Engaging Youth Market Key To Auto Industry’s Future

In recent years a decline in driver licensing and vehicle registrations among 20-somethings has been widely proclaimed as the death knell of American car culture.

Though more likely attributable to the recessionary weakness of employment and earnings capacity of new grads, the auto industry isn’t taking any chances.

Driven by spiking demand for small fuel-efficient vehicles, car makers are doubling down on the youth market with a slew of modestly priced offerings that are increasingly marketed like kids toys.

At a recent car show BMW’s popular MINI featured a giant fully functioning replica of the car’s control console and dash display like something straight out the Please Touch Museum. The central selector dial doubled as lounge seating, with fresh-faced company personnel in hipster skinny jeans, t-shirts and concert style lanyards greeting customers.

Fast growth upstart Hyundai has fielded the hot new Veloster Turbo targeting youth buyers. Even tradition bound Ford and peace, love and hiking boots era fave Subaru have taken their entry level Fiesta and Impreza models to new heights as the featured cars of frenetically paced youth oriented rally and drifting events.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.