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New stats drive home Millennials' aversion to cars

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David Zalubowski/AP/File

(Read caption) This Feb. 2012 file photo shows a line of 2012 Focus sedans at a Ford dealership in the south Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. Economic instability, urbanization and the rise of mobile devices have contributed to a disinterest in car ownership among Millennials, Read writes.

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We've spilled a lot of ink on Millennials and their aversion to buying cars. Some data indicates that folks born between 1981 and 2001 are so un- and under-employed that their parents are the only ones who can afford to shop the showrooms. Other studies suggest that Gen Y finds driving to be a distraction from other noble pursuits, like, you know, text-messaging. 

Today, Bloomberg posted some interesting statistics that both verify and complicate those theories. For example:

Another crucial fact that bears mentioning is the increasing rate of urbanization in the U.S. In 2010, 81% of Americans lived in urban areas, and that figure has been growing.

What's it all mean?

The auto industry is going to have an increasingly tough time selling cars to young people -- even when they design those cars with young consumers in mind. That's because automakers have been hit by a perfect storm of unfortunate events:

So, the $64,000 question is: how does the auto industry adapt to meet these changing conditions?

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