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Nissan cracks youth dilemma

Dept. of Youth: Nissan has some interesting ideas to win back the youth - the Friend-Me concept shown in China this year, for example.

Getting youngsters interested in cars again a real head-scratcher for Nissan

18 Sep 2013


YOUTH are falling out of love with cars, says Nissan, but the company believes it has cracked the code on how to win younger buyers back.

Targeting a post Gen-X (born after the early 1980s) crowd apparently poses a new set of challenges, because these buyers are beset by a new range of distractions and values.

The time and money that was once spent ogling cars by previous generations is increasingly going elsewhere, so the company has come up with what it calls ‘Co Creation’.

According to Nissan, Co Creation brings young people right into the heart of the design and - more importantly - the personalisation of their future set of wheels. The key, it says, is giving younger buyers a bigger say in the look and feel of their car, and making it unique.

“It will also help bring people back to the automobile,” states Nissan’s “Upstream Product Planner” Rachel Nguyen.

“Studies clearly show that Gen-Y and Gen-Z buyers are not in love with cars the way previous generations are… they are delaying getting their driver’s licenses and delaying car purchases.

“The issue we have to address is how to connect with these buyers.

“We believe we can engage these people by actively involving them in the creation of their own vehicles.”

The goal, says Ms Nguyen, is to interact with communities of younger people rather than just a few individuals.

Nissan hopes to do that in various ways, such as through design forums and ‘crowd sourcing’ vehicle design outlets.

There’s also scope to create a safe and reliable vehicle platform for other entities or enterprises to put their own top hats on (ironically, just like the old coachbuilders used to in the early twentieth-century).

“We’re not intimidated by changing attitudes about car ownership and usage we’re embracing change, and powering ahead with exciting new concepts and designs,” Ms Nguyen said.

“You can sit back and wait for the future to overtake you – or you can seize the paradigm shifts, recognise changing cultures and societies, and lead the revolution.

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