Automakers: The Speed Limit is 65…But It’s Not the Age Limit

(DGIwire) – Think of the standard TV commercial or print ad for a new car. Who’s usually behind the wheel? A rugged young man with a mane of dark hair—or a dashing young couple no older than 30. But there’s something wrong with this picture. It ignores a huge group of folks who are buying a lot of new cars: those with silver hair. As of 2017, 50 percent of the U.S. population is over 50, and the number of Americans 65 and over is projected to double over the next three decades from 35.9 million to almost 70 million.

And guess what? Those millions of people aren’t sitting in rocking chairs on the porch. Many in their 50s and above are still in their prime earning years as their careers continue to soar; they outspend younger adults in stores, online and every other way by a factor of two to one. On a per capita basis, the older generations are spending more than their younger counterparts by an estimated $400 billion a year. AARP says they actually control more than 70 percent of all U.S. disposable income, and it is projected they may inherit about $15 trillion in the next 20 years. And yes—they are still buying cars.

“What a loss to automakers that don’t understand the potential impact of reaching and influencing those older customers who have the means and the desire to buy their cars,” says Dian Griesel, founder and Chief Influencer of the Silver Disobedience™ movement, who is also a model with Wilhelmina’s Icon division.  “As younger drivers tend to be more of the ‘rental’ or ‘use it as I need it’ mindset — it’s the older folks—those with greater financial freedom who grew up with the desire to get our motors running —who carmakers might be better off spending time wooing.”

Silver Disobedience is a rebellion against ageism—an active rejection and disregard of the notion that aging equals irrelevancy or obsolescence. Through a collective of branded @SilverDisobedience social media pages and traditional media outreach, its messages are heard and acted upon by a powerful audience. Its Social Media #Influencer Status helps companies and their brands build their awareness with “those of a certain age.”

The Silver Disobedience movement welcomes every social media follower who respects the cumulative experience that can only be gained from years of living. It partners with businesses and their brands that respect the lifelong journey that results in #SilverInfluence™ and the very special wisdom that can only come from age.

Speaking of age: Thanks to growing health and fitness trends along with medical advances, those age 65 living in the U.S. today are expected to live an additional 18 years on average. They are not just older—but more relevant and wiser through experience. And a lot of that experience can be harnessed in deciding which new set of wheels to spend all that disposable income on—and where to drive during the vacations they’ve earned over a lifetime of working hard.

“Take a look at who’s driving the next fancy car that hurdles by on the highway,” Griesel adds. “Chances are good their hair color will be silver. That’s something for automakers and advertising agencies to keep in mind as they plan their outreach to customers.”

Photo Credit: Gordana Kojic

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