80 percent of car-buying decisions are influenced by women

... and it's not because they are nagging.

3y ago

To those who might not have noticed yet, I am a woman. Due to that one little genetic *cough* flaw *cough*, I was given the incredible super power of seeing things from a different perspective. Today, I am looking at the car market.

I was recently made aware - by the joyful gift of living my life to the fullest with eyes wide open - that women are not exactly welcome in the car community unless they have some bits and bobs to show. Unaware of my sink full of dishes, I went on a hunt for data: numbers so complicated that it takes a phallic body appendix to understand to the fullest. Yet, I manned up.


Myth 1: Women make car-buying decisions only because they veto the men's picks

Oi, 1950 calling, please put your goods back in your pants. In 2015, Bloomberg announced that Mustangs held a 36% share of sports car purchases by women, making it the best selling sports car among women in the US. You might be asking yourself why women prefer the very masculine Mustang over more 'feminine' sports cars and wondering why your very own woman didn't buy you one for your birthday?

The answer is simple: they are buying it for themselves. Ford cleverly saw the growing number of women drivers in the US and created a market campaign tailored to reach those 80% of women making car-buying decisions. On top of that, Ford also features and encourages the women involved the development of their products.

"As one of the female engineers on the program, I can offer a different perspective from the men on the team. I believe the end result is the most refined total driving experience we’ve ever offered our customers,” said Michele Henney, Ford Vehicle Integration Supervisor, in an interview to Ford Social.

Women are making car-buying decisions because they love cars. Not everything we do revolves around men, ok?

Myth 2: Women are buying small SUVs because they drive the kids around

A study by MaritzCX indicated between the years of 2010 and 2015, the number of women who bought non-premium small SUV models rose 34 percent. The same study also found that more than two-thirds of these women were entirely responsible for the decision and 40% of them were single. I think I need an 8-inch long minute to understand that info.

Women influence 7 trillion dollars of spending in the US annually

Women influence 7 trillion dollars of spending in the US annually and influence 83% of all consumer spending in the United States, yet, the auto industry still seems unaware of how to target them or that they even exist.

"There is very little indication of any attempt to understand what types of communications women respond to," said Marti Barletta, a specialist in marketing to women who has consulted with major auto companies. "I just find myself astonished that the largest consumer industry in the world doesn't know who its primary buyers are."

The problem goes beyond marketing. Different Spin, consumer experience consultants, concluded after surveying 48,000 women (is that enough?) that they are "three times more likely than men to experience dealers negatively and that 90% would not visit a dealership without a man to accompany them." Makes one wonder why, doesn't it? I will make it really clear, despite of the hate I am about to get: Most men do not know how to talk to women. Most men do not know how to sell to women. Most men do not understand what women want or need... but I guess that last one isn't big news, is it?

"We don't do pink trucks," said Mary Sipes when she was in charge of all full-size sport-utility vehicles for GM and had women working as an assistant chief engineer and in finance, marketing and program management. "But we now realize these trucks are being purchased by women as well as men. And if you don't have women involved on a daily basis... in that product design, you're going to alienate those women who would love to buy it otherwise."

If you are a woman and need a new role model, watch this interview with Alicia Boler-Davis, Senior Vice President Global Connected Customer Experience at General Motors:

Myth 3: Women just aren't interested in cars as men are

If you totally ignored the title of this article and all the data given above, you might still be one of those people that think that the only way to get a woman in a car show is to drape them over cars or to hire an internet celebrity to do some snaps and stories. Women feel uncomfortable in the auto industry, according to Stanford University and to most car-loving women I have had the privilege to encounter in my life.

43% of women say social media has a major influence on their car purchase decision

The consequences of that? Women were the fastest growing segment of the online car purchase market in 2015, with a significant 58% increase in online sales. According to Frost & Sullivan, 42% of women say the manufacturer's website is their main source of information when buying a car and 43% of women say social media has a major influence on their car purchase decision.

The lack of space and the increased access to online media has led women to drive change by creating and accessing websites and apps developed for and by women to empower each other as car owners.

"Single women households are some of the fastest-growing households in the country. And we need to reward ourselves. You know what? I work my butt off. I'm going to drive home in a luxury vehicle. I'm going to treat myself. It's rewarding ourselves," said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with KBB.com in an interview to NPR.

Still not convinced? Go ask your wife's opinion.

She is always right.

Join In

Comments (42)

  • 80 per cent? They’re winning by miles. Come on, blokes.

      3 years ago
  • We bought our Volvo because our daugher said: "I want this and I want this in white color." The article is valid.

      3 years ago
    • You two are precious! Thanks for giving her space to be interested in cars. 💕

        3 years ago
    • Now that is how it should be. I got to pick one of the cars my dad bought (used), back in the day. I'll never forget that happyness I felt.

      All the bumps to you lol.

        3 years ago
  • Thank you for taking the time to actually clear up these myths! Women are individuals and not just a group people can make assumptions and stereotypes about.

    Great read as always Pat! Love your fire and attitude!

      3 years ago
    • Thank you for reading and for your kind comments. ❤️

      Yeah, it makes me incredibly angry when people say those things, especially the last one. I write when I feel like punching people. It keeps me on the good side.

        3 years ago
  • Interesting

      3 years ago
  • This article was really helpful to me. I wonder if another reason women are more actively involved in selecting cars is their intuitive nature and attention to details? Recently, I was faced with the challenge of selecting a new family car. I looked online and found a car with only 2400 miles on it. It was pre-owned and certified. The car fax showed it was only owned for a year. Hmm, I thought I should test drive this car. Once I saw it, I immediately made a connection with it (I know, kind of corny) and from being schooled here on DT asked intelligent questions, questioned warranties, read the fact sheet, and asked why it was only owned for a year. To sum things up, I have the privilege of driving. Pearl ( yes that is her name) every day. DT helped me make the right decision for my needs :)

      3 years ago
    • What a lovely comment, Karen! This is exactly what I and the Girl Power ladies want to achieve: empower women to make their motoring decisions confidently. Much love!

        3 years ago
      • 3 years ago