Day 2 of DASH included a panel called "The Future of Mobility" and featured Tim Ericson, the CEO of Zagster, Zipcar Vice President of New Markets Dan Curtin, and Ken Laberteaux, the Sr. Principal Scientist at the Toyota Research Institute ? North America. The panel was moderated by NextEnergy's Tim Johnson (pictured). The message to broadcasters was they must look beyond the traditional audio companies to reach the most consumers. It was suggested that many people are considering different modes of transportation every time they?re looking to travel, from Zipcars to Uber to bicycles, and not just their cars. Ericson said, ?The car is one of those components but it?s not the component anymore.? And that?s especially true of Millennials.
As a generation, the panel agreed that Millennials are not placing as much value on the status of their cars. That's in part because of the available options, but the importance of social connectivity is most often placed above the make and model of a vehicle. Toyota Research Institute?s Ken Laberteaux said, "People in their 20s often attach to a brand (toothpaste, soap, car brand); when you see a lot of twenty-somethings saying 'we don?t want your product at all,' that makes auto companies very nervous." He explained that while Gen Z?s lack of engagement with cars is currently troubling auto companies, it?s more important to focus on a few years down the road. ?The much more impactful question is, ?What will happen to these people once they start families???
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