“The paint it pink and it will sell” era has ended: How car brands are attracting women

But whats new” Taking the hint that women didnt necessarily want their own car version , that they could be just as hooked on horsepower and whats under the hood as men were, and that the vast majority of females around the globe werent interested in, well, the colour pink, brands have finally changed their way of marketing.

According to the latest Carmundi research, one out of five women avoid car workshops. Why Some 22 per cent of women were not comfortable with the environment, 28 per cent reported that they were nervous about asking technical questions and 31 per cent 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.

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. This has allowed them to glean insight into subtle ways of tailoring ads.

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 brands joy campaign is targeting young professional women. And there’s not a pink car in sight!

Kia also introduced a seven year warranty, capped price servicing and roadside assistance, which has proved successful at attracting women.

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And before 2014, nearly eight out of ten Porsche buyers were men. However, that same year, 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. 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 Women accounted for 25 per cent of Macan sales in 2014.

This was the result of a Frost & Sullivan survey, which noted that there were more women with drivers licences than men. Mitja Borkert, a designer for Porsche, also explained that there are also a lot of rich women in the world nowadays, of which 23,500 are valued at more than $30m.

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.

Before it was revealed in Beijing,” Land Rovers design director Gerry McGovern suggested that the styling might surprise many: Those of you expecting something pink will be disappointed.

Its grey colour and gold accents would be largely due to Beckhams input.

“I’ve stayed very true to myself. I’ve designed a car that I want to drive, a car that I think David wants to drive,” she said, upon revealing that she kept her husband in mind while designing the car.

Other brands have been introducing more interior space, better quality materials such as leather and improved convenience features for parking and manoeuvring.

While you won’t see a Hello Kitty BMW Mini, it is worth noting that eight out of ten Mini drivers in China are women. 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 personalised, with leather trim and also comes with a reverse parking camera and a seven inch touchscreen that controls the radio, phone and computer.
 
So, the question is will women be a bigger and more valuable consumer segment than men And if so, will brands start designing most of their vehicles with women in mind Hopefully it doesn’t end in a “la Femme” disaster.

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