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Will Hipsters Buy Cars?

Pew Research, for example, indicates that 60% of Millennials have some sort of tattoo, and if you have one, the research concludes, you're likely to have four. As such, Ford introduced wrap-around decals that allow owners to tattoo their car in a sense.

"It's a lot less expensive than when you change your mind and decide that that tattoo doesn't really fit your lifestyle anymore," Connelly said.

But gimmicks and pandering may not be so necessary.

That's because the struggle for auto-makers to crack the code of appealing to Millennials isn't quite so dire, according to Jason Dorsey, chief strategy officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics and the soi-disant " Gen Y Guy."

"Frankly, everybody's running around saying, 'The sky is falling, cars will not sell,' and that's just not true," said Dorsey. "The reality is, we're still going to buy cars--in fact, we're going to buy tons of cars--we're just pushing that back later."

Those big car buying moments, when someone graduates, gets that first job, gets married or has a kid have all shifted back dramatically.

"What the car industry as a whole is trying to figure out is 'how do we reach this group?' and then 'what do they actually want?'" Dorsey said.

"Automakers are going to start to get to smaller vehicles, with more bells and whistles and fancy stuff that connects to their lifestyle. So I certainly want to know my status updates and be able to post a picture and have these conversations when I'm around the vehicle."

That may not be enough to convince Taylor Horner, 23, a freelance model and performer in New York City. "With the economy the way it is, I don't think a lot of people can really afford to buy a car or even finance a car," he said. "People our age don't usually have credit."

Nor will it convince Amber Hunnicutt, a 23-year-old employee at NYU Steinhart's alumni relations office, to get a new car. She just sold her 2007 Chevrolet Impala, which was sitting in her parents' driveway in Virginia, in order to have enough money for the security deposit on her new apartment in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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