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Are we falling out of love with our cars? (News article)

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I have to say, automatics are a big blame. Agreed on that.

Outside of my click of car friends, I don't know anyone that knows how to drive a manual nor wants to. They see it as a burden, an annoyance and even a "distraction".

I've taught a lot of my friends how to drive a manual and all the myths and the misconceptions they had about a manual fly right out the window when they learn that not only is it easy, but...FUN!

Plus, being around other car folks will certainly help a newbie become more interested. I'm still involved with the Grand Am click, the Galant click and I'm getting to know the Accord click...having a sense of "community" is apart of the fun of being a car enthusiast. Especially if the people you associate with are local and not just on a forum.

As for that iPhone comparison to "grab attention" with customization...I see that going nowhere. People designing their own cars, as in how it looks? lolno We have enough ugly cars being produced. We don't need people with no education in designing, engineering and aerodynamics taking a stab at "design".

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I must admit, I agree with Chaos' reasoning (am I mad or what?). I find it interesting that in North America, automatic transmissions are the rage, with probably over 90% of all cars sold with automatics. While in Europe, the opposite is true. More manual that automatics (I suspect the automatics are starting to get more popular however). It is more popular for 2 reasons over there - first manuals after often a tad more economical on gas than automatics - given the price of gas over there. Second - autobahn style driving - people still want to be able to drive with performance and control and this gives them that sense of control.



I don't see the level of tailoring or customization of a car to the extent one can tailor an iPhone. It simply isn't economically feasible for the auto companies to customize each and every car they way they use to. Car companies have spent decades homogenizing cars to the options and cost/price point they are at. Plus all the customizing costs would be passed on to us, the customer. They did this for their economical reasons, not ours. That's why there are so many "packages" with bundles options, and fewer selectable options. For example, cruise control use to be an option "back in the day" that you could order separately. Now it is either standard equipment or part of a package or trim bundle. Color choices are fewer too. White, silver, charcoal, a red, black are the standards with a few others thrown in. Interior choices are often just one or two of charcoal/slate, gray, or black period. No red, tan, blue, white, green, etc. much anymore (yes some models do have some interior trim with colored accents but are by-in-large the exception these days).



The fact that more younger people do not wish to drive as much, I am still confused as to why this is. Perhaps with computers and technology and such, more of the world comes to their home visa-a-via the internet, HD TV, etc? Travel is not as much an excitement as it was to their parents? Cars are just an appliance and not an extension of one's freedom like it is for us? Cars have become stupidly expensive for young buyers and they are choosing not to buy via their wallets? Interesting points....clearly this can have dramatic impact to the entire automotive and the mass transit industries (as a whole) in the next few decades if this trend continues.


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I love driving everywhere, but after having my GA in the condition it was...I can understand (somewhat) of the demotivation to drive anywhere. Because the younger folks can't afford a newer, reliable car they're just unmotivated to WANT to drive for pleasure.

Ever since I bought my Accord, that spark has returned and I've been happily going on random drives again, wanting to go out outside and go somewhere. But I blame the tech we have now to a certain degree as well. With all this info and entertainment at our fingertips the desire to be out and about is certainly down and I see a lot of that through facebook.

I'd hate to say it's the newer generations bring lazy, but that's what our tech is doing, thanks to the need for instant gratification.

I may be 26, but I feel isolated for the most part to people my age for the majority of them. Just my mindset in general is different and thanks to my Asperger's, I just look at the world completely different from the average joe.

And what's so bad about agreeing with me, Frosty? :lol:

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Honestly, I think the recession has more to do with this than anything. Back in the 90's, you could pick up a used car pretty cheap because the midsized drivers could afford to upgrade before their old car wore out. Then they would then sell off their previous car at a reasonable price giving the next generation of drivers a cheap starter car that they could enjoy until it was their turn to upgrade. Once the recession hit and gas prices raised, all the full and midsized drivers started snatching up the smaller cars or holding on to their current car. If they did sell, they often tried to to get what they still owed which was more than most kids could afford. Also, since smaller cars were now in demand, even the prices on the normally cheap cars went up. This combined with all the car companies continuing to raise prices on their entry level cars each year even though the car isn't any better than the previous model meant that buying a new car required a decent paying job which was also more scarce.



Basically, prices went up, income didn't. Demand for cheaper cars went up and therefore so did the prices. Kids that were lucky enough to buy cars, got overpriced pieces of junk or at the least they were overcharged for their mediocre car. This "crappy car" mentality creates bitterness in those that could buy and those that couldn't, learned to use public transportation or bicycles. The economy may be getting better for the big businessmen but the little guys haven't felt it yet and may not for a while. The increased costs for everything including food, college, cars and gas will only prolong the problem.


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I find that a lot of the people I meet in the 18-25 year old range seem to not want a car, or if they get one they don't want much to do with it and only want it in automatic... these people tend to live in the city and have menial jobs and they just don't seem to want to try to go for anything... I have been hanging around with a new group of friends the last year or so and a bunch of them are in that age group and were of that mentality till they started doing more and more stuff with me... driving around in my Hot Rods and my 31 Pontiac and me telling them of my adventures in roadtripping has changed a lot of their ideas on cars and driving, and a lot of these people are now getting older cars, quite a few with manuals, and they are learning the joys of the car hobby! All it takes is showing them the way.

I live in the country, I'm 30 years old, and I rode a bicycle everywhere for alot of years...and I live in Canada... I got to love having a car to drive very quickly (especially in winter) and I am no where near falling out of love with my car or anything to do with cars.

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I think its a mix of everything you've said. Granted, B.F.E. (farmland iowa) isn't that bad, most of us want to drive, trucks, and try to tear them up... but still, they want to drive, and road trip. The internet is still the "new thing" here, there are plenty of nay sayers who simply would rather go do it or figure it out than look up the info on here, which amazes me.



But the instant and CHEAP gratification, 30 bucks for internet vs 2000 for a turd of a car, and you can instantly see the stuff you want to see online, for free, no gas... tires, upkeep... hell it's the same reason the porn business is diminishing, they can't sell something people can get for free online.


I also agree that kids are just listless, they're not even arrows without quills like they were back in my day, they're just lumps on a log. the less responsible for anything they can be, the happier they are, hand 1 an iWhatever, and thats all they need.



we're in trouble America.


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I too find it baffling that teens are going without getting their drivers license. My 15th and 16th birthday landed on a weekend when the DMV was closed, I was so peeved about having to wait 2 days to get my permit then my license. Literally the second I got my learners permit I was in the car with my Dad driving home. I've been driving on closed private roads since I was 10 so my Dad just threw me the keys and said drive home, no problem. Some of my friends and family went months, even years before getting theirs, that would have killed me!

A lot of the issue has come with the financial crunch and the stigma that "we have to save the planet!" thus driving has become this taboo thing. Everyone is moving (or has already moved) to these bland eco-boxes called "cars" and it just down right takes all the fun out of driving because you're concentrating on getting good MPG, rather than having fun. Part of the other issue is the roads are much more congested and people not paying attention due to things like iPhones, that it gets annoying quick to deal with these idiots.

I will forever love driving and cars


This combined with all the car companies continuing to raise prices on their entry level cars each year even though the car isn't any better than the previous model meant that buying a new car required a decent paying job which was also more scarce.

Cars are leaps and bounds better than even 2006 when I bought my G6, that is only a 6 year gap.

I do agree prices are being raised but the cars are ten fold getting better. Granted the price range difference from my G6 to Camaro are huge but looking at a base Camaro, that thing is full of technology gizmos and a way better V6 engine.

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My first car was the Phoenix. I was 16 when I got it and knew nothing about cars. Now look at me, I'm a GM fanatic. I'm currently 19 and I feel like there is such a gap between me and kids just one year younger than me. I literally feel like and old man because everyone seems anti-social and glued to their phones/internet, now granted I spend time with my electronics.



I built my own computer and I play video games, but I also like to just get out and escape from technology in the Phoenix because shes so archaic in my eyes and it fascinates me.



They don't get why I just love to start up the Phoenix and drive, its "pointless" to them. I love long trips on the highway in my 07 Grand Prix.



I get along better with older people. Hell I'd choose people like Frosty, JUSTA6, and notallthere over kids my age. (Yes, you guys are actually COOL in my book)


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It doesn't even matter if the cars being loved are "eco-boxes", the mindset of a car enthusiast is the same amongst all brand owners. The average person isn't going to understand why we love the cars we own, they probably never will unless they enjoy the hobby firsthand with us.

I've turned quite a few friends into gearheads and like I said before, the influence of seeing what others are doing and getting a sense of "community" really helps draw in new enthusiasts. Forums are still a good way to reel in new people.

The Galant isn't even mine, but I'm very cool with the majority of the East Coast Galant owners because of thegalantcenter.org. They're an awesome bunch, they're helpful and friendly and really make you feel like you're apart of something. I plan on going to the TGCNY BBQ in Queens for the 3rd year in a row.

But if we can get people to see past whatever "bad stigma" they see in car people and show just how much fun their car could truly be...the car community could really bounce back. BUT, manufactures have to not make their cars so dull in the first place.

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I don't think we're falling out of love with our rides, a lot of kids today aren't getting into it like we did back in the day...

Internet, pc gaming, auto cost and traffic are a real killers...

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Internet, pc gaming, auto cost and traffic are a real killers...

Gaming in general. Don't discriminate. If anything its mostly Xbox/PS3 because a majority of kids get into those at a younger age and they are glued to them. PC gaming is more expensive and you tend to find quite an age gap. But I digress, lets not turn this into a console flame thread

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Being an Xbox bro, certain games can really suck you in...

Forza 4 owns whatever spare time I have when I'm actually home...but it's ironic since it's a racing simulator and I basically get to live my wildest dreams of modifying cars I love then beating the balls out of them on the track with no remorse.

Outside of Forza, Sonic games and my RPGs and RTSs, I don't really put the huge hours into games like I used to.

Social sites like facebook REALLY suck people's free time away. I've learned to balance it out even though I run four fairly large pages on FB. Two of them I keep linked in my siggy below.

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I get along better with older people. Hell I'd choose people like Frosty, JUSTA6, and notallthere over kids my age. (Yes, you guys are actually COOL in my book)

Havoc you are probably one of those kids that would not piss me off and if I am ever in Mass. again we gotta do some real bench racing.

Just one question tho with these kids and cars. Yes they are not a priority to these kids but what are they paying for insurance. That is a ton of money to flush down the drain for a car. The costs are high for a car and I find it less and less likely for a 16-19 year old to shoot the poop in a driveway with the car up on jackstands. We used to cruise to Canatara Park here in Sarnia. Every Friday and Saturday night it was packed with Mustangs, Monte Carlos and Camaros. I drove there the other night there was maybe 4 cars and 15 kids. They say that the car hobby is 80% social and 20% about the actual cars. Kids these days are social 100% of the time with cell phones and social media. Like my Dad said when I was 14 go the F&&^ outside and do something. You think that these kids are being told that on a regular basis.

Society changes and I am one of the ones that are trying to keep my life simple technology wise.

With all that said right now I am nursing a sore back and one hell of a sunburn on my legs and back of my neck after being outside for the past three days on 5 different vehicles that showed up in my driveway. Two are mine the rest are buddies with troubles.

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