Lately, lots of yakety-yak about how youngsters no longer care about cars is causing consternation at the companies that build such conveyances. Urban renewal, FaceThis and PinThat, Zipcar, and an unquenchable thirst for technology are, evidently, making car ownership less of a necessity and, by extension, less of a rite of passage. Indeed, modern teenagers long for the day when they’ll get their first smartphone and unlimited data plan, not their first car, and this reality has auto manufacturers worried about their business models. If the Millennials decide, en masse, to hang up the car keys, automakers worry that they are S-c-r-e-w-e-d.
That’s why I elected to spend 20 minutes talking about the 2013 Honda Civic Si with a young man who stopped by my house while the Rallye Red car seen in the accompanying photos sat in the driveway, glowing in the spring sunshine. He was a Honda guy, a modified Civic owner, and he was keenly interested in seeing what Honda changed for the 2013 model year, and finding out what I thought of it. We bonded over the Si, this youthful and exuberant stranger and I, and I realized that maybe, just maybe, all of the yakety-yak about the impending demise of personal transportation amongst our nation’s young people is nothing more than the requirements of a 24/7 news cycle than any actual anti-car trend.
At least, that’s what I’m hoping.