Joseph M. Giglio and Charles Chieppo: Millennials less car crazy than parents
The Providence Journal - 06/17/2014
The facts of General Motors’ recent troubles are well known: a storm of lawsuits and investigations resulting from mechanical failures that are linked to 13 driver deaths and over 13 million car and truck recalls worldwide so far this year. Now the big question is whether these setbacks will be fatal for the iconic American automaker.
One major factor GM must come to grips with is how the millennial generation is changing the American automobile market. These are the people born between 1983 and 2000, a great number of whom bear enormous student loan debt. In the aggregate, that debt is higher than either national credit card or automobile credit debt.
Perhaps that’s one reason millennials simply aren’t car as crazy as their predecessors were. The “sharing economy,” sustainability and an emphasis on public transportation, biking and walking, coupled with a keen interest in global climate change and fighting the obesity epidemic are some of the reasons why. This, in Trollope’s phrase, is “the way we live now.”