2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
For years, owning your own car was a status symbol. But times have changed, especially among young people. With them, smartphones and especially the Apple iPhone are the better image carriers.
For decades, car manufacturers could be sure: Germans love their cars. The precious tin was cherished and looked after, then one drove out full of pride. Today, especially for younger people with their own body, there is less and less government to make. In big cities, the number of people who even have a car - or a driver's license - is falling. Has the car served its purpose as a status symbol?
Not necessarily, says Dirk Bathen, Managing Director of Trendbüro Hamburg. Because mobility is still in demand: “Being mobile is a status symbol - but I don't necessarily have to own a car,” he explains. Car expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the University of Duisburg-Essen says: “Facebook and virtual worlds shape values young people - and less the legends of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini. " And anyway: The cost of automobility has "risen disproportionately in recent years, which is a strong argument for price-sensitive young people," explains expert Stefan Bratzel from the Center for Automotive Management in Bergisch-Gladbach.
Trend towards de-emotionalization
Bratzel speaks of a “trend towards de-emotionalization”. For a growing group of 20 to 30 percent, the car no longer plays a role - so they are not prepared to save on their own apartment, vacation or free time in order to be able to afford a car. Incidentally, this is not a German phenomenon - "demotorization tendencies" could already be observed in heavily urbanized Japan in the 1990s.
According to the experts, smartphones such as Apple's iPhone are in demand as new status symbols. However, the more the device loses its novelty value, the less the case, says Bathen. According to a study by the management consultancy Progenium, only a minority see the car as a status symbol, for most it only has a functional meaning. A Smart or an Opel therefore has roughly the status of a washing machine. Only those who own a Porsche have a good laugh: the sports car remains a status symbol.
The car has to reinvent itself
What do young people want from a car when the “old exhausted dreams” are over, as Dudenhöffer puts it? “The car has to reinvent itself in order to maintain its status with the younger generation,” explains the expert. "Lifestyle is no longer 500 hp under the hood." Bratzel says that the car has to catch up with developments - but younger people are hardly willing to pay for something in the car that they already use with their smartphone: “For many young people, the car is therefore part of the" old world ", which is the newer developments in networking lags behind and lacks the coolness factor."
Nevertheless, there are possibilities: The electric car in particular offers an enormous opportunity to arouse emotions, says Bratzel. Dudenhöffer estimates that the e-car already has the charm of the iPad - and that it could succeed in making the car attractive to young people in big cities again.
Above all, of course, you want to continue to be mobile - but how? The answer is car sharing - thanks to the low costs. And the carmakers have recognized this: Daimler is launching its “Car2go” car sharing offer next year in Hamburg, and thus for the first time in a city of millions. From corporate circles it was reported that the number of cities with which one was talking amounts to about a dozen metropolises in Europe and North America. The rival BMW also wants to rent cars by the hour in Munich. The important thing is: it shouldn't be expensive - that's the only way to reconcile young people with cars, says Bratzel. (dpa)