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Millennials are shifting car ownership preferences

13 Comments
By Norihiko Shirouzu

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They either don’t have the financial leeway or they’re substituting car ownership with ride-sharing or car-hailing services like Uber,” he said, adding Toyota would redirect its Scion resources to its Toyota and Lexus models.

Go figure? Many probably have debt up to the eye-balls and can only dream of owning a car right now and without having any decent opportunities for employment a car is one of the last things they may need. Plus here in Japan, particularly in Tokyo, who really needs one?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I can definitely say that, there are more ten year old cars on the roads in Japan now than there were a decade ago. I think article is sugar coating the truth. It has less to do with trends and more to do with economics. People are not buying new cars and are keeping their cars much longer.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

“They either don’t have the financial leeway or they’re substituting car ownership with ride-sharing or car-hailing services like Uber,”

Hello! There is a cause and effect relationship here, not an "or" relationship. Young people don't have money because wages are so low, and that is the CAUSE of using ride-sharing or Uber. Pay young people enough, and we will be happy to spend and grow the economy. Still, Toyota made billions in profits.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This article is not about Japan at all. Took me till paragraph 6 to discover this is about the US.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This article is not about Japan at all. Took me till paragraph 6 to discover this is about the US.

Yes, that is right, but it is trend in Japan as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With a stupid brand name like "Scion", its a wonder they stayed in business that long. Also, they only interviewed broke recent, x students or current students with no money, there should have been some opinions from those Ms with no $. Im not sure what its like in the US but now the fuel cost is low everyone is buying trucks and taks, not girls and wimpy slot cars.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I am a bit older, falling into Gen X, but have spent most of my adult life without owning a car. Partly it is because living in Japanese cities you really don't need one but mostly it is that the cost/benefit equation doesn't make car ownership a sensible option. When I calculated all the costs of owning a car (ammortized purchase price, gas, insurance, maintenance, parking, etc) it worked out to about a quarter of my income, roughly equal to my housing costs. And the only benefit you get from 3 months of your work each year is having a personal mobility device always on standby. Unless you are rich, live in the countryside or have mobility issues car ownership makes very little sense at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The same people who cannot afford to have children are certainly not going to be able to afford cars. The only places where owning a car is a necessity is in the countryside. But the countryside population is drying up, and what young people there are end up gravitating to the cities, were car ownership is less necessary, and extremely expensive.

Between expensive parking, biannual inspections, expensive gasoline, outrageous tolls, and stagnant wages, and fewer full-time workers, it is no surprise that fewer people of any age are driving. Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Subaru have all been losing money on domestic Japanese sales for years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I was going to buy a car last year, but then I looked at costs, and it's cheaper for me to catch taxis, and rent the occasional car, than it is to buy a car.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

What with the shaken,tax,high gasoline, parking space rental,repairs and maintenance and insurance ....who needs a car?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I agree that from purely cost / benefit point of view, especially if you live in Tokyo or Osaka, it's cheaper not to have your own car and use public transport with the occasional rental vehicle. For me though, I just couldn't be without it living in a medium size city and also because I value the intangible benefit of " driving enjoyment ". For me the car represents freedom, to go wherever and whenever I want, be it for a specific purpose or just for a beautiful cruise on a Sunday afternoon. Just jump in , put the music on and hit the road - priceless. It's all about the "feeling" :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I manage perfectly well without a car, occasionally renting them during holidays. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere they are a big waste of money. I've always chosen to live in the city centre, not far from work, where walking or a bicycle are sufficient for getting around.

I could at least afford a car, but many young people these days cannot. This is due to the concentration of wealth that has been going on over the past 30 years. Companies like Toyota, even when making record profits, have been extremely reluctant to raise wages. Repeat that across other companies and the number of potential customers is bound to decrease. One super-rich person who buys a few cars cannot compensate for one hundred poor people who can no longer afford to buy a car.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Key word here - affordability With most of the x-gens broke and in debts, there's little money left for cars...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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