Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Senior-friendly gadgets pose marketing challenge

Lane-drift warnings. Intelligent cruise control. Adjustable pedals. Larger knobs. Swivel seats.

These are just a few of the innovative features reaching the market that could help older drivers stay on the road longer.

But in an industry that seeks to project a youthful image, automakers face a challenge in marketing such senior-friendly and potentially life-saving automotive innovations.

The companies want to appeal to the wealthy and aging baby boom generation without coming off as stodgy to younger car buyers or, for that matter, older consumers who consider themselves youthful.

"The old saying goes, 'You can't sell an old man's car to a young man, but you can sell a young man's car to an old man,'" said Kevin Smith, editorial director of Edmunds.com, a car shopping Web site. "Market forces are real, and manufacturers will follow them."

The companies want to appeal to the wealthy and aging baby boom generation without coming off as stodgy to younger car buyers or, for that matter, older consumers who consider themselves youthful. 'The old saying goes, 'You can't sell an old man's car to a young man, but you can sell a young man's car to an old man,'' said Kevin Smith, editorial director of Edmunds.com, a car shopping Web site. 'Market forces are real, and manufacturers will follow them.' "

Senior Driver - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

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