By on January 27, 2014

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Just a quick note – tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28th at noon, I’ll be part of a panel discussion with the The Globe and Mail, a major newspaper in Canada, about the chief topic of Generation Why: the relationship between millennials and the automobile.  I’ll be joined by Chris Travell of Maritz Research, who should be able to provide an interesting, data-driven outlook on the issue. For those who prefer excellent automotive reporting to the rantings of a 20-something malcontent, Greg Keenan, the Globe’s auto industry reporter, is a must-read.

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73 Comments on “Generation Why: Panel Discusson With The Globe And Mail...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Derek:

    Have you seen the latest Toyota Corolla ad.

    you tube.com/watch?v=VwSNRlNUNEI

    The theme is, “Style Never Goes Out Of Style.”

    The message, the Corolla is cool, and has been cool since it was first rolled out to the United States.

    Curious on what you think? I watched this ad and felt they were going right after their perception, with a sly wink at Kia and their hamsters (without being overt about it).

    Kia on the other hand is advertising the Soul has matured, grown up, and is ready for the red carpet. Still a huge fan of the hamster campaign.

    • 0 avatar

      Cheesy commercial (the new Corolla’s). Fail.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, you are the marketing professional, right?

      Even without my car enthusiast hat on, this would set off my BS detector. Corolla is not cool, never has been (unless you worship at the cult of RWD Toyotas, and that’s statistically insignificant). The message seems forced, inauthentic.The grunge-band and AE110 juxtaposition was the most cringe-worthy moment. The commercial is lame. I like the Hamster campaign too. Memorable if nothing else.

      • 0 avatar

        exactly, agreed totally, Derek.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        I thought it was a subtle reminder that Toyota has been building bullet proof commuter cars for decades while most of the competition relies on the market being gullible enough to believe they suddenly learned how to build cars after thirty to a hundred years of abject failure.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I took it to mean Toyota (and specifically Corolla) has history in the US. Many marques could make similar commercials based on history. Chevy could come out with an Impala only commercial and show its models through time.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Ford could the same with Mustang

            Honda could the same with Civic or Accord.

            There are other ways to show heritage though – if that was Toyota’s intent, they went about it in a very bad way.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What did you take from the commercial, APaGtth?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Derek – you nailed my view (I didn’t want to taint the well and was curious on your thoughts in open discussion).

        It felt incredibly inauthentic and it simply is not what the Corolla is. The Corolla is a reliable appliance. The original Kia Soul showing toasters on wheels and washing machines on wheels was a big thumb in the eye to the Corolla in particular. What was magnificent is they weren’t overt about it.

        I don’t think this ad campaign is as bad as the disastrous Civic for Everyone campaign of 2012 (holy crap, if you’re a cubicle zombie, you should drive a Civic) – but it’s bad.

        Appreciate your Gen Y filter and taking your car guy hat off. Another mistake in the ad – only 39% of Gen Y buyers say they will buy the brand their parents drove. The ad makes a clear message, this was the car of your 60′s to 80′s parents – so if you want to be rocking mom jeans and worrying about a 401K – then you need to buy Corolla. At least in my view.

        • 0 avatar

          There’s probably some appeal in marketing the Corolla as a good, solid car that won’t give you any hassles to maintain. I know a couple people my age who bought them for this reason. But it’s definitely not a sexy angle.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            One of the most basic rules in marketing, embrace who you are. Changing who you are takes time, and money, and a lot of both.

            I think Toyota North American marketing could create a message that a Corolla is reliable AND fun. Honda’s most recent ad campaign around the Civic is a good example of this.

            The current Kia Soul campaign with the hamsters in tuxedoes walking the red carpet is a solid example of re-invention. The ad spends a ton of time focusing on the new, more upscale interior and focuses on how rich the dash and center stack is. You start to wonder if you’ll even see a hamster, until you see a tapping paw on an armrest.

            Kia Soul – we’re still cool – but now we’ve grown up from the street, and we’re walking the red carpet.

            I can’t wait for the Super Bowl!

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Corolla ad had 3.7 million hits on Youtube.

      It has had the most views of any video on the Toyota USA Youtube channel, and has little negative feedback.

      The Corolla sold 302,000 units last year.

      The Kia advertising is obviously more clever, but the Soul sold 118,000 units.

      In this case, I would give the nod to each of them for doing what they need to do. Kia needs to create excitement and build some conquest sales; Toyota needs to not lose customers and remind them of why the car is already successful.

      Kia’s ad agency is having more fun, but Toyota is making more money. Money trumps fun in the car sales business.

      • 0 avatar

        I think comparing the Forte vs Corolla is more apt.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Forte sold 66,000 units last year. The Corolla is in a different slot, given its market leadership.

          The hamster campaign is central to the marketing of the Soul, while there is no mascot or other icon for the Corolla. The Corolla is in a different position because it is a long-standing market leader. The main purpose of its advertising should be to remind car shoppers that it is still there.

          Most advertising of this sort is boring and functional, which is as it should be, even if that frustrates the creatives at ad agencies. It almost doesn’t matter what advertising is used for a car such as the Corolla, just so long as people see it, don’t get upset about it, and remember the product that is being advertised.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Hey, whoa, slow down there.

        Sales volume does not measure the success of an ad to hit its mark.

        If you’re going to go by page views, Kia’s latest ad has over 13.5 million views for the Soul. How popular is the campaign? That is 6X more views than their 2010 campaign that was posted 4 years ago on YouTube.

        When Kia started the Soul campaign it was new in its segment, that comprised of the xB, the Element, one could at least ARGUE the Chevrolet HHR, the Pontiac Vibe and the Toyota Matrix. It’s sales volume was – zero.

        Kia is now the segment leader – unquestioned – and the Soul has, “cred,” for a lack of a better way to put it. The ad campaign has won numerous awards – so discount my word.

        Your point to the sales velocity as a point of success or failure is flawed. Lets face it, if Toyota stopped mentioning Corolla in advertising for the rest of 2014 they will sell 300K+ units (and lets not even discuss how the Corolla is becoming a darling of the rental car fleets of America, the 302K number for 2013 isn’t as impressive as say sales numbers from 2007).

        There are plenty of ad campaigns that sell crap, that people line up to buy (McDonalds, Coke, an long list of non-premium beer, boxed wine for that matter) and there are plenty of stylistic ads where the volume is very small (seriously, how many people are buying Jaguars – even if their advertising is a big slice of awesome).

        But to go Toyota sold 300K so current ad must be a success is rather simplistic.

        What I’m comparing is not tit-for-tat vehicles, but the message in the campaign. This is very different.

        Kia’s message when they started the hamster campaign was you can go buy an appliance on wheels, ride in a hamster wheel, drive a toaster on wheels, a plain cardboard box that looks like every other appliance. Or you can stand out. The old school hip hop from Black Sheep and the hamsters hangin’ on the corner was part of that story. Hey, we’re Kia, and we are cool. Go back to the original ad. Look at what they highlight in the video. Big rims, sound activated interior lighting, and that old school rap. It was an extremely powerful message.

        What is Toyota’s message in the Corolla ad.

        “Style Never Goes Out Of Style”

        That’s right from their channel.

        You’re really going to look at me with a straight face and say the Corolla has been the standard bearer of car design “style” since the 60′s???

        Really???

        When your inauthentic – it shows. This isn’t the right message for Corolla.

        Watch the Corolla ad, objectively starting at 35 seconds (when we reveal the new product). Notice something they NEVER show.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwSNRlNUNEI

        They never show the dashboard. Oh they provide a side shot of a happy driver but you never see the dash or the center stack. There is nothing stylish about a 1980′s grade stand alone digital clock in the middle of the center stack. Stylish would be a big touch screen, or an upscale interior with an analog clock. That is style today.

        It’s inauthentic. Doesn’t mean Toyota won’t sell Corollas. Lots of bad ads out there that people line up and buy millions of what ever it is – lots of great ads for products that people never buy.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Every regular reader of this site must know that you’re on an endless jihad against Toyota. You aren’t objective, and you shouldn’t even pretend that you’re trying.

          The point remains that the Corolla is in a very different place from the Soul, so it makes little sense to compare them.

          Kia needs to build a niche market for the Soul. It’s a relatively new nameplate that was reaching for the youth market.

          The Corolla is a leader in its segment, with a broad customer pool. It is unlikely to gain much market share, since it already owns so much of it. Toyota can’t possibly hope to add substantial numbers of buyers; what it needs to do is preserve what it has.

          They’re different products with different targets. If the Corolla had the Soul’s levels of sales, then it would be a tremendous flop, given where it has come from. Excellent for a second-tier player or a niche, but terrible for those who rule the pack.

          In any case, there isn’t just one advertising message for the Corolla. Over time, a variety of messages will be produced to promote the car; there is no dominant branding icon or single theme in its advertising effort. Surely you must have figured that out.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Different messages for the same product create market confusion.

            That’s marketing 101. So spinning a “new” message or having alternative messages doesn’t make sense.

            The Merkur xR4Ti is a great example of a car that died in part due to utterly confusing mixed messaging in advertising. Is it a sports car? Is it a luxury car? Is it a German derived family car? Ford flailed with this position, concurrently.

            I suggest, strongly, it is you with the bias against me. I have no jihad on Toyota products – heck I regularly recommend the Sienna and Tacoma (and I can point to the forums on a discussion on used minivans where I say the best one to buy is a used Sienna – and BEFORE your comment above – some jihad).

            You continue to focus on the wrong thing – demonstrating a lack of personal objectivity.

            I am not comparing Corolla sales to Soul sales. I asked a simple question to Derek. Did he see the latest Corolla ad? He didn’t like either (does Derek then have a tinfoil hat on too, and is in alliance with my secret jihad against Toyota – MUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – death to the infidels!). Others chimed in, again before I ever stated my view saying, they don’t like it either.

            Then you say I’m UNOBJECTIVE?!?!? Stand back.

            If you’re comparing ads for the MESSAGE, quite frankly I could compare an Apple ad to a car ad to a beer ad. Are they on message?

            So you’re either arguing, with a straight face, that the Corolla has been the standard bearer of style (again – Toyota’s message – style never goes out of style) since the first one hit the US shore (Toyota’s message, not some twisted interpretation) or it is you sir that is biased – either in total defense of Toyota, or against a well argued position.

            Apple ads – authentic.

            Kia Soul ads – authentic.

            Ford F-150 ads – annoying as all Hell, but authentic.

            Office Depot – Where Did You Get That? ad campaign is a tremendous example of a company reinventing themselves in an effective ad.

            Here is a GREAT example of a more effective, and authentic Toyota Corolla ad:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfkSAQWz9E

            Although I disagree with the cat being buried in the backyard (it is too much of a shocker). It is funny, it shows the product WAY better by the way than the US ad for the 2014 Corolla, it communicates a certain richness to the interior with the clear dash shot and leather – and it sends a message that almost anyone will understand. The Corolla is so nice, even a cat will want to go for a car ride.

            The US ad for the 2014 misses the mark.

            OK – go on about that jihad. But you have a tough one to continue to build on that when I recommended a Toyota minivan on the TTAC pages less than 72 hours ago.

            But please…go on…

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Oh, and so you think I’m sooooooooooooo biased and on my jihad, here is a link to what I feel is one of the best car ads, with a perfect message that is authentic and completely on point from 2013. This ad plays on emotions beautifully and goes right after its demographic. It covers exactly what it is – and what the product is.

            You know – authentic.

            Hint – it’s a ToMoCo product.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Corolla sells 300k+ units per year in the US. (Those numbers are authentic, by the way.) It’s one of the best selling passenger car nameplates in the US, and produces solid sales numbers, year after year.

            Kia surely wishes that it suffered from such a problem.

            The primary purpose of the ad for this authentic Corolla is to inform compact buyers that there is a new Corolla available. Over the course of a 30-60 second spot, Toyota is going to say a few nice things about it.

            What it says almost doesn’t matter, just so long as the audience understands that there is a new Corolla available at the local dealership, and that the new one maintains the virtues of the nameplate and is worth owning. The ad does that, so mission accomplished.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @APaGttH

          Very detailed and informative analysis. The irony is KIA in its message effectively concedes it too is an appliance and invites your to “stand out” in your conformity. Clever ad agency.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Thank you.

            I believe the Kia hamster ad campaign in particular will go down as one of the best campaigns for the decade when it is all said and done.

            Just as I would say the Apple iPod ads from the 2000′s are some of the best from that decade. It isn’t the content – it is how the company positions and messages.

            You can compare positioning and messaging from any mix of companies and products when the discussion is good versus bad.

            I’ve written more – and linked to what I thought was a much better Toyota Corolla ad (with one big nit that I called out).

            I suspect that the ad I linked to as a good example may not float in the US – as we are so flippin’ over sensitive and overly politically correct – someone would probably claim it promotes cruelty to animals

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      I’m in my late 20′s, for reference.

      I thought the Corolla commercial did a great a job! It told Boomers and GenX-ers that they’re still young and cool and hip, even though you have to use 20 year old pop-culture references so they have some chance of recognition. And the car they all buy out of sheer habit is totally cool, no need to change!

      Meanwhile, back in the States: I know a couple of people my age who have bought new Corollas. Usually they’re the type of person who wants a reliable car with no fuss, has little interest in “driving excitement”, and a well-paid job compared to the rest of my generation.

      I honestly think that’s a fine demographic to own, and I’m not sure what the point of trying to make the Corolla exciting is. I thought being exciting and youthful was supposed to be Scion’s department?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        As a product of the 80′s I can tell you – the 80′s set was something out of a DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince video.

        Very uncool. It did not evoke any emotion in me beyond, “really, REALLY, that’s your model for 80′s style.” That’s what the ad agency thought of the 80′s?

        It’s iconic – won’t deny that – but is it “authentic?”

        Because if you think that is how we dressed, acted, hung out, and danced in the 80′s – we need to talk.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Bland ad really, I’m tired of the false heritage carmakers are forcing on us, I want to know what they do NOW, not what they did 30 years ago.

      Besides, the Corrolas chief heritage was being slow and rusty, but at least it looked better than the latest model.

      I never did like Kias hamster ads, but compared to BMW/Toyotas self-nostalgia , at least Kias ads are silly, quick, and honest.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …at least Kias ads are silly, quick, and honest…

        Ah the key word there, honest – or “authentic” to who they are.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Honest about who they are? I thought they were a bunch of Korean businessmen and engineers trying to sell cars. And doing a world class job of it, by any measure I can find.

          The hamsters are fun, and something fun and quirky does seen like the way to put the Kia Soul in a favorable light.

          But “who they are”? Really?

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I know you know I’ve said this, but for the sake of TTAC: Maritz will be able to provide as much insight into people who don’t come into car dealerships as Ruggles can. Your head will hurt after this exchange and the Globe will have two sides of an issue. One being a HJ to the dealergroup who buys Maritz product and one will be your view. I hope this results in a good print article.

    Martiz will be able to tell us all about Mommy and Daddy’s kids that got a new car for getting their art history degree and maybe those of us who went to the dealer with a monthly payment in mind after we got our engineering degrees. But nothing about the lost generation who had false career paths and are still saddled with student debt.

    tl;dr I am a spoiled brat. f*ck The Man.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I am so glad that I no longer work for a company that uses Maritz surveys. Just another data point someone with a company bestowed six sigma certificate can manipulate to make my job more difficult. The surveys resulted in some of my branch managers focusing on the survey points rather than customers.

  • avatar

    NO ONE – and I mean NO ONE goes to bed – or wakes up aspiring to own a KIA/ Hyundai.

    The bottom line concerning millennials and the auto is the inability to afford one.

    they are either strapped with college loan debt – or for whatever reason – still living in their parent’s basement. Many of them could get a car second hand from mom or dad, but parking it in front of their house and plodding down to the basement each night just isn’t cool. The young crowd isn’t stupid – they want what they see rich people driving.

    Beemer, Benz or Bentley.

    Imagine how angry they’ll be when they find out the closest they’ll get is Hyundai, Kia, Scion.

    Even Toyotas are expensive nowadays.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      If they are angry about the H/K and Scions, imagine how upset they will be when their CPO BMW s*its the bed a week out of warranty.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        And they won’t care, because they have a BMW. You have to pay to play, as the saying goes. They will shrug and get it fixed.

        I drove used BMWs, Peugeots, Volvos and Saabs for many years when I was young and could have easily bought a new Corolla. But I didn’t, because Corollas make me lose the will to live. The added cost of a nice car is money well spent if you actually care about cars. If you don’t, buy a Corolla – 300K people a year can’t all be wrong, but that doesn’t make a Corolla in any way desirable.

        These days the choice is not between reliable and walking all the time, it is between reliable and barely a bit less reliable.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “And they won’t care, because they have a BMW. You have to pay to play”

          I’m not sure if the millennials understand this.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            You guys can pay to play all you want.

            I’m a 30-something dad, and I got better things to do with my time and money than throw good money after bad that way.

            It would be even harder to convince a practical 20-something to pay-to-play. Remebering my 20s, I didn’t know if I’d have a career or a family – and I was desperately trying to earn both, despite what I thought might be tall odds. There’s not a lot of room for frivelous luxury debt when that’s what your situation and goal.

            It got better form me, but now that I’m a dad my kid is a higher priority than paying to play.

            Its not like nobody told us practical people that you can pay to play. It’s just that the value proposition is lousy.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “The young crowd isn’t stupid – they want what they see rich people driving.

      Beemer, Benz or Bentley.”

      I would call that exactly stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      I realize it’s oft repeated, and I certainly wouldn’t want to trample Derek’s ‘voice-of-the-generation’ approach, but there are 2 kinds of Gen-Y’s: Those who want a car, and those who don’t. Failure to appreciate that your target market includes both groups without pandering to one or the other looks to spell commercial failure.

      I know plenty of people who genuinely don’t care what the badge on their car is as long as it starts in the morning, doesn’t cost much to run or insure, will keep them safe in an accident, and ideally lasts at least 5 years without a significant trip to the mechanic. Most of them live on their own, many with a roommate because it makes financial sense (not because they have to) and a job they’ve been at for 12-24 months. Most of them went to college, came out, and got a job in something other than what they went to school for. Most of them are almost done or recently finished paying student debt, and really aren’t looking forward to re-up a huge amount of credit, even if their Average scores and slightly-below-Average income qualify them for it.

      And they basically stratify. The ones who need 4 wheels and a low fuel bill trend towards Kia and Hyundai, the stable ones are in Subarus and VW’s, and the 2-3 aspirational ones are in poverty-spec Lexus and Audi.

      I think Bigtruck inadvertently makes a point – people don’t “Aspire” to own a Kia. There is a huge contingent of my generation that doesn’t really Aspire when it comes to cars at all. “They want what they see rich people driving” – sure, some of them do. But you have to remember that this demo has lived through 2 major recessions in less than a decade, and their parent’s financial troubles have directly impacted them.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I wholeheartedly agree. For many young people (most?), a car is simply an a-b appliance, just like it is for the population at large. Sure, having a 3 series lease or a IS250 is something some of them aspire to as a prestige item, but most just want to be able to drive to hang out at a house party, go shopping, etc. For those living in cities, that need for personal transportation is diminished, just like it is for the population at large.

        SA friend at work is a perfect example. Not into cars, he has an early 90s accord with over 200k on it, and has a very good paying job. Seeing as we’re in the midwest, he needs it to get to work and to get around in general. His priorities are student loans and saving for the future. The accord has served faithfully with no surprises (besides being vandalized a few times and stolen once). The first major repair that’s been done is me replacing the CV axles. He’s know starting to look around at newer rides, something new that doesn’t rattle and doesn’t have a stained up and worn interior. Beyond wanting a stick shift (good man), and having a few aesthetic opinions (doesn’t like SUVs/CUVs/kia souls), he’s open to anything reliable and practical, preferably a wagon or hatchback.

        Despite my gen y “enthusiast” self labeling, I drive a 2012 Civic. I, like so many others, place value and reliability ahead of style and even driving dynamics in a daily driver. I guess my one concession to fun in that car is the 5spd manual, but that’s partly because it was cheaper to buy. I have my motorcycle to have fun on the road, and my old 4runner for outdoors activities and messing around off road. Not gonna lie, some days I look at the civic and think how nice it’d be to drive in to work in a mid 80s Parisienne or a 1987 Civic Si hatchback or some other cool old ride I find on CL for cheap. But having a backup car that only needs oil and filters and that I can drive across the country at the drop of a hat is really nice.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I just had a brief conversation with our 21yo intern about Gen Y buying habits, his exact words were ‘I like to buy new”. I asked if he were offered a job here what would he buy, to wit he replied he didn’t know and said it would depend on how much longer his 04 Civic/170K would go.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        What exactly was this Gen-Y referring to with their buying habits? If it’s the car, they haven’t done that in a decade. It’s a very different discussion when you are talking about a $600 (or lets be honest, $150 with subsidizing built into your monthly) phone or even something nicer like a fancy TV or computer – buying ‘used’ is a much bigger stigma.

        What kinds of big-ticket ‘new’ purchases is Gen-Y making? Once you cross house and car off the list – which is happening – there really aren’t a lot of durable-goods purchases left for my generation. Clothes are effectively disposable, most people under 30 do not purchase shoes they expect to last more than 12-18 mos. We are the result of a disposable consumer society that has placed more intrinsic social value on information than on physical objects, for better or for worse – I know people who’ve spent more money on their music collections since high school than on their cars.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I mentioned the Generation Why series and I asked him if he would buy a new car if we offered him a job. I think he meant to say he buys new generally speaking, and if his Civic blew up he’d be looking for something new vs CPO or used. Personally I’m on the other end of the spectrum, I buy everything used inc laptop computers, some clothes, TVs, appliances, cars but then again I understand my own needs and the depreciation curve.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            What depreciation curve? Depreciation is now linear.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            1. Deprecation in automobiles is indeed real I’m not sure what you mean by linear.

            2. All consumer goods have depreciation. You buy a laptop for $1300 and use it for two years, how much do you think you’ll get out of it? You buy a small fridge for $300, how much will Craigslist pay? etc

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        As a 24 year old, if I got a decent job somewhere I’d look into a Mazda 3 or a blue Focus ST, just as long as the quality/rust issues have been sorted out. Maybe a Civic, Jetta GLi, or Imprezza. Certainly no Nissans nor Toyotas (this includes GTRs and FRS/BRZs).

    • 0 avatar

      Well said, BTSR, especially the Lloyd Banks reference. Aspirational affluenza is a disease that affects many of my peers. Outsized expectations are a b*tch.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I’d be happy just to be able to afford leasing a Mazda3 hatch with the 2.5 motor, or something else with similar price to fun ratio…

        But I’ve never been “in the money”, maybe I just grew up slightly more sensible.

      • 0 avatar

        I pulled up to a takeout Fish/Soul food in my Jeep SRT and there were some people admiring it- I even showed one of em the engine.

        Then some dummy at the busstop asks me:

        “If you had $70,000, why not buy something better- like a BMW”???

        Enjoy your bus ride bro!

        • 0 avatar
          Flybrian

          The folks who want to offer educated suggestions for your car usually don’t own one. That’s usually factual.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          I love the SRT8 as an American-market Aspirational Status Display – it has all of the obscenity of the last gen of Supercharged Range Rovers with none of the implied genealogical heritage and an extra-large super-sized dose of Americanism vulgarity. It saddens me that they seem to have changed the tailpipe layout, as the last-gen mortar tubes were insane enough to be laughable.

          It’s easy to appreciate that the machine is pretty incredible (if coarse) – it’s hard to get over the Tap-Out shod demographic that seems to be laser targeted by sales.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      Yes, exactly

  • avatar

    Regarding the Hamster’s Soul commercial… I find it funny that the song “The Choice is Yours” by Black Sheep was released in 91, way back when I was in elementary school. I wonder how many teens heard this for the first time in the commercial.

  • avatar
    86er

    “For those who prefer excellent automotive reporting to the rantings of a 20-something malcontent…”

    *I* prefer the rantings of a *30*-something malcontent.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    What car ads do you think do the best job marketing to us? Or essentially, is it a case of simply “market the car itself”? The only car in the past 10 years that has ever had me even considering buying new is the upcoming 2015 Mustang, and obviously that’s not due to ads.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    You know, I guess they’re right when they say that my generation doesn’t want cool cars. After 28,000$* in college loan debt, something like a 25% unemployment rate, and a well over 50% under-employment rate for those employed, the graduating class of 2012 probably likes paying the bills more than new cars right about now. I know I feel that way about replacing my ’04 Saturn.

    *28,000$ principle in federal educational loans works out to ~305$/month for 10 years when it’s all said and done, assuming a weighted interest rate of 5.68%. Trust me, I know.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Primarily “It’s the economy, stupid”, but lack of affordability is changing culture and attitudes.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I would need mfg cost data to make the complete argument, but I might say “its the industry, stupid”. There is a real need to cut the overall cost of manufacture and to also limit the amount of losses to to fraud such as the PZEV and ZEV credits oems must buy to comply with unrealistic legislation. The whole industry needs to examine itself if it is to continue to grow in the long term.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        The auto industry is incedibly efficient, and will continue to get more efficient. Cars are cheaper than they ever have been. I got a 305 HP, RWD, 6-speed manual coupe new for $20K flat. And it even included the fluff basement dwellers whine about like power locks and windows, A/C, ABS/traction control (the latter of which can fortunately be disabled) and airbags all around.

        I dare you to beat that, inflation adjusted, at any time in the past.

        The problem (or solution to the anti-car greens) is that wages are stagnant, people are living in denser, more urban areas and the side costs of a car (parking, gas, insurance, registration, tolls) keep increasing. Also, housing and education cost inflation are crowding out the money available for a car.

        I know a lot of family lawyers, and another issue more contoversial is heterosexual guys getting trapped with kids. In the past there were outs, but now there are none, and a woman can get 25 to 40 percent of a dude’s income easy. Look at all the gay car blogs – there are some guys with disposable income. Over 40 percent of kids in the US are out of wedlock, so this is an issue absolutely impacting the idustry. Automakers cannot do much about housing and college costs, but maybe they need to start offering free vasectomies with test drives.

        • 0 avatar
          racer-esq.

          Or at least hang up these posters at dealerships:
          http://www.nyc.gov/html/hra/html/news/teen_pregnancy_prevention_ads.shtm

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          Getting popped for a DUI results in several years of hassles, limitations and expenses.
          Getting married is much, much more expensive and is an endless series of hassles, limitations and expenses that only gets worse with time.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            A DUI is not that expensive unless people are killed. Maybe $5K max in my state. Trivial compared to the reduced purchasing power of some guy getting trapped with child support (2 to 4 times that DUI amount per year, for 18 – 22 years, even if the guy does not make a lot of money). Marriage can be expensive, or can mean reduced living expenses and other economies of scale, it goes both ways.

            40.7 percent of births were out of wedlock in the US in 2012. 1,609,912 ( http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr62/nvsr62_03.pdf ). Compared to only ~1.2 million DUI arrests a year, which, as pointed out above, are much less expensive. The income destruction associated with those out of wedlock births is putting a massive dent in car sales.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    I’d like to see the average age of the Soul buyer to be honest….

    My Mom absolutely loves hers to death. It rides “high enough”, has the ability to carry everything she needs, and she averages 29 MPG mostly city driving.

    She could have afforded a much more expensive car, but why spend the money when she doesn’t have to? She doesn’t really see the car as a status symbol, but does take great pride in keeping them very clean.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I think that upright micro-suv seating position appeals to a lot of people. I test drove one (2012, 6spd manual, base) and I liked the seating position as well. What I didn’t enjoy was the omission of cruise control on ALL stick shift models. Also, the brakes were incredibly sensitive on the one I drove, and the steering felt very strangely weighted, as if the tires were under-inflated severely (no TPMS light was on).

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      This is the perfect mom car. I know mine would love it, if she’d give it a chance.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    The kia commercials are more exciting than the whole ownership of the actual car. The rental kia rio I drove is hands down the most miserable and pointless driving experience I have ever been through, and ice driven Sorentos and santa fes that nearly put me to sleep. They are literally Designed as appliances on wheels

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They resemble to me the fancy looking no name brand utensils or appliances Macys sells which are in reality just cheap Chicom crap you can get anywhere repackaged for a nicer store.

  • avatar
    kuponoodles

    ah.. such first world problems. sh!t, if moms and dads are footing the bill, and the insurance any car is ‘cool’. All of toyotas ads are lame. i can’t stand Jan or watshername. but the chevy ones, the attempts with the sonic and cruze, are just as bad… come to think of it… when was the last time anyone of us were persuaded to a car because of the commercials? nissan’s barbie 300zx is the only ad ever that comes tolind. and it didnt even show the real car. just an RC version.

  • avatar

    Hi – I’ll be moderating the discussion at The Globe and Mail’s auto site, GlobeDrive.com at noon ET today. Drop by and discuss Gen Y and their cars. http://tgam.ca/Dyne
    Thanks!

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    I really loved Subaru’s “Sexy” carwash commercial.
    I think the best ads are the ones which aren’t too serious (especially when they poke fun at the brand’s perceived flaws).
    If Toyota aimed an ad at their own boring image, it might be a good one.

    But virtually no one (including those who like Toyota as a company) is going to buy that the Corolla is sporty.

    As for Gen Y, I suspect that a lot of them have too many things competing for their time and attention to really enjoy cars.
    I know in my peer group, the car nuts are but a tiny minority – but how dedicated those few are.

    The others respond with a puzzled glance that asks “Why?” when I discuss the merits of a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Would be interesting to know what the next car bought by Corolla/Soul buyers is.


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