NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

What’s the Matter With Kids Today?

48 posts in this topic

What’s the Matter With Kids Today?

By Steve Finlay

WardsAuto.com, Apr 14, 2010 10:38 AM

Commentary

“What’s the matter with kids today?” asks a song from the 1960s musical “Bye Bye Birdie.”

The show tune decried youths who now are old enough to carry American Assn. of Retired People membership cards. That gives them not just senior discounts but also the right to say of today’s young generation: “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?” (Another line from the “Kids” song.)

We Baby Boomers were a rebellious bunch, defying authority and arguing with adults about everything from the Vietnam War to Bob Dylan’s singing talents. In a Gallup poll, nearly 75% of that era’s youths spoke of a generation gap. It was more like a gulf.

Today’s kids? They like their parents, respect their values and value their opinions, according to research into this odd inter-generational phenomenon.

Close to their folks, typical college students check in about 10 times a week, says Time magazine. Their parents are Facebook friends. The two groups listen to the same music.

Whoa.

Young Boomers loved their stuff as much as they disdained adults. We got what we wanted, and that extended to cars. There wasn’t a vehicle add-on we didn’t covet, including mufflers that ironically made cars louder, not quieter.

Our parents suffered through the Depression and wanted a better life for us. So they indulged us. “Boomers grew up selfish,” says John Wolkonowicz, a youngish-looking automotive researcher for IHS Global Insight. We turned into know-it-alls, he says. What does he know?

In contrast to youthful spendthrift Boomers, members of Generation Y (ages 16 to 32) show sensible, conservative tastes as automotive consumers. They are no-frills, no-thrills car shoppers.

They look for affordability, practicality, fuel efficiency and options that make sense to them, says Chance Parker, a research director for J.D. Power and Associates. “They don’t focus a lot on whiz-bang features.”

Here’s the scary part. A growing number of American teens show little immediate desire to get a car or spend money to maintain one. Parker calls that “startling” information, gleaned from monitoring online chats, blogs and social-media websites.

“We hear things such as, ‘My mom’s been bugging me to take a test for a driver’s license,’” he says. “It’s not the way I felt when I was a kid. I couldn’t wait to get a car.”

At the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in May, J.D. Power’s Mike Cooperman will give a presentation called “Gen Y Shifting Away from Cars.” Conference sponsors might consider passing out aspirin afterwards.

If they are not keen on getting a car right away, what does interest today’s youth? “Finding a job,” says Parker.

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned allowances?

Boomers couldn’t wait to get their driver’s licenses. We counted the days until our 16th birthday. When that arrived, we did three things: open presents, get our driver’s license and drive off to destination anywhere.

We didn’t waste time buckling our seatbelts, either. Our complaint with seatbelts of that era was that they were uncomfortable – to sit on. No one wore them. Tell a kid today not to wear a seatbelt, and see how far you get.

The day my older sister turned 16, she was geeked to get her driver’s license. First things first. She had to take the road test. But there was a big problem.

The family car was not readily available that day. Rather than wait until tomorrow, my sister nagged my mom to borrow a neighbor’s car for the test. Well, that didn’t happen. Still, it shows what cars meant to us Boomer brats.

Not so with this new generation that is capable of postponing immediate gratification. Why don’t they grow up? Don’t they know the auto industry needs to sell vehicles? Lots of them. Now! Not when they are good and ready to buy.

It’s probably no use. As the song says: “Kids! You can talk and talk till your face is blue. Kids! But they still just do what they want to do.”

Oh, wait. That song was about us.

link:

http://wardsauto.com/ar/whats_matter_kids_100414/

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What’s the Matter With Kids Today?

What's the Matter With Parents Today?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is SO TRUE in my group of friends here in Toronto. All are in their late 20s or 30s. Out of about 15 of us, I am one of two with a car, and one of four with a license. The other car is a base model Yaris.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not so with this new generation that is capable of postponing immediate gratification. Why don't they grow up? Don't they know the auto industry needs to sell vehicles? Lots of them. Now! Not when they are good and ready to buy.

If they are not keen on getting a car right away, what does interest today's youth? "Finding a job," says Parker

There's your answer Einstein, can't buy a car if you don't have a job to pay for it.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's your answer Einstein, can't buy a car if you don't have a job to pay for it.

+1

Hence my reason for a used car for the wife (she'll pretty much drive whatever at this point), and keeping my new car purchase reasonable.

If I go GM, a simple (but not too simple) Aveo, Cruze or Exelle is all I need. And I'm planning to bring a nice sized down payment, as I don't want to take six years to pay it off either.....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's your answer Einstein, can't buy a car if you don't have a job to pay for it.

Todays teens are screwed badly when it comes to a life after high school or college. My Nephew just runed twenty, and has a fantastic girlfriend. her name is Bethany Ferrari, a name I can appreciate as a car guy...and she's a great person as well.

but good luck to my nephew if he ever wanted to actually marry her and support her and have children... Jobs are pretty much gone...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting topic. We actually talked about this subject a few years ago in my Sociology class: about the different values between the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y.

There's a lot of truth in this article. My dad had his college completely paid for by his parents (Greatest Generation) and spent money like crazy when he was my age, buying two Corvettes and running up credit cards but saving very little to his name. My mom was more financially conservative, mostly because she grew up on a farm where they had little money and had to make things stretch.

I've been basically the polar opposite of my dad. Most of my money either goes into the stock market, my 401K, my HSA, or my savings account. My credit cards all have a $0 balance, and I usually pay them off as soon as the bill comes. My tax return this year will go toward paying off the car, and my goal is to use money earned in the stock market to pay off my student loans within 3 years.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd have to say that on the whole, this is pretty correct.

Most people my age that I know are fiscally responsible, and cars are seen as money pits. In addition, mass transit is better nowadays, and more of us live in the city, so there's no point in bothering with all the expenses of a car and gridlock, when the train and bus will get you there just as fast and cheaper. Eco-awareness is likely another factor too.

Gadgets seem to have replaced cars as symbols of status, and entertainment. Instead of hitting the drive-in theater with a couple buds, we park our butts in front of our 52" plasma's to frag and teabag in Halo.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In general , generalizations suck & are innaccurate, generally speaking.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really ashamed of Toronto's transit system. Maybe if I wasn't a consultant, I could settle down close to work. Problem is, I am a consultant, so my 'office' keeps moving.

Right now I'm next to a train station, and so is my office. However, the trains run so slowly that it's a 70 minute train ride to work, versus 35-40 to drive through the traffic jams. I want to support transit, but it's hard to justify that...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really ashamed of Toronto's transit system. Maybe if I wasn't a consultant, I could settle down close to work. Problem is, I am a consultant, so my 'office' keeps moving.

Right now I'm next to a train station, and so is my office. However, the trains run so slowly that it's a 70 minute train ride to work, versus 35-40 to drive through the traffic jams. I want to support transit, but it's hard to justify that...

I would love to use mass transit, but none runs where I need it to go...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to use mass transit, but none runs where I need it to go...

Me either.

But my Bike is getting a nice tune up though.....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I'm in a city (city-state?) that has excellent public transit, and I can see why people might not want or need a car. It's so much cheaper and more convenient than having to own a car, and frankly, I don't miss my normal commute. There has been absolutely no impairment in my mobility or freedom to go anywhere I want. This is coming from somebody who has probably used public transit a total of two times in LA, where I live...

Plentiful and cheap taxis are nice too... takes away the hassle of choosing a designated driver!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now I'm in a city (city-state?) that has excellent public transit, and I can see why people might not want or need a car. It's so much cheaper and more convenient than having to own a car, and frankly, I don't miss my normal commute. There has been absolutely no impairment in my mobility or freedom to go anywhere I want. This is coming from somebody who has probably used public transit a total of two times in LA, where I live...

Plentiful and cheap taxis are nice too... takes away the hassle of choosing a designated driver!

I have lived in Chicago, with its mass transit, and Atlanta with MARTA. I could handle more mass transit...especially a real rail system...

Me either.

But my Bike is getting a nice tune up though.....

My son and I are going to do some good biking this summer...I need to loose my gut...and my ass...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really ashamed of Toronto's transit system. Maybe if I wasn't a consultant, I could settle down close to work. Problem is, I am a consultant, so my 'office' keeps moving.

Right now I'm next to a train station, and so is my office. However, the trains run so slowly that it's a 70 minute train ride to work, versus 35-40 to drive through the traffic jams. I want to support transit, but it's hard to justify that...

Let me guess, it's a lot of at-grade light rail?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it has alot to do with cars becoming nothing more than expensive appliances - nothing to get the blood boiling.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it has alot to do with cars becoming nothing more than expensive appliances - nothing to get the blood boiling.

That's part of the problem, yes.

Of course in my case, it's more money issues. There's plenty of cars that get my blood boiling, Charger, Challenger, Camaro, Mustang, even the Genesis Coupe, but I can't afford a new car, because I'm still job hunting, and even when I do find a stable job, my first priorities are paying off student loans, and saving (especially to buy my own home).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contractor = mass transit > impossible.

I also don't care to be beholden to routes & schedules, but as stated; that's immaterial.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's part of the problem, yes.

Of course in my case, it's more money issues. There's plenty of cars that get my blood boiling, Charger, Challenger, Camaro, Mustang, even the Genesis Coupe, but I can't afford a new car, because I'm still job hunting, and even when I do find a stable job, my first priorities are paying off student loans, and saving (especially to buy my own home).

Meant to imply that as well in my post (didn't do such a good job of it).

Once upon a time, interesting cars could be bought brand new by high school kids with part time jobs. Now a mortgage is required.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Contractor = mass transit > impossible.

I also don't care to be beholden to routes & schedules, but as stated; that's immaterial.

That's my reality as well.

Not to mention that I'd never live in an urban setting for anything.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It priorities, there are more important things than cars. I know people who make pretty good money who drive around in 5-10 year old Nissans and Hondas, but they own houses, continue their educations and take European vacations. People who would rather have life experiences than roll around in a Camaro.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A "shirtless on COPS" experience isn't something most people in the 18-30 age group are after.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A "shirtless on COPS" experience isn't something most people in the 18-30 age group are after.

I don't think the wifebeater crowd can even afford the 5th Gen Camaro.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my own circle of friends, only one other person besides myself has a car, one other person has a drivers license but doesn't drive anywhere at all. This, however, on all of them, is not for the lack of monetary ability to afford to buy and operate a nice enough car.

This can be frustrating at times because they always want to go all over the place and when we're all together it's two people doing all the driving- gas isn't cheap. Along with my other driving friend we've actually had to start operating like a cartel for gas money because we both end up putting at least 100km extra per week catering to people who don't drive.

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor