Are women victims in car showrooms?

different_spinMaybe the automotive industry will read and react to the biggest survey so far into women’s perceptions of the car buying experience. But they haven’t got the message yet, hence this blog to help nudge this message further home.

Based on Mumsnet and Reevoo female customer data, this survey (by Good Rebels acting as Different-Spin.com) tells us what previous surveys have told us for ages – that women are critical customers for the automotive industry yet few manufacturers, dealer groups, garages or accident repairers are doing things well enough for us.

According to Good Rebels we are disenfranchised in this area. Yes, perhaps, but it’s an optional state of mind and if we want to do something about this we need to stand up for ourselves and be counted.

Which is what the not for profit FOXY Lady Drivers Club is all about of course, sharing feedback and handing out Red Cards as a last resort. I hate the very thought of women being victims here – or needing men to sort motoring matters out for us (which no woman does of course…).

Good Rebels research findings re women drivers

This research found..

+ 90 per cent of the women questioned would not visit a car dealership without a man in tow.
+ 56 per cent felt patronised by car advertising
+ 34 per cent felt that no car brand understands women

Looking for some good news, it seems that a few brands are deemed more female friendly than others but, in my experience, this doesn’t always carry itself into the dealership experience. Especially used car showrooms.

Hence the Good Rebels’ conclusions.

1/ It is time for the industry to start innovating.

2/ It is time for a consumer experience revolution in automotive.

Bring it on I say.

I’d then add

3/ It’s time to banish unfair haggling re car prices.

4/ It’s time for the industry to come together at the top to heal the bad image PR (like this and the perpetual proliferation of the male supremacy in all motoring and motortrade journalism) that makes women feel totally alienated from this shopping arena.

More women needed in the motor industry

But with an eye-watering statement at the IMI website over the weekend that only 2% of the motor industry workforce is female (even I was taken aback by this – can this possibly be true?) how can the motor industry in general be seen to represent its current and future VIP customers. And does it or the automotive press understand how they are making this worse by actively shoring up this boys car club?

When will the automotive industry start to heal itself here from the masculine Boardroom floors down?

I am writing this blog in my capacity as a consultant in this specialist area.

Steph Savill
stephsavill.co.uk

PS: I remain, as ever, resolutely enthusiastic about the future of the motor industry from a female perspective (it’s not as hard as it seems to remedy this) because benchmarking the genuinely female friendly businesses will surely lift the complacent laggards off the entry level floor. Or they’ll get left too far behind. And, trust me, there are many truly female friendly businesses out there, it’s just that they are not marketing themselves as the female choice.

PPS: If you’ve got this far, automotive businesses can buy this research. Let’s hope they do. And women can join FOXY Lady Drivers Club and help us get them (and more women) a better motoring deal in future.