Is the car culture dying?

A new study by Federal Reserve economists Christopher Kurz, Geng Li and Daniel Vine throws cold water on generational explanations. It suggests that most potential young buyers couldn’t afford a new vehicle or didn’t want to incur the debt and operating expenses of doing so. Economic considerations dominated. Indeed, the only age group with big increases were those 55 or higher.
When the economists adjusted the buying behavior of different age groups for income, employment status and some demographic factors (marriage, children, education, race), they found few differences. “Economic factors,” as opposed to “permanent shifts in tastes and preferences,” shaped car sales.