Thursday, January 13, 2011

Detroit's Road to Recovery, 2011

Update: 1/26/2011: Yahoo just published the "Top Cars for Generation Y," today...

After my depressingly malevolent forecast about the narcissistic tendencies of (my) Generation Y earlier, I've decided to fight back against the stereotypes building in the murky waters of a post-Recession America by finding some proof that we're not just selfish pleasure seekers. There is hope for us yet! Let's take a look at Generation Y's influence on the recovery of the Auto Industry. In the words from PRNewswire's article published today from Detroit: "When it comes to brand loyalty Generation Y will make automotive manufacturer's work for it, [their loyalty] from design all the way through the sale." So, in addition to wanting greener, meaner, modern cars for the 21st century: we will demand better customer service, sales and repairs. This might seem like a pretty demanding challenge, but I see great success with cars such as the "Top Ten Best Selling Cars and Trucks" in America of 2010. I should note that Japan sold 316,000 Prius' in its home market last year (the top selling car in Japan last year). Also interesting to note are the cars that died this year, including the Ford Explorer, the PT Crusier, AND best of all: the hideously ugly Honda Element (finally...see picture below).

And how's this for savvy?

"Compared to Gen X and baby boomers, Gen Y consumers are most likely to influence others, but are also susceptible to being influenced by their peers. Roughly 70 percent of the Gen Y respondents said they're likely to sway a friend's vehicle purchase; only 60 percent of Gen X and 50 percent of baby boomers claimed the same. In particular, Gen Y has a large amount of influence over their parents – slightly more than 61 percent say they directly influence their parents final purchase decision. On the flip side, 88.7 percent ask friends for their opinions about a brand or model before buying a car, and 79.6 percent of these respondents say that their friends have a big influence on their purchase decision as well. Deloitte's survey found that Gen Y consumers are very influential overall and will actively promote a brand, even if they don't buy the car."

As the pickiest and most demanding market: American Automakers will need to cast aside previous products in favor of technological innovation, cost, mpg, power and design. Or, as my husband puts it so eloquently: "Get some ******* engineers in there to design some **** and get rid of these ****** accountants that just want to make cheap cars. Enough of the boring ****...I'm looking at you Toyota...bring back the Supra!"

Check out the article summarizing the survey by Michigan State of Baby Boomers, Generation X and Y and the Auto Industry here: U.S. Auto Industry Continues on the Road to Recovery with Generation Y Firmly in the Driver's Seat: Deloitte Survey.