NEWS1 April 2015

Tech more popular than cars for Gen Y

Automotive News Technology UK

UK — The majority ( 65%) of UK millennials think the latest smartphone are of more value and use than the most recent model of a car according to research commissioned by Prophet looking at the 18- to 34-year-olds.

Other findings of relevance to the automotive industry include 68% agreeing that their car doesn’t need to be fully digitally connected because their smartphone already provides sufficient internet, communication and navigation for driving. Additionally, most respondents ( 67%) either ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they would rather buy a second hand vehicle and spend the saved money on electronics, recreation or travel.

More men ( 19%) than women ( 10%) want a car delivered to their door and to be shown how it functions.  

The research was an Omnibus survey of over 1,000 18-34 year olds.

Greg Handrick, partner at Prophet, said: “Generation Y has a very different outlook from the generations before it and car companies must find new, creative ways to appeal to them. If they don’t, they could become completely irrelevant to their lives, especially as the research also shows that millennials are very open to car sharing ideas, like car-pooling, which may not require owning a car at all.

“Young people are very sceptical and hesitant when it comes to connected cars. They do not recognise the advantages and are afraid of being distracted by more electronic services in car. It’s up to car companies to better communicate the advantages and reassure them about safety risks,” added Handrick.

This is not just a UK trend. Similar results were garnered when the questionnaires were carried out in Germany and the USA as well. However, there were some distinct differences between the three markets. For example, in Germany the vast majority ( 65%) of young people agree that the car is steadily losing its significance as a status symbol, compared with 50% of Brits and 47% of Americans.

Full details of the survey are available here.