Chapter 19. Case Study: How Generation X Drove Motorcycle Sales off the Cliff

When a market of Generation Xers follows a market of Boomers, the sixty-nine million Gen Xers enter a gaping hole emptied by seventy-eight million incredibly hungry, thirsty, consuming people. In other words, when Gen X comes along, we’re missing nine million buyers.

Any 11 percent free fall in a market vaporizes that market. That’s what happened to motorcycles (see Figure 19.1). In 1979, my company won a regional American Honda Motorcycle advertising account. It was one of our first nationally recognized clients and the source of great pride to the agency. In that year, Honda was selling roughly 400,000 units per year with a 40 percent share of the market.

Figure ...

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