This is the Nissan Teatro for Dayz, But Why?

The latest in a long line of automakers shaking a fist towards the heavens, shouting “Kids these days!”

There’s plenty of hand-wringing over Millennials’ refusal to buy cars, but there’s one thing that marketers know for sure: Young people love smartphones. With that fact in mind, Nissan has debuted the Teatro for Dayz, a Japanese-market micro concept car whose entire interior has been replaced with continuous, iPad-inspired touchscreens. In reference to the interior’s flexibility and connectivity, Nissan wishfully suggests that it’s “...easy to picture share natives making Teatro for Dayz the center of an impromptu outdoor festival.” For whom? For whom does such a scenario spring to mind?

In Nissan’s words, to people under 35-years-old, “Driving = Time disconnected from friends.” With the, again, Teatro for Dayz, Nissan is endeavoring to keep the demographic they are calling “share natives” in perpetual digital conversation. But only when the car is in “Park.” (Your author, 23, knows no person inclined to sit in a parked car and Instagram—what, the rearview mirror? HVAC controls?—but let middle-aged product planners dream.)

Each wave of new automotive technology has augmented the driving experience. Cruise control made highway travel more relaxing; anti-lock brakes kept cars straight and steering during hard stops; navigation systems rendered maps obsolete. Music, from radio to cassette tapes to CDs to SiriusXM, provided a means to pass the time without, importantly, taking eyes off the road. So how does browsing LinkedIn improve a driving experience? Why tweet from a car when the experience was built for a phone? For all the texting and digital interaction young people love, when driving, they’re looking primarily to move. Other generations were not sold cars with instruments of hobby furnishing the interior. No car in the Fifties came standard with a malt maker on the dashboard. Not a single auto of the Seventies came with an Atari joystick mounted in the center console. Stop this madness.

Generations are not monoliths. But there is one opinion held by every young person the world over: Teatro for Dayz, with its language mash-up and trying-too-hard “z,” is terminally lame.