Poll finds Twentysomethings Believe They Are Independent, Creative, on the Move, Risk-Takers That Don’t Conform to Business as Usual.

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NEW YORK, Oct. 6/PRNewswire/ — Beings unique and “your own person” is extremely important, but a mixture of some practicality and dependability is necessary for today’s twentysomethings (or Gen Xers), a Mazda Protege Poll of this group found. Sixty-five percent of twentysomethings consider themselves to be “out-of-the-box” individuals and define this concept as thinking creatively, taking risks, and being independent.

The national Yankelovich survey, sponsored by Mazda in anticipation of the first-ever Mazda Protege Out-Of-The-Box (OOTB) Awards, celebrates the launch of the all-new 1999 Mazda Protege and honors the most OOTB celebrities named in the poll. The awards program includes a national search to find and honor America’s most out-of-the-box individuals — people from all walks of life who think and act independently, and find creative solutions to life and work challenges.

The survey found twentysomethings believe in creating opportunities to meet their needs, with 52 percent planning to take their dreams and invent a job to go along with them, versus 42 percent who say they’ll find their dream job. Almost all are committed to making their goals a reality — 91 percent of twentysomethings believe they will eventually gain what they want in life.

“Twentysomethings are balancing both fun and responsibility in life, and as the Mazda Protege Poll found, 68 percent of this group want to buy products that fit their own personal style as they mature into their twenties and beyond,” said Richard Beattie, Mazda North American operations president and chief executive officer. “For today’s young, succeeding individuals aspiring to live life on their own terms, the Mazda Protege offers them a non-conformist, out-of-the-box choice, while being efficient and dependable. With its combinations of style, reliability and spirited performance, we think the Protege is the car to carry them through.”

As a testament to their autonomous spirit, 57 percent of twentysomethings says they enjoy going for a drive just to be on the road, with no particular destination in mind. When they’re in their cars, 62 percent listen to a favorite album or radio station, while 35 percent roll down the windows and enjoy the breeze.

As they’ve journeyed through life, the outside influences that have most impacted this generation include: the emergence of the Internet (52 percent), the growth of television (36 percent) and the struggle to save the environment as well as the changes facing the “nuclear family” (32 percent).

The following celebrities were named by twentysomethings as America’s most Out-Of-The-Box people in their respective specialties: Jim Carrey and Drew Barrymore (movies); Courtney Love (music); Dennis Rodman and Venus Williams (sports); Jenna Elfman, Michael Richards and Drew Carey (TV); Donatella Versace (fashion); and Rosie O’ Donnell and David Letterman (media).

The national, Mazda-commissioned Yankelovich Partners survey interviewed 504 people in September 1998. The respondents were 21 to 33 years-old, chosen to fit the ages most often associated with Generation X. the margin of error for the study is plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the research and development, sales and marketing, and customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 800 dealerships and is owned by Mazda Motor Corp., Hiroshima, Japan.