Just got back from delivering my youngest and some of his roomies back to SAIT in Calgary. They were here for reading break. All Gen Zers (born between 1995 and 2012). There is no bus anymore. When you are trying to maximize your time in the West Kootenays using a plane is a crapshoot when attendance matters. Not to mention plane tickets are more expensive than a minivan trip with parental subsidies.
My male student passengers own or have access to vehicles here in the Kootenays but choose not to bring them to the city while attending school. Too expensive they say! Don’t need one in the city! We’ve got Car2Go, transit, taxis, friends with cars. Interesting perspective.
Before I was going anywhere near a school after high school I was going there in my own car. In my mind a car was my mobility as well as an accessory to my lifestyle. The cost of ownership was relatively low since I mostly did fix it myself.
Recent news suggest automobile sales have peaked in Canada/USA. The manufacturers are cutting capacity. Plants are closing. The big American manufacturers are cutting cars from their lineups and focusing on SUVs and trucks. Probably these types of vehicles are the only ones sold at a real profit.
The next generations are not as focused on vehicle ownership. They are adapting quickly to alternate modes of transportation. Ridesharing in the city works for them.
At one time I thought the price of vehicles was going down to the $5000 dollar mark. At this price point I thought the vehicle would become disposable (completely recyclable) and we would drive them for five years give them back and get a new one.
It looks like that is not the case. It seems as if $20000 is the bottom and the vehicles selling at that price have little to no profit in them. The required safety and technology content of the modern vehicle precludes making anything cheaper. Thus the manufacturers focus on small SUVs that will get them at least $30 000 for something that costs close to the same amount to make as the cheapest car.
The big auto manufacturers are all getting in the ridesharing business where they will likely manage fleets of vehicles. The money will roll in from user fees alone.
The vehicles that people buy will probably be the more expensive ones; technology laden hybrids, electric vehicles, and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
As far as I can tell all of these vehicles will require someone to keep them rolling. That will likely be my job security for the foreseeable future.