“In 2017, my generation outspends baby boomers,” Mr. Dorsey said. “And at that moment everything starts to change.”
While dealers may not have much of a say when it comes to the realities of the available workforce or the marketplace, they can choose to view these changes as a challenge or an opportunity.
“There's sweeping change that's coming across, and for those of us in here that choose to deal with it, you guys are going to have an advantage because there are so many that will choose to ignore it,” he said.
Parenting is key
One area where commonly held views on Gen Yers are not unfounded is in regard to life experience, Mr. Dorsey said, adding that the average 28-year-old today is about three to five years behind where baby boomers were at the same age.
“When my generation shows up to work today we are on average up to…six years older when we show up for our first job than when many of you in this room started working,” he told dealers.
According to Mr. Dorsey, this is a huge issue in the industry because dealers don't see the “24-year-old who walks in who's really never had a job, ever. No, you see yourself at 24 — you had two kids, a house and a boat. And many of you in here had a house without a cosigner, which [today] is impossible.
“And the result is you are now forced to work with us and sell to us in addition to three or four other generations at the same time.”
Millennials who are finishing their education, entering the workforce, getting married and having their first child are doing so “older than ever before since we've been keeping records,” Mr. Dorsey noted.
In addition, the more education individuals have the older they are when they finally do get married, he said. Generation Y is the first generation in U.S. history where it has become socially acceptable to get married after age 30.
And according to Mr. Dorsey, the biggest trend affecting the industry today is parenting.
“How you are raised is the greatest indicator of what you are going to do in the workplace and the market place,” he said, adding that baby boomers have a “distinct parenting philosophy” that has come back to haunt them.
Baby boomers were raised to be independent from an earlier age, Mr. Dorsey said.
“You turned 18, your mom and your dad met you at the door, because they were married — to each other — and they said, ‘We love you. We are so proud of you. You have a big future ahead. But you're 18 now, so you can either get a job, get married, go to college, join the military, we don't care. Get out.'
“And you wanted to leave!”