Published on July 30th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Smart thinking product planners will survive tomorrow

Toyota Is Changing Their Products To Suit Millennial’s

Car marketers have been worried these past few years looking at how the next generation of car buyers might be diverting their attention away from ownership with the increased use of ride sharing and rising cost of living in the cities.

Asia seemed to be the last catchment area with rising car ownership and easy prey for some car brands to launch un-favoring products. This has changed fast as smart phones deliver global trends and up to date information, the millennials are now armed with more information than the older generation of car buyers and they are not easily duped into product dumping.

This is why only quick thinking product planners with smart car company bosses will survive. 

When it comes to connected cars, Toyota is betting on youth. That bet could complicate, in a positive way, some of the general ideas out there about the preferences of millennial consumers.

The venerable car brand’s redesigned Corolla Sport hatchback and its newest Crown model are reportedly Toyota’s “first generation of fully connected cars,” featuring technology that enables such tasks as closing car windows via drivers’ mobile phones and virtual assistance service that offers navigation guidance, among other benefits.

The integration of such tools is designed with those millennials in mind, part of the company’s effort to gain more revenue from a new generation of drivers. In Japan, for instance, the average owner of a Corolla sedan is 70 years old.

“At some point, Corolla became a car that attracted a much older customer,” said Yoshiki Konishi, chief engineer of the Toyota model. “Keeping that clientele is also very important, but what is needed now is a rebranding.”

The path to that future does not necessarily require the development of brand new technology. In fact, some of the features on those Toyota models are already familiar to drivers. The difference is marketing those vehicles as fully connected, a buzz that could serve to attract those young drivers.

That might seem to go against some apparent trends, not only in the automotive industry but the wider world of payments and commerce, where millennials are often assumed to be more interested in sharing or renting than owning a view based on those consumers’ debt loads and a relatively slow march to affluence and wealth.

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