Sunday 25 September 2016

How cars are becoming more like 'domestic appliances'

Published 23/03/2016 | 02:30

Porsche 911 Turbo S - the modern generation isn't likely to have a poster of it on the wall.
Porsche 911 Turbo S - the modern generation isn't likely to have a poster of it on the wall.

Cars don't mean the same thing to the younger generations as they did to their elder counterparts.

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That's according to the expert views of Glass's, the largest vehicle data provider in Europe, who say young people are completely changing how they view the car.

Such has been the change that Glass's Rupert Pontin says they are doing so in a "fundamentally different manner".

And that could lead to significant changes in both the design and sale of cars.

"Generation Y and those younger are learning to drive later, driving less when they do learn, and might not see a car as a key to personal freedom in the traditional sense," he says.

Mr Pontin outlines how, for many decades, there was a "set pattern" to the way most cars were bought and sold.

That often started with boys (no girls?) pinning pictures of Porsches and Ferraris on the walls of their bedrooms.

"They learnt to drive at 17 and then embarked on a fairly predictable upgrade ladder of car buying, starting with an old banger and working their way up to whatever model their eventual income allowed, perhaps eventually buying one of those exotic sports machines." But that has changed. While many people still love cars, they are seen less as a means to personal freedom and more as something like a domestic appliance, according to this expert anyway.

"For 'Generation Y' especially this is true. Their car buying choices are highly pragmatic," he says.

With the emphasis increasingly on connectivity, for younger buyers "the main aspect of a car may be nothing to do with the car itself but how well it allows them to communicate with the outside world".

He adds: "To be clear, we believe that there will probably always be a place for highly-engineered sports cars and other models that are very much about driving and being seen.

"But an increasingly large section of the car market will be dominated by cars that are fundamentally a very civilised form of transport."

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