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January 07, 1994 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-01-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Cherokee. Els Banks of Birm-
ingham drove a Peugeot 205 in
Amsterdam, where she grew
up. She preferred the Peugeot
to the compact-size Dodge
Shadow she now drives to Met-
ropolitan Airport daily for her
work as a KLM interpreter.
But both Ms. Banks and her
American husband, an attor-
ney, are mad about his Jeep
Cherokee. Whenever snow
coats the road to Metro, Els dri-
ves the Cherokee while her
husband drives the Shadow to
his office in nearby Farming-
ton.
Ms. Corey and Ms. Banks
are talking cars with friend
and neighbor Tricia Emmi on
a weekday morning at the Cof-
fee Exchange in Birmingham,
where they frequent. Ms.
Corey's nine-week-old son,
Sam, sleeps in his infant car-
rier.

The annual buying
power of the
X generation is
about
$125 billion.

She likes to drive, Ms. Corey
says, "especially in nice cars."
About the nicest car she could
have, she believes, is a Mer-
cedes. But meanwhile, she's
enjoying her luxurious new In-
finiti J30. A sleek midsize four-
door sedan, the J30 has a lusty
V-6 derived from the hot Nis-
san 300ZX engine.
The only way most twen-

tysomething couples can
achieve the same standard of
living their parents enjoyed is
for both to work, says Tricia
Emmi. She bounces three-
month-old son Dominic on her
lap while joining in the con-
versation. At 30, Ms.
Emmi is on a six-
month maternity
leave from her job
as a buyer at
Ford Motor Co.
Ms. Emmi's
husband, Joe, is
the Ford ac-
count manager
at Rockwell Inter-
national in Troy.
Because of his job, he
drives a midsize Ford
Taurus.
A Taurus is also on order for
Tricia Emmi. Her present car,
leased through her company,
is a subcompact Ford Escort.
She likes it for maneuvering
through rush hour traffic and
into parking spaces. Ms. Banks
agrees with her that small cars
are easier to drive. Back in
Amsterdam, says Ms. Banks,
"you wouldn't be able to get
around in a large car because
the streets are so narrow."
Members of Generation X
are entering the car market
at a time when a new car's
price equals nearly half an
average family's income.
Twenty years ago, it was one-
third. The X generation is suf-
fering, not from sticker shock
but from sticker rebellion.
They can't afford to pay the
new prices.
The result of sticker rebel-
lion and lower pay levels is that

;-;/)
r/• ■ •)4( g

The 1994 Ford Mustang GT
combines the best of the past
with state-of-the art
technology.

,

many twentysomethings drive
old cars and/or live with their
parents, even though they
might prefer to live indepen-
dently. Andrea Gash drives a
1988 Mercury Topaz and lives
with her parents in Bloomfield
Hills.
Ms. Gash learned Japanese
at her alma mater, the Uni-
versity of Michigan. From col-
lege, she landed a job in Japan
with a communications com-
pany. She returned home a
year later and went to work

• • .....

writing speeches and commu-
nications at the Japanese con-
sulate in Detroit. (For political
reasons, members of the con-
sulate's staff drive American-
made cars.)
Ms. Gash is planning on fur-
ther study of Japanese and in-
ternational relations in the
Washington, D.C., area, per-
haps at Georgetown Universi-
ty.
As for a new car in her fu-
ture, there is none. "I don't
have the money for it," says the
25-year-old. Like many Gen-
eration X women, she thinks of
cars as basic transportation.
But she does admit to liking
the looks of the Japanese
sports cars and to a fondness
for the Jeep Cherokee.
Laura Martin just bought
a new car because her unreli-
able secondhand vehicle was
breaking down. The 23-year-
old wanted to buy the new
1993 Ford Probe, a sporty
hatchback or maybe a Mus-
tang GT, the hot new pony car
equipped with four-wheel
disc brakes and 5.0-liter
V-8. She wound up with a
two-door Es-
cort LX and a
"bare mini-
mum" in op-
tions, all she
could afford.
She's a grad-
uate of Central
Michigan Uni-
versity with a
major in broad-
casting. She
had to give up
her first job, at a
small TV station
in Traverse City

The 1994 Honda
Civic DX
Hatchback
accommodates
five adults.

because she couldn't earn
enough to pay the high cost of
resort-town living. Now she
hopes she'll be renewed at
the end of her temporary
copy editing job at WXYZ-TV
news.
Lisa Hamway also had a
temporary nine-month job.
She worked on a contract
basis, with no benefits, at De-
troit Renaissance after study-
ing public relations and
marketing at Eastern Michi-
gan University. She graduat-
ed in 1991. The temporary
job ended, but a few months
later Detroit Renaissance
called her back for a full-time
job in management. She was
promoted to director of com-
munications in September
1993.
Not all her friends have been
as lucky. "Most of my friends
have had to settle for some-
thing less than what they
trained for in college," says Ms.
Hamway, now 25.
Ms. Hamway's new 1993 car
is a Ford' Probe GT. She would
prefer a midsize four-door, per-
haps a BMW, for driving peo-
ple around on business. But
"that's all the money I had to
spend." To her, a car should be
sporty and elegant. She rejects
the high-performance image of
cars like Mustang and Chevro-
let Camaro.
While still living with her
parents in Dearborn, she
hopes to get her own apart-
ment next year. But, she
adds, "It's difficult to pay $500
to $600 a month for a one-
bedroom apartment and
make car and insurance pay-
ments."



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