My father was never really a car guy. But, nonetheless he did have some interesting cars while I was growing up. One of the cars I remember fondly was his 1984 Grand Prix. Even though I was young, I thought that was a pretty cool car.
His was brown, but you get the idea.
This is when it hit me. Maybe the reason that Millennials are so disinterested in cars is because of what they grew up with. Those of us born in the 70's and before grew up in the back of big station wagons. And most of those were pretty interesting. And even if your family didn’t have a station wagon, chances are they had a big old boat of a car that you could fit a baseball team inside.
I realize that society changes, and our needs for vehicles has changed as well. But I think we were just becoming accustomed to boring vehicles. I think there a couple different factors that could be the reasoning behind the feigning interest of this new generation of drivers.
Look at the best selling passenger vehicles for the last ten years. They’re all one form of beige or another. Nothing that stirs the soul. When this is what you are exposed to as a child, where’s the incentive for being a “car guy” (or gal). While the Camry might be a totally acceptable transportation device, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone opining for the day when they can finally get that Camry they always wanted.
Another factor I think to blame is the vehicle manufacturers themselves. Can anyone think of a mainstream car in the last 20 years that was exciting? I really can’t. Sure, you have fringe manufacturers, but they don’t sell in volume.
Finally, maybe the reason that Millennials don’t take an active interest is because they just weren’t brought up in a car culture. With the advent of computer aided electronics in most vehicles, few people ever wrench on their own cars anymore. Most of them are too complex that the average Joe might not even know where to start.
So maybe we have it all wrong when it comes to the Millennials. Maybe they haven’t let the car culture down, maybe the car culture let them down.