March 5, 2015

Wheels For Women: The end of the “paint it pink and it will sell” era

Wheels For Women
Carmudi sheds light on what top car brands are doing today to attract women

The “paint it pink and it will sell” era is now dying and will soon be buried six feet under. Car brands have spent millions upon millions on campaigns in an effort to attract women. We all remember Hondas “she’s pretty in pink” campaign, right? Well, such efforts from car brands are now a thing of the past. So what’s new? Carmudi, the easiest way to sell or buy your car online, sheds light on what top car brands are doing today to attract women. From gender neutral car dealers to female endorsed car models, we have it all covered!

Car dealerships to cater more to women

According to new research, 1 out of 5 women avoid car workshops. Why? It was found that 22-percent of women were not comfortable with the environment, 28-percent reported that they were nervous about asking technical questions and 31-percent said they were confused by the jargon used by the trade.

For Toyota, the experience of buying a car is just as important as the vehicle itself. The University of Toyota provides extensive training to dealers about how they can create a gender-neutral sales situation. And it is no surprise that women buy almost half of Toyota certified used vehicles sold by Toyota dealers. Nissan, as part of its “lady first” project, plans to revamp more than 300 of its dealerships in Japan in order to cater to women. Nissan has already opened its first “lady first” pilot dealership in the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu.

Car dealerships to cater more to women

OEMs targeting women with new business model
Given that social media is more popular among women than men, it follows that sales and marketing campaigns are slowly becoming a key way to capture the attention of women. Fiat already caters for gender preferences through enabling its vehicles to be entirely customisable. And the Italian car brand also releases many variations of its car models. Meanwhile, BMW believes that more women under the age of 30 are leasing luxury cars. Thus, the German car brand’s “joy” campaign is targeting young professional women. Kia introduced its 7-year warranty, capped price servicing and roadside assistance which have too been successful at attracting women.

Car models targeted at women and endorsed by women
Before 2014, nearly 8 out of 10 Porsche buyers were men. However, in 2014, the Porsche “For Her” Macan was introduced. It came with over 600 personalisation options, a panoramic sunroof and a higher seating position than shoulder line.

Porshe Macan

The Macan targeted females that were interested in buying SUVs and small sporty convertibles. And, in a further attempt to change its perception of being a “manly” car brand, Porsche announced sexy tennis star Maria Sharapova as its brand ambassador. The result? We quickly saw that women accounted for 25-percent of Macan sales in 2014. And furthermore, the Land Rover Evoque, which was designed and endorsed by Victoria Beckham, has been the first Land Rover model that has had more women customers than men.

Smaller city cars evolved to appeal to women
To attract women, car brands have been introducing more interior space, better quality materials such as leather and improved convenience features for parking and maneuvering. While you won’t see a Hello Kitty BMW Mini, it is worth noting that 8 out of 10 Mini drivers in China are women. Why? Well, the 2014 BMW Mini comes with automatic parking, an infotainment touch screen and back up camera. The model is 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider, 0.3 inches taller with a longer wheelbase. All this makes it more appealing to women. The 2014 Citroen C1 also evolved to appeal to women. The car is highly personalized, with leather trim and also comes with a reverse parking camera and a 7-inch touchscreen that controls the radio, phone and computer.

2014 BMW Mini

So, the question is will women be a bigger and more valuable consumer segment than men? And if so, will major OEMs design most of their vehicles with women in mind?

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