When Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn told the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan at the end of July 2014 that women’s increasing influence on the automotive industry was one of the four major trends shaping the global car business, the other auto makers probably felt he had revealed their secret, as the whole industry is pointing to women.
Women are as diverse and complex as the male side of the auto buying market.The female consumer of the future will dominate across all segments. It seems they have finally having a larger influence on new car models across the board.
In the past, the “cars for women” concept has been unsuccessful as they have simply been pink, however, today, more thought has gone into what is half the driving market!
So what do women really want from their cars?
Frost & Sullivan research shows that women demand intuitive vehicle controls, automatic assist features, integrated technology and a quiet, comfortable and plush cabin.
The 2014 Mercedes S Class developers said that they designed their cabin around the concept of “energizing fitness” and feature a host of options including a perfume atomizer, ionising air system and strictly no plastic. The new Porsche Macan – aimed at women – has almost endless customization options.
More than female friendly features.
The focus is shifting in car dealerships. Nissan plans to revamp 300 of their dealerships, in Japan, tailoring to women.
The dealerships are modern with a serene atmosphere and are equipped with a team of female managers and sales staff. It provides child care during appointments and female mechanics who avoid the use of unnecessary auto jargon to explain specifications of a vehicle.
In China, over 50 percent of cars purchased in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities are women; a lot of them are first time buyers with new earning power and are securing their independence via buying a vehicle.
Major auto makers are putting women at the head of vehicle design and roll out in these key future markets. Lamborghini’s trim and colour assembly team is 75% female, and BMW has an all-female team of engineers working on product development for the BMWi user interface.
Additional information: Sarwant Singh, Forbes.
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