While cruise control can be an advantage when you are stuck in stop-and-go traffic, autonomous vehicles on the open road are several years away.
And that’s OK by Hagerty since the company is focusing a lot of energy on saving traditional driving. While its roots are in classic cars and the specialty vehicle insurance that goes along with them, the company is trying to evolve into a lifestyle brand.
Tabetha Hammer, Hagerty’s senior manager of car culture, spoke at a recent gathering of women automotive journalists, bloggers, influencers and marketers called “Heel and Wheels.”
“We believe cars are vehicles to the best things in life—freedom, self-expression, family and friends—and we pass the keys to the next generation,” Hammer said.
Hagerty is a supporter of activities at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and regularly covers its activities on its website, including the recent Japanese Car Cruise-in, which brought hundreds of customized cars and spectators to the top floors of the museum’s parking structure.
The company runs a number of programs to encourage driving, including a Youth Driving Experience, touring series and track days. The company recently took over DriveShare, which is essentially an Airbnb for classic cars. It allows consumers to spend a day or two with their dream vehicle.
Gen-Xers and millennials are ready to carry the collectible-car torch. Data collected by Hagerty, which fields between 2,000 and 2,500 calls a day, indicates younger generations are absolutely entering the collectible-car market to replace those who are exiting.
Younger generations seem to exert downward pressure on car prices, or at least on their insured values. In particular, Volkswagens and vehicles from the Big Three American manufacturers are most likely to lose value from one generation to the next, per Hagerty. Even so, there are some marques that younger generations tend to value more than their original older owners did, including luxury brands such as Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz.
Another way Hagerty is trying to fuel the love of driving is via a slick bi-monthly magazine that members of its driving club receive.