I think the ads that promote surprising a loved one with a car for the holidays should be banned. For many years, when I was a teenager/college student, I would watch these ads and fantasize that my parents would have a brand new car with a big red bow for me in the driveway on Christmas Day. Never happened. As a young bride I also had similar fantasies...same outcome.
Now that I am old, wise and mature, I wonder how anyone could believe these commercials. I mean...buying a car is a big deal, isn’t it? And how do they even do it? Do they pay cash? Do they take out a loan or a lease in their own name or the recipient’s name? And what about color, features, models? What if the recipient is environmentally conscious? How do they know if they should get an electric car, hybrid or a regular gas-guzzling car?
Spectrem asked affluent investors if they planned to purchase a hybrid or electric car in the future. The answer was maybe a hybrid but probably not an electric car. Only 16% of investors were leaning towards purchasing an electric car, however, 25% were considering a hybrid. More than half (54%) were leaning towards a traditional combustion engine, with 35% indicating that they strongly favored a combustion engine. It’s not surprising, however, that younger investors are more likely to purchase an electric vehicle than older investors. Results vary based upon wealth.
It’s interesting to note, however, that although most investors are planning on purchasing a car with a gas engine, more than half (51%) would be more likely to invest in a company that produces only electric cars. It was very close, however, with 49% indicating they would invest in producers of combustion engine cars. Again, younger investors are much more likely to invest in companies that produce electric cars than older investors.
But back to the commercials. I think that these car commercials are having the same impact on my teenage/college-age children that they had on me. My daughter’s Christmas list included an electric car in slot #1 on the list (probably anticipating a big red bow on the hood). She justified the request with the fact that she has an internship next summer and will need to drive. My husband and I rolled our eyes. Not because we are anti-environmental and don’t favor electric cars, but because of the absurdity of the car request overall. My daughter’s internship is in New Orleans. Last time I checked they have buses and a beautiful trolley there. Everyone needs to experience public transportation at least once in their life so that they can appreciate any future car they may be able to buy. If you are interested, however, in how many parents do purchase their child a car as well as other items that parents finance, please take a look at our recent report on parenting, Parenting and Financial Issues.
Maybe we should buy our daughter some shares of a company that produces electric cars instead? If any of you have ever purchased a loved one a vehicle for the holidays or even as a surprise, God bless you. I would love to know the details - cash, lease, other? I want to pass the information onto my husband because...well, you never know. Happy Holidays.