Auto & the Echo Boomers: Doesn’t Sound Good

Early this year, Deloitte released a study that it had conducted among the members of Generation Y (those born between ’82 and ’95, of which there are about 60 million, three times as many as their Gen X forerunners, so they’re a rather important market force to be considered) and their feelings about the auto industry.

Early this year, Deloitte released a study that it had conducted among the members of Generation Y (those born between ’82 and ’95, of which there are about 60 million, three times as many as their Gen X forerunners, so they’re a rather important market force to be considered) and their feelings about the auto industry. While most of the questions were, of course, about reasons why they choose particular cars (women rated factors like gas mileage, storage, and environmental friendliness high; men highly rated leg room and horsepower), there was one question that got me to think about what the answer might be for the next study.

They were asked how appealing it was to them to work in the U.S. auto industry. And the results ought to give pause to all of us in the industry:

  • Very appealing: 8%
  • Somewhat appealing: 24%

That’s all good, right?

OK. Here’s where the kicker—right in the solar plexus—comes in:

  • Somewhat unappealing: 28%
  • Very unappealing: 41%

The “Somewhat unappealing” number is nearly that of the total who find it appealing or not awful. And the “Very unappealing”—well, that is very unappealing in and of itself.

Realize that those findings were reported after all of the anguish that the U.S. industry went through earlier this year.

If this industry is going to be successful going forward, then it is going to have to attract the best young people that it can.

The only bright spot may be that given what’s gone in the banking and investment industries, auto may look comparatively OK.