Five Rules For Writing About Millennials And Cars

Go knock yourself out

Go knock yourself out

If you have read any of the big car blogs in the last year, you’ve doubtless endured at least a few pieces on the “Millennial Question.” The role of youth in the automotive culture has so thoroughly captured the attention of car writers, hardly a day goes by in which at least one blog doesn’t add something to the debate. And no wonder: America’s much-vaunted “love affair with the automobile” has long relied heavily on a strong association between the youthful desire for freedom and the mobility that cars provide. If, as the data clearly shows, kids are less likely to buy cars than they used to be, it’s not just the auto industry that stands to be impacted… the very character of American culture is at stake.

Unfortunately, these high stakes have led to a more emotionalized discourse on the subject but not a better one. As I mentioned in my last Blind Spot on the subject, the conversation seems stuck between Baby Boomers trying to blame/shame Millennials for “giving up on cars,” and Millennials blaming Boomers for bequeathing them an economy with far less opportunity.

Regardless of which side you want to blame, it’s important to understand how complex this issue is. In the spirit of improving the discourse, here are a few issues that every writer should consider before launching into this divisive and far-more-interesting-than-you’d-think-by-reading-most-of-the-stories-on-it topic.

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