According to marketers, nobody my age buys cars anymore, which makes sense since most of us don’t have jobs (broke), are swimming in mountains of debt (broke), or are hipsters who believe their multi-tier tandem fixed gear bikes are the future (absurd). See the key to reversing that downward trend of doom doesn’t rely on making really lame cars like the Chevy Spark, or BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition (yeah I’m picking that scab). The key lies in making cars for the car enthusiast, because automotive enthusiasm is at an all time high.
If you’re a nonbeliever watch this video.:
After one look, it’s pretty clear why guys spend hours on this site, years building cars and why others, like me, will spend the rest of their lives battling carpal tunnel syndrome. We like them, and we like them a lot.
What’s even cooler about this video is that this kid is probably going to grow up and do one of three things: become an automotive journalist so he can get his fix writing about the auto industry’s finer contributions, study to become a designer or an engineer and build the next generation of hypercars, or make boat load of money so he can fund the dreams of the former two. What big auto manufacturers fail to realize is that by neglecting the enthusiast they’re effectively eating their young.
Sure we’ll be quick to buy an econo-box to get us to and from work, but with more of us moving to cities and participating in car sharing programs that wouldn’t be a suistainable revenue stream even if we were buying new. If manufacturers some how managed to capture one tenth of the enthusiasm this kid has for the Pagani Huayra, and applied it to some new car in development, they might be able to convince some of us to stop using that common sense we bought in college. Seduce us! If it’s good enough, we’ll find a way to get it. We’re enthusiasts after all!
My generation hasn’t given up on cars, we’re just distracted by all flashier (and cheaper) technology that’s out there. Build the 11 year old kid in this video (me) a ~250-hp Subaru BRZ, a real hot hatch (not one sponsored by Jennifer Lopez), or even a mass-produced Morgan 3-Wheeler. It’s pretty much guaranteed he won’t spend his money on iPhones and video games that only hope to replicate the thrills of real life.
People are still very enthusiastic about cars. It’s just difficult to get excited about boring cars, or cool ones that are just out of reach for our broke bank accounts. Besides, aspirational purchases are so 2008.