A recent article entitled "Rebel without a car" that appeared in the Los Angeles Times Business section on Oct. 9, 2009 indicates that a shift in attitudes is beginning to happen in the USA, at least among the younger generation.
The article, reported by Martin Zimmerman, cites a J.D. Power and Associates market research report that:
"Online discussions by teens indicate shifts in perceptions regarding the necessity of and desire to own cars." Part of the reason, the article says is that during the current recession "the cost of owning a car probably makes less sense than it did when gas was 30¢ per gallon..." The report suggests that, "with the advent of social media and other forms of electronic communities, teens perceive less of a need to physically congregate and less of a need for a mode of transportation."
The analysis focused on teens, ages 12-18, and "early careerists", ages 22-29. The change in was identified from monitoring hundreds of thousands of auto-related websites, blogs, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
The comments about the article on the LA Times blogsite were also interesting.