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Strategic Analysis of Women as Customers in the Global Car Industry : Companies Tailor Models for the Largest, Most Influential Future Buyer

  • October 2014
  • 106 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 2466776


Table of Contents

Key Findings

- Women are set to form a larger and more influential consumer segment than men, driving OEMs to launch specific models targeting women.
- In 2012, the gender balance tipped with women comprising xx% of all US driver’s licence holders, the largest segment across all age groups. Canada totalled xx% female drivers and will likely follow suit in 2014/2015 followed by the United Kingdom before the end of 2017.
- OEMs such as Fiat, Renault, Jaguar, and Porsche have been aiming key vehicle models at women. Smaller city cars started the trend but traditionally ‘male’ categories such as luxury and SUV are following. The top 10 OEMs will launch xx to xx vehicle models aimed specifically at women by the end of 2015.
- The dominance of female customers will drive changes in the retail space such as that undertaken by Nissan in Japan with its ‘lady first’ dealerships. Stores will become more lifestyle oriented, undertake a larger female staff, and emphasize consultative selling.
- Currently one of the lowest global industry averages for diversity at 18%, the automotive industry will proactively hire women at all levels. By 2020, leading OEMs will average a xx% female workforce and xx– % at the management level.
- New business models will attract women by offering features such as longer warranty periods, pay as you drive, and car as a service. Dealers, car brokers, leasing companies, and insurers will win competitive advantage by marketing specifically to women.

Eight Key Design Trends Female Consumers will Push

OEMs including Renault, BMW, and Mercedes are incorporating female-preferred features, and all leading OEMs across all categories will continue this trend.
Interior Cabin Space
Spaciousness is equated with comfort, and children are a key consideration. For example, 2014 models from Renault, BMW, and Citroen feature a xx% increase on cabin space.

High Visibility
Obstructed or unclear viewing angles around the vehicle are a key point of dissatisfaction. Use increases for panoramic sunroofs and glass viewing panels.

Green Credibility
This design feature is highly popular with women. The Range Rover Evoque is the greenest Range Rover; the 2.2-litre diesel option is the greenest Range Rover engine ever, with CO2 emissions of just xxg/km.

Intuitive Controls
Intuitive in this sense means easy to locate and identify, ergonomically positioned, and simple to operate (e.g., Ford’s easy-open boot).

Personalisation Options
Innovation in personalisation will be a key factor for securing multiple female buyer segments to the same model or brand (e.g., Fiat and Mercedes 2014 models offering nearly infinite personalisation options).

Auto Assist Functions
Past vehicles have been heavy and without assist functions. Features like park assist and sensorised doors are becoming standard.

High Quality Materials
The quality of the cabin materials used is equated with atmosphere—plastic is equated with poor quality. The 2014 models feature xx% more leather (compared to 2012).

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