How have millennials affected small businesses?

Generation Y: My house, my car also applies to millennials

But there is also the opposite thesis, according to which there is no shift in preferences at all, but only a young generation who can only start their careers through temporary employment and therefore have to endure financial insecurity much longer than young people from previous generations.

Postponing or canceling expensive purchases such as cars and houses would be a sensible adaptation to precarious conditions. The appropriate psychological adaptation would be to use a smartphone or a cool, minimalist bike to signal the identity of a certain group rather than a fat car.

Less income

True to the strategy of declaring grapes that hang too high to be sour. A number of empirical studies from the USA have confirmed the thesis of the skeptics. In each case, they confirm the finding that Generation Y owns fewer cars on average than the same age groups earlier and drove fewer kilometers by car.

However, as soon as they take a closer look and take into account factors that are important for the decision to buy a car and drive around with it, the supposed difference in preferences quickly dissolves into nothing.

According to this, millennials tend to have less income and assets than baby boomers, adjusted for inflation, and postpone starting a family until later. The ongoing urbanization trend has also had such an impact over the decades that fewer of them live in the countryside than in the past, where people are much more dependent on a car.

Yet for those who have a ladder, that is, a secure, well-paying job, the grapes of consumption remain as sweet as they have been for previous generations. “We can't count on millennials' preferences when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. They still have strong preferences for their own cars ”, concluded Christopher Knittel and Elizabeth Murphy from the results of their study“ Generational Trends in Vehicle Ownership and Use ”. They compared Millennials in pairs with people born before 1964.