There was an interesting article in the New York Times last week about GM's efforts to connect with "millennials," the generation of consumers born from 1981 to 2000. For a variety of reasons, millennials are more apathetic toward cars than previous generations.
"Today Facebook, Twitter and text messaging allow teenagers and 20-somethings to connect without wheels," the New York Times article says. "High gas prices and environmental concerns don't help matters."
The article cited research from Gartner that 46% of drivers aged 18 to 24 said they would choose Internet access over owning a car.
In an effort to devise some marketing strategies, GM invited a hip MTV consultant to its headquarters in downtown Detroit, and the article highlights the clash of cultures when it points out that the MTV consultant refers to GM's home in the Renaissance Center as the "Death Star."
The challenge of connecting with millennials is something that all of the automakers are going to be confronting in the years ahead.