Every generation is different, but in America, there's one thing that is constant: our love of cars. Owning a car has been a celebrated rite of passage for Americans since, ... well, since the invention of cars.
Until today. It seems that the Millenials have broken that tradition (they also don't like to buy houses), and that shift in attitude can cause a huge shift in the economy.
Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic explains:
... Millennials have turned against both cars and houses in dramatic and historic fashion. Just as car sales have plummeted among their age cohort, the share of young people getting their first mortgage between 2009 and 2011 is half what it was just 10 years ago, according to a Federal Reserve study.
Needless to say, the Great Recession is responsible for some of the decline. But it’s highly possible that a perfect storm of economic and demographic factors—from high gas prices, to re-urbanization, to stagnating wages, to new technologies enabling a different kind of consumption—has fundamentally changed the game for Millennials. The largest generation in American history might never spend as lavishly as its parents did—nor on the same things. Since the end of World War II, new cars and suburban houses have powered the world’s largest economy and propelled our most impressive recoveries. Millennials may have lost interest in both.