NewestCars.net - If Mazda is hoping its new MX-5 Miata roadster will drive a revival of fortune with Millennials, good luck with that. Millennials and younger Generation Z car buyers are wimps. The joys of an open-top roadster just might terrify them.
Dangerous drivers, says research from Penn Schoen Berland, are the scariest thing in the world for Millennials and Gen Z. Literally.
According to the research, 88 per cent of Ms and Zs say “other motorists driving dangerously” are more frightening that public speaking (75 per cent), death (74 per cent), spiders (69 per cent) or the perpetually terrifying snakes (69 per cent).
“Younger generations are growing up with different fears than their parents or grandparents,” said Kevin Shkolnik, vice president, Penn Schoen Berland.
My father would be appalled. He was a child of The Great Depression and a veteran of convoy duty during the Second World War. His great fears as a young man were starving, a lack of electricity and running water and Nazi U-boats. Dangerous driving was not on the radar.
Me? I am a child of the Cold War. I grew up worrying about a possible nuclear holocaust. Complete annihilation of the planet and all life on it. Dangerous driving was something me and my friends did for entertainment.
Yes, yes, it’s true. You are no doubt shocked. But we worked on our cars, made them go faster than the tires and brakes reasonably could handle and rolled the dice on Saturday nights. I am a child of California. I lived American Graffiti. I would like to tell you I was the Harrison Ford character, but I was more Ron Howard. Either would surely scare the pants off an M or a Z.
The MX-5 would be a car my late father would have loved. He dreamed of Triumphs and MGs, but owned Ramblers and Fords. It’s just the way it was for a suburban dad in a middle level management job. As for fear of driving or other drivers, he’s the one who helped me rebuild my old cars in his garage. His work car - a Ford Falcon - had a steel dashboard. ‘Nuff said.
For me, the MX-5 has long been a car I have loved and admired for its purity and simplicity. The latest reinvented one is lighter and less powerful, more fuel efficient and quite stunning in its design. It’s a Mazda brand icon and deserves to be. It is a driver’s car.
Alas, it’s the sort of car that surely would terrify a Millennial or a Gen Z. A small car with no roof? Are you kidding? These two demographic groups are apparently spooked by their own shadows.
Mazda’s new tagline is “Driving Matters,” and it’s being pushed hard with the launch of the new MX-5. Driving might matter with Millennials and Gen Z, but research says it’s more likely to scare them.