“Ford has a better idea.” That was Ford’s slogan in the ’50s and ’60s. It may have had a better slogan but having better cars certainly was questionable. At the time, most of the cars in the U.S. were domestics on a similar path of mediocrity and planned obsolescence.
That was then. Today, Ford does have a better idea and it’s called Sync. For those who want to be or have to be connected, Sync is the answer. Sync is, well, in sync especially with the younger crowd. Those who want to be on the phone or the Internet may not want to get out of their cars.
Which brings me to the point. A consultant by the name of William Draves says young people would rather cozy up to some digital media than go someplace in a car. In a recent Advertising Age article, writer Jeff Neff discusses Draves’ theory. In addition, Neff cites some disturbing statistics that he dug up from the Department of Transportation. He says that teenagers aren’t bothering to get their driver’s licenses. According to him, in 1978 about half of the 16-year olds and 75 percent of the 17-year olds had driver’s licenses as compared to only 31 percent and 49 percent, respectively, in 1998. And if you’re thinking that these figures don’t matter because the driving age has increased in many states, think again. Neff says the stats hold true for the 18- and 19-year olds as well.
To make matters worse, Neff points out that new drivers are driving less. Again, the statistics are disturbing – approximately a 34 percent drop since 1995.