages, moves out of their parent's houses, enter the professional workforce and start their own families? They will eventually need vehicles. And when they do enter the market it could create a much needed buying spree. Or, will their historical activities and future needs create a new standard of automotive shopping behavior and disrupt the retail industry even further?

The projections for the future see three possible scenarios, according to a research report from The Frontier Group and the US PIRG Education Fund. These scenarios could vary between: Drivers will re-enter the market and driving will pick up to near-normal levels, drivers will continue to maintain current activities and the trend will be an enduring shift or there will be a full reversal and driving will continue to decline. One contributor to that decline may be the introduction of ride sharing services like Uber, ZipCar and other companies providing cost effective, convenient ownership alternatives. The Frontier Group is quick to point out that all three of these scenarios predict the future outcomes to be below the anticipated historical trend line.

So, regardless of where the trends actually fall dealers will be faced with a different marketing challenge: Connecting with a segment of automotive shoppers who have different needs and an entirely different experience with online shopping and ownership.


Amanda Gordon

 Millennials are the largest generation in human history and have so much buying power it is scary. It's mandatory to understand their buying habits and cater to their new approach vs condemning the up and coming due to the environment that is bringing them about. 

William Phillips

Jason and Patrick   

Also work with thousands of Millennials in dealers currently and they are as a group lazy, self entitled and less smart than they think they are.  Not a DS market study or one young inexperienced opinion.   Reality is coming for these and all lazies regardless of age.  (Like the reality of signing for a student loan and paying the debt you signed for, or believing its someone else's problem you signed)   

Dealers have, and will also continue to have a reality check as their practices must change.   

That wont be with the habits of superior elevated inexperience children, given to much credit, and told they deserve a safe empathic place to be and purchase.   Cant wait to start Snow Flake motors where you can buy with just your empathic score.   Then have it acquired, by an omni-channel (zero actual financial state value company) for market share data value.   

Data and experience speaking not theory 


Patrick Bergemann

I don't think anyone even implied that we were going to start taking feelings as credit or payment for vehicles. The driving point for empathy is in communication. It's a different demographic.

Take toys for example. A kid would watch the commercial where the toy comes to life, but a parent couldn't care less because they know it's all creative liberty for a toy that will most likely disappoint their child. You could make a commercial where kids actually use the toy and have fun, but it won't get the child as excited.

Millennials are the same way. They communicate differently. You can win back their favor in communicating ways they actually pay attention to. There's plenty of data to support how the communicate across a variety of industries. LinkedIn's recent study highlighted ways to retain employees and found that millennials would take a pay cut for a workplace that makes them feel valued.

Baby boomers keep calling them lazy entitled snowflakes just because they work differently and instead of either party trying to understand the other so they work together, they just keep dismissing each other's opinions.

No one will win if all we do is force the opposing party to do things our way. Data shows where we've been, surveys and market research show us where the people we serve want us to go. If we want to succeed, we should move towards serving them the way they want to be served.

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