OK Boomer! Car Culture Lives On
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OK Boomer! Car Culture Lives On

In a world where cars have started driving themselves and a ride share service is at your fingertips, you don’t even like cars, right? Don’t worry, I’m just kidding. Tomorrow’s Technician knows you like cars and that you want to work on them for a living. But, you’ve probably heard that older Americans are convinced that the younger generation of drivers just aren’t into their cars anymore. The belief is that you’d rather have your phone than your vehicle; you don’t spend any money on your car; or you’re too self-absorbed to spend time tinkering with your cars.


It’s time for those statements to take a seat. A recent SEMA report shows those ideas are not the case at all. Car culture is far from the grave, it’s actually living the good life. 

In the new “SEMA Young Accessorizers Report,” a study of today’s drivers found that younger drivers are still modifying their vehicles with aftermarket parts and accessories, but the traditional sense of this has changed (Read the full study from SEMA at sema.org/market-research). Compared to other age groups, the study found that young drivers ages 16-24 actually modify their vehicles at a higher rate compared to older generations. 


Major takeaways included that 7.9 million of this young demographic who accessorize their rides account for roughly $7.2 billion in aftermarket spending. Plus, the study found that by age 23, more than 30% if these drivers will modify their vehicle, whether it be a minor or big project. 

And, let’s just get the phone thing out of the way. The study found about half of young people modifying their vehicles would rather go a week without their phone than their car. You win some, you lose some on that one.

But, what about the money? Those ranging from 16 to 24 years old do have less funds to do major modifications. But, they’re still using the cash they do have to make changes and make their vehicles their own, especially when it warrants a good Instagram photo. There are countless accounts out there showcasing the awesome custom vehicles young techs like you are creating. Chances are you’ve seen these cars on the street and noticed a window sticker with their Instagram handle. 


Social isolation due to technology is clearly not a problem here, either. SEMA found that one in four young “accessorizers” follow a car-related account on social media. In addition, they are communicating outside of the web. The study also claims 79% of young “accessorizers” said their vehicles helped them stay connected with their friends. 

Are you a young “accessorizer?” Tell us what you or your class will be modifying this year. Send me an email or tag us on your latest project on social media.  

By: Carley Millhone

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