Young people don't care about cars anymore. Car companies suffer because of it
We live in very strange times... The world and the way it works has taken massive changes in the last 20 years. With global climate playing a massive role in decisions which companies make, this is changing the way we as people work and live everyday. However some industries take larger hits than others and it is because of this, that the car industry is having to make big changes to meet new customer demands.
What I am saying, is these new customer demands can lead to love, passion, energy and effort deteriorating in modern day cars.... People simply aren't interested in the automobile anymore?
An E36 competition car at the Melbourne circuit in Australia
And you know what? That is really sad, because honestly to you and me, the car enthusiasts, the car is more than a box on wheels. It is a piece of engineering or design that you can marvel at.
The way brands make you feel, when you sit inside a car they have developed, putting their expertise into their design, making you feel... special.
Seeing your old 1993 3 series at home parked on the drive, winning toruing car races on TV, makes you step outside, look at your car and make you think to yourself: "I am actually driving one of these!" A mode of transport you can have for yourself, engage with, spend time in, go anywhere you want in. The personalisation, the customisability of your car, to make it your very own... A car is not just a box on wheels, its a story and an adventure that you can create and share.
People take this for granted. Everyone does. But then again for us car people. Every drive should be an experience. Every drive should be fun..Every drive should put a smile on your face. And if you experience any of that anytime you go for a drive, you are most likely a car person.,
But the best thing about the car community, are the people. We may all have different interests in different types of cars, however one thing is for certain: We all share the same passion. And we can connect, share and enjoy what we love with one and other
So much so to the amazing car community, and a quick reminder to what the car is to us. But now unfortunately its time to take a dark turn... That is, the modern day car world...
It is almost as if car companies have forgotten where their roots came from, in the cars they build today, and use their heritage as a selling point instead.
Too Much Variety
For example, owning a BMW in the past was very simple. If you wanted a small family car? get a 3 series. A bigger one? How about a 5 series. You want the best of the best in an ultra luxurious package? Here is a 7 series. A long distance GT you say? Well the 8 series is just for you.
BMW had it sorted in the 1980's. They stuck to their values and provided cars for people who knew about the company. But the most important thing was: A BMW was distinctive. You knew you were in a BMW, when you sat inside one. There was a sense that some Motorsport DNA was inside every model they made.
In my opinion, things have change for the worse for many automobile manufactures today.
If you want a premium car today, you have the choice of small, economical crossovers, small front wheel drive hatchbacks, people's carriers and many cars with grilles too big for their own good.
The Modern Day Customer
In the world we live in, everyone wants to be "trendy" and "cool". They don't want estates. Nah that's for Boomers. They want trendy crossovers... Cheap, FWD crossovers, in questionable colours.
In order to stay alive in the car world these days, you have to stay relevant and current. This is why literally every car maker has an SUV in their lineup. That's what sells, that's what keeps companies alive.
I believe BMW have built the X2, which is FWD crossover because of this, and I don't believe this car deserves "The Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan as it was meant in the past. This car was built to sell hence why these cars are on the streets everywhere.
In the past, you would buy a BMW over an equivalent VW or Ford, because there was a distinct difference . There was a purpose. Not anymore. A BMW today in my opinion and for many, could be seen just as "fancier" Ford. They seem do the same thing. It is just that one is more expensive with a stronger brand than the other, for you to flex on your mate, who couldn't afford the extra 20 bucks a month on a lease...
BMW has to sell more cars to make more money. This unfortunately could have a massive effect on the quality of cars they make. Engineers have to build cars based on what the people want. To make money, you have to save money. Cost cutting in terms of manufacturing mean that unique cars like the RWD 1 Series does not exist anymore. And besides, would the average person care how their car is driven? People simply just don't care, and manufactures find the most cost effective way which could mean dropping RWD as in the 1 Series.
Where is the love?
And let me tell you something, you sometimes notice this lack of passion. especially regarding the customer experience. As vehicle manufactures' volumes increase, the attention to detail, quality and customer experience can suffer. I don't see why one should be excited about a company that pride themselves on premium luxury or driving dynamics, whose best seller is a family crossover.
I think the X2 is a good example of a perfect car for the average Millenial who can afford the 250 euro a month deal.
But you can't blame the car manufacturer for what they build
The majority of the people who are in the market to buy a car today are known as Millenials (Age 25-40 years). Generally car manufactures are reaching out to younger customers and these customers have a totally different opinion to mobility and how a car should be. They determine the design, model type, engine power, transmission etc which the manufacture will build to their desire.
Two major factors determine how car manufactures design and build their cars, are linked to legislation regarding safety and the environment. More electric cars and car sharing services are becoming common. Cars are generally growing in size to house the many different computers and safety structures that are necessary for the ever increasing demand of in car connectivity.
It could be argued that car manufactures place more priority today on services such as in car connectivity, meeting safety and emission legislation rather than design and driving pleasure as they did in the past. This could be the reason to why cars don't have the same character, charisma and style which they had in previous years.
And what is even more sad, is that the love, appreciation and charismatic design seems to be dying. Just go to YouTube and look up videos from motor shows 20 years ago. Notice the passion these people have in showing the world what they have been working on. Now a days, we have environmental activists standing on roofs of cars at motor shows, holding signs and screaming at the German Chancellor.
People are taught to hate the car from a very young age. They are told that it is a harmful and polluting box that makes no sense, and that you should take a bus instead. Obviously there will be less interest in cars. This is what the people have done today. This is why the car industry as it was known is greatly affected by the new demands and requirements of the Millenial customers today and tomorrow.
Thanks for that one Greta.