Are kids truly fascinated by cars anymore? Way back when I was a teenager, everyone wanted an IROC-Z or a Trans Am or a Mustang. Maybe a few kids in the school actually drove them, but we talked about them and ogled them when they roared by. These days, kids are too engrossed by smart phones and social media and You Tube to even look up and notice a car anymore.
Certainly there will always be brands that fascinate a segment of the population – Porsche has its fiercely loyal following for example, and Tesla has built up a huge reservoir of devotees. But cars in general have become less aspirational and more like a commodity. After all, SUVs have taken over the automotive market, and unless you drive a Volvo – which has beautiful designs – your SUV is not exactly anything much to look at. Function wins over style these days.
Not that there is anything wrong with this – times change, tastes change, and we as a society value the new iPhone intro more than the new model year rollout. America will always have its car culture; they will be valued more for their functions, they will be more electrified and connected, and they may drive themselves, but they will definitely be around in droves. It just is a little sad for us who grew up loving the style and verve and muscle of cars. The Dead Milkmen wouldn’t have had the hit they had singing about Facebook after all.