Toyota sales CEO says fewer teens globally want cars

When it comes to the younger generation losing interest in cars, the issue isn't just about the USA, but worldwide, says the CEO of Toyota Motor Sales and Marketing.

"It's an industry-wide thing," says Masanao Tomozoe, head of Toyota's worldwide marketing operation. While "young people haven't walked away from cars," automakers have every reason to worry that teens are more consumed by smartphones and computers than the thoughts of going for a cruise in the family sedan on a Saturday night.

Tomozoe says the answer is pretty simple: create more interesting products. Automakers "need to make an exciting car" and think in new ways, such as "segment busters" that catch everyone by surprise.

Tomozoe is thinking a lot about the youth market these days because Toyota is sponsoring a contest to try to get kids to think about their mobile futures. "Dream Car of the Day" is challenging kids from around the world to imagine what the future will be like — and their products are being brought to life on the Vine video app.

The contest, begun 10 years ago, has attracted up to 660,000 participants from 75 countries.


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