If you're a young Japanese hipster -- and really, who isn't? -- chances are, you're not all that interested in having a car.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a recent survey found that "only 25% of Japanese men in their 20s wanted a car, down from 48% in 2000."
Car sales have been slipping in Japan since a peak in 1990. They're down 30 percent since then.
Young Japanese people say they'd rather rely on trains and spend their money on iPods or computers than new cars. But it seems to be a bigger cultural shift, too:
Reasons include higher gasoline prices and Japan's graying population. But even more worrying to auto makers are signs that the downturn is part of a deeper generational shift among young Japanese consumers. Unlike their parents' generation, which viewed cars as the passport to freedom and higher social status, the Internet-connected Japanese youths today look to cars with indifference, according to market research by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and Nissan. Having grown up with the Internet, they no longer depend on a car for shopping, entertainment and socializing and prefer to spend their money in other ways.
Probably not a trend we'll see in the U.S. anytime soon.