Millennial teens are significantly less interested in cars than previous generations, a market research firm has found.
The study, conducted by the Keller Fay Group, found that teenagers aged 13-17 mentioned cars in social media posts 27% less than they did six years ago.
“This six year decline in daily conversations about cars among millennial teens is evidence that this generation overall does not find them as interesting as they once were to baby boomers,” Vice President of Business Development Bryan Krulikowski of Morpace, which served as a partner in the study, said.
The group found that the downward trend is exclusive to the automotive industry; in following with the general rise in social media usage during the previous decade, most other consumer products have enjoyed steady increases in mentions.
“[This trend] needs to be top of mind for the industry since brands can no longer rely on the car to be a symbolic measure of freedom for teens,” Chief Research officer at Keller Fay Brad Fay said.
The study may also predict permanently changing transportation habits in future consumers.
“Given the long-term nature of this decline and the resurgence of urban areas, the trend towards ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft and autonomous vehicles will have staying power — they are not just passing fads,” Krulikowski said.
Some brands have managed to buck the trend, however: automakers Subaru, Audi, and Hyundai all posted significant increases in social media mentions over the same six years.