Women are gaining more and more power, not only in political and business leadership, but also in an important segment traditionally linked to men: the car.
For the first time in the history of the car industry, a Frost & Sullivan report finds that the number of women with driving licenses (DL) in the U.S. over took that of men, not just in one of the young age groups, but (as shown on the chart below) consistently across all age groups greater than 25. The trend accelerates for over 55s and shows a wide difference for women over 70. The trend is applicable consistently across all developed world countries, although the balance has tipped only in the U.S., but Canada is close to having more women with DLs with the ratio of licenses granted to women sitting at 49.95 percent and has already tipped in over 55s. The U.K. is expected to follow suit within three to four years as current data shows that new driving license applications for men in the country are declining and those for women have grown by 2.5 percent in last three years. Even male dominated car markets like Germany, where 40 percent of drivers licenses are granted to women, has shown one of the highest growth rates for women with DLs in the last three.
Although it is hard to make predictions on trends related to car ownership, it is clear that 80 percent of car buying decision is now influenced by women. While buying a new car, women are practical and tend to connect the purchase to the ideas of freedom and independence. They prefer small and maneuverable cars, but further give importance to design, spaciousness, safety, quality of materials, vehicle color and sustainability of the car. They like options like park assist, clear lighting for petrol and easy access, integrated systems for mobile devices, entertainment (especially moms) and everything that can make car-time easier and more intuitive. For this reason, in few years women will look towards cars with advanced features like autonomous – driving, digital assistants and other health wellness and well-being features, celebrity endorsements, in comparison to men who will focus more on researching the vehicle’s technical specifications.
Women also have a tendency to base their purchasing decision on the status of the car itself or associated values like color and comfort and, when it comes to volume brands, are less likely to associate themselves with a brand, model or car variant (hatchback or saloon, for example). This is the opposite when it comes to luxury brands, where women show high interest in the brand and endorsements of the brand by celebrities. Case in example is the new Land Rover Evoque, which was endorsed by Victoria Beckham, the famous Spice Girls singer, and has been the first Land Rover model that has more women customers (60 percent) to men. Other example of cars women have bought in greater quantities to men include – Nissan Kia (3 door with 65 percent female buyers), Mercedes SLK (reportedly 60 percent female buyers) and Fiat 500, for which women account for 70 percent of sales, given its almost infinite customization possibilities and some models conceived specifically for women (500 by Gucci, 500 Pink). Yet women do not only like small city cars, as there are trends seeing to purchase expansion in segments traditionally dominated by men: SUVs and luxury cars.
So guys, next time you get overtaken by a woman in the fast driving lane, don’t feel like you’re being challenged, rather get used to it.
To learn more on A Better Way to Lease or Buy a New Car in NY, NJ or CT, visit Car Leasing Concierge's website at - www.carleasingconcierge.com - or call us at 1-800-886-1950.