The car industry has high hopes for the young. Automakers have invested and are investing billions into hybrid and electric vehicle, so far with lackluster success. In the U.S., the take rate of hybrid cars is actually coming down from a 2.78 percent peaklet in 2009. The 0.14 percent market share of EVs is too small to move the plotter’s needle. To recoup the investment, new tech vehicles have to be sold in more meaningful numbers. It is the generation Y that is supposed to set the needle in motion. A study of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu promises that Generation Y will make a humongous difference.
Generation Y could be the “generation that leads us away from traditional gasoline-powered vehicles,” Craig Giffi, who is in charge of Deloitte’s annual survey of Gen Y auto consumers, told the L.A. Times. The paper summarizes:
“According to the Deloitte survey, 59% of Gen Y respondents said they preferred an “electrified vehicle” over any other type of car or truck. They generally defined “electrified” as a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle. Just 2% said they wanted a pure battery electric vehicle, which reflects the very small number of such cars that people are purchasing. Just 37% of the respondents preferred vehicles with the traditional gasoline-only powertrain.”
Giffi loves the Y generation, so much that he recklessly collides with TTAC’s jargon vigilantes: The enthusiasm for hybrid vehicles turns Gen Y consumers in the U.S. into “game changers,” Giffi said. And he continued:
“At nearly 80 million strong, they are one of the biggest automobile buying market segments and the largest consumer segment since the baby boomers.“
Sure, once they have a job and make money.
Let’s hope Generation Y sticks more to its principles than previous generations. I have seen study after study where customers announced their environmentally responsible intentions, only to reneg on their promise once they were in the showroom.