As you like it
Yes, but what do they like? And who are “they” anyway? We are talking about young adults in German cities. Or better: We are talking with them. The focus is on the question about their values and attitudes. And the goals are to understand their way of life and to get to know the customers of tomorrow better. We want to know what moves them and how they want to be moved in the future.
Being young: an attitude to life
Values: opposites attract
Just do it – but please don’t break anything
Collect moments, not things
A saying that often appears on Facebook profiles, postcards or WhatsApp. In a way, it’s a good reflection of young adults’ attitude to life. For example, Sebastian (25, Hamburg) answers the question about his plans for the next ten years: “I don’t like the question. I just don’t want to think about it. So much is happening – who knows who I might meet in that time and what I might experience. Sure, having a regular job is important. But I’m very open and don’t have any fixed expectations – that can only lead to disappointment.” Patrick shares this attitude: “I don’t want to make a ten-year plan. I prefer to drift. Thinks will work out.”
Whoever now thinks that the under-thirties are completely detached from conventional moral concepts is wrong. We also get to hear very traditional views: “It would be ideal to have found a job by then that I can do for the next 20 years and be able to bring up a family,” says Jakob about his life plan. “Finish my studies, have kids at some point,” says Teresa (26, Ingolstadt). But she also has her focus – like many others in her age group – especially on the present: “To be honest, I only have a two-year plan, so that I can live more consciously in the here and now she says.
Digression: What makes our youth tick?
A special generation: They are on the move a lot, preferably without producing CO₂
“I believe that the bicycle will become more and more popular: It’s not only good for the environment, it’s also very flexible. Besides, it doesn’t cost anything and I don’t have to look for a parking space,” says Sebastian. Lena transfers those thoughts into the future: “I would like more attention to be paid to nature and to have more transport by bicycle in the cities.”
In her everyday life, she does without a car a lot. Life in the city offers good alternatives. But that doesn’t mean that the car has lost its appeal: “When I have the money, I’ll buy myself a car. It’s simply a special luxury. I won’t want to share it then,” says Oskar (24, Cologne).
Wanted: a car for everyone who wants everything
But for this age group, sustainability doesn’t only mean saving or doing without, but above all that manufacturers search for new technical solutions. “The main thing is that regenerative energy is applied and our resources are used carefully,” says Teresa. For the young adults, sustainability is not a question of doing without, but of the right technology. Creativity knows no limits: The young people want to have new materials that are lighter, close to nature, compostable and durable. In the discussion, ideas come up such as “solar-energy-absorbing outer skin,” the use of electromagnetic fields or of “ambient radiation” or of flow energy.
Increasing awareness of the environment and demands for its protection are less ideological than rational: The persons surveyed simply see it as sensible to protect resources. “Our generation was educated to be environmentally aware. The effects [of pollution] are already partially visible. For example, there’s no real winter any more, the River Alster no longer freezes over,” explains Tim, with regard to his personal interest in nature conservation.
That also applies to current concepts: Alternative drive systems are no excuse for boring cars, they say. The discussion about the electric car is uncompromising: They expect the same comfort and the same performance as with conventional cars. They see no contradiction between environmental awareness and driving pleasure or an attractive design. The latter is still a major expectation for a car. The time is ripe for cool electric cars – and not for more “eco vehicles.” The unwillingness to compromise applies to every aspect – also for generating the required electricity. Only when renewable energy sources are used can this be seen as a convincing solution.
Car sharing: getting there faster together
It doesn’t work: when suddenly nothing works
About the study
For the Future Kids study, a detailed online-panel survey was carried out (with more than 100 participants) as well as telephone interviews (with more than 500 participants). There were also three workshops in Berlin with a total of 50 selected participants. The target group was young adults between 17 and 29 years of age.
Further information related to trend and market research at Audi: Audi Innovation Research
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