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Car dealers need to do more to stop young buyers ‘falling out of love with cars’ – Google

  • Google’s Mohammad Mubashir Lone gives his opinion on the motor trade at Car Dealer Live
  • Senior multichannel strategist warns that young people are ‘falling out of love with cars’
  • He says that dealers and OEMs need to improve their efforts to reel in ‘consumers of the future’

Time 1:27 pm, March 8, 2024

Google says that car dealers need to do more to appeal to the next generation of buyers amid a worrying trend of young people ‘falling out of love’ with cars.

The warning came during an enlightening keynote interview with Mohammad Mubashir Lone at yesterday’s (Mar 7) Car Dealer Live conference in Gaydon.

Lone, a senior multichannel strategist at Google, said that both OEMs and dealers needed to put more effort into grabbing younger buyers.

He told the room at the British Motor Museum that messaging was failing to establish an ’emotional’ connection, leading to a lack of interest.

‘They are your consumers of the future at all levels,’ he said to Car Dealer’s James Baggott.

‘From the more affordable level with smaller cheaper cars, all the way to through to ten to 20 years time when they are going to be the ones buying from the luxury panels who’ve been here as well. It concerns me in a way.

‘I feel like young people are falling out of love with cars and as someone who, as a kid, was obsessed with cars of all types – from vans to supercars – I find that there is more effort and more deliberate work needed from dealers and OEMs to connect to younger audiences and give that emotional element.

‘There is a video I saw on YouTube with Richard Hammond talking about what cars mean to him in terms of the freedom they provide and the experiences we have in them.

‘I feel like a lot of young people are missing out on that at the moment because of the messaging, because that connection emotionally isn’t there.’

When Lone was pressed for evidence of his claims, he pointed to recent research carried out across Europe, which highlights the scale of the problem.

He added: ‘There is some interesting research Europe-wide that has been done on this, especially when you look at the reasons why.

‘Economics, the insurance, the cost of it, they all play a role but a recent study found that 54% of 18 to 24 year-olds said they would be open to just using public transport or a non-car life.

‘I really do think there is a substantial opportunity for brands and dealers, as we’ve seen through social media, to build those connections with young people.’

Lone closed out a busy day at Car Dealer Live yesterday with several industry heavyweights getting on stage and giving their views.

Among the biggest headlines to emerge where the reasons behind Peter Vardy’s changing business model and the news that Big Motoring World’s Peter Vardy is already looking to hoover up Cazoo stock.

We also heard about why the UK’s electric vehicle market ‘could be a bloodbath’ this year as well as getting industry views on the latest Budget.

Tickets to watch the full day back can be purchased on the Car Dealer Live website from today.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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