July 21, 2019

How Not to Market to Millennials

“Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal issued a report on what may be the central contradiction of the modern auto industry. While Sport Utility Vehicles and crossovers (aka SUVs that offer no Utility when it comes to the Sport of driving offroad) have classically been the best-selling vehicles across all car brands, their sales have stagnated in the first half of 2019, growing only about 1.5 percent in a sector that’s used to seeing sales growth rates of 10 percent or higher. But instead of looking at the market and concluding that they should maybe try to sell people some sedans or station wagons or hatchbacks, car companies have decided to pump out… more SUVs and crossovers? Per WSJ:

Auto executives say they aren’t too worried because even as the sales rate slows, there is still healthy demand among consumers for these types of vehicles and their models will continue to stand out.

“Our crystal ball has this continuing,” said Bill Fay, senior vice president for Toyota North America.
Though Bill Fay, senior vice president for Toyota North America, is clearly back on his bullshit, his quote also speaks to the sort of Business Logic that every large company subscribes to. Bigger vehicles, the WSJ points out, offer car companies and dealers larger profit margins, so that is what they are going to make. I have no idea whether or not Bill Fay, senior vice president for Toyota North America, actually believes in astrology or not, but you know who fuckin’ loves astrology? Millennials. And you know what millennials drive on roads? Cars. And you know what cars cost? Money.

Right now, millennials don’t really buy cars at the same rate that older people do. This is mainly because one, young people have largely gotten screwed by the economy in the past decade; and two, because modern cars are fairly reliable, as evidenced by the fact that the average car on the road is now 11.8 years old. Despite being a 30-year-old millennial who hangs out with other 30-year-old millennials, I can count the number of people I know driving new cars on one hand. Buying a new car, or for that matter any car that isn’t some beater off Craigslist, is an abstraction for most of us.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."

"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."

"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."

"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."

"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."

"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."

"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."

"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."

"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."

"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."

"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."

"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."