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Poll Shows Auto Industry Is Shifting

What shape will cars and the automotive industry take in 20 years?

The automobile industry is extremely important to the U.S. economy. We rely on it so heavily that in 2009 the U.S. Treasury Department invested nearly $50 billion in General Motors Co. after it went bankrupt in a financial crisis that led to a recession.

That reliance is changing as consumers buy new cars less often, and self-driving cars and ride-sharing services such as Lyft become more popular.

A high number of millennials expect to change their car habits enough that the mode of transportation won’t be a necessity in 20 years, according to a poll by LendEDU, a marketplace for student loans.

The poll surveyed 501 car-owning millennials and found that a little over 20 percent of respondents don’t believe cars will be necessary in 20 years. However, 79 respondents believe the mode of transportation will still be relevant.

When asked if a car is a necessity in today’s society, 93 percent said yes and nearly 7 percent said no.

In terms of future purchases, a fair number of respondents (22 percent) said they didn’t plan to buy a new car within the next five years. Either the auto industry will slow down sooner than expected, or many people are satisfied with their current cars and are not afraid to rack up miles.

The rise of ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lift are causing some millennials (16 percent of respondents) to rethink car ownership. Self-driving cars are also playing a bigger role. When asked if they would replace manually driving with a self-driving car, 42 percent of respondents said yes.