Cars for the Kids

The idea of specifically building cars for the youth market is a good one.

The idea of specifically building cars for the youth market is a good one. In theory. After all, there is a specific demographic, and catering to their tastes ought to be a big win.

But things haven’t turned out that way. According to Autodata, last year, 17,849 Scion xBs were sold. Which is not a good number. It is, however, a better number than the similarly boxy Nissan Cube turned in: 5,461. That’s for the entire year of 2013.

S Scion xB

2  Nissan Cube

A clue as to why this marketing strategy may not be working out so well can be found in a recent survey conducted by Gallup.

Gallup surveyed U.S. adults under age 35. Undoubtedly people in the xB/Cube demographic. And Gallup asked the question “Just in terms of your current circumstances, are you currently living at home with your parents, or not?”

And it turns out that 29% of those between the ages of 18 and 34 are living at home.

They broke that down into two categories.

51% of those from 18 to 23 are living at home.

14% of those from 24 to 34 are still with mom and dad.

Clearly, when you’re living under these circumstances you’re likely not to be in the market for a new car, no matter how hip it may be.

There is an abiding concern that some young people aren’t as interested in cars as they once were, that they’re finding networking through their phones more engaging than doing so in person.

Which is probably a good thing for them, because mass transit being what it is (or isn’t) in many parts of the country isn’t exactly conducive to being there, and new car ownership is undoubtedly out of the question.