Fleming: Ladies Love Luxury – Cars, That Is. What’s Behind the Rise in Demand for these Vehicles?
Posted: November 29, 2012 by Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate
What’s Behind the Rise in Demand for these Vehicles
PITTSBURGH, PA. – Did you know women now are the primary decision-makers and influence 65% of all car purchases? Kind of astounding, right? Makes sense though. Women are more educated, more knowledgeable and have the expertise gained from the explosion of car and driver information on the Internet. Ease of information equals easier decision making.
Couple that with increased cash flow, a demand for above and beyond amenities, and treatment, it makes good financial and emotional sense for a woman who can to head to a luxury car dealer that allows her to be appreciated rather than just plunked down in a car and sent on her merry way.
The car a woman chooses is as much a status symbol as it is a means of transportation. The traditional role of women has long been lost, redefined, reshaped and retooled. Women relish their freedom and have allowed themselves, no, have earned the right to be sexy and indulgent. And along with designer handbags, yoga studio memberships and proper personal pampering, they have added luxury vehicles to their list of “I deserve it” items. And with a luxury car, one can always lease. You can’t say that about a Michael Kors handbag or Prada sunglasses.
Six Compelling Reasons Why Women Want Luxury Cars
1. They look stylish and sassy. Luxury cars are sleeker, sexier and faster than most of their non-luxury counterparts, and they’re made to be appreciated and admired. Larger wheels, chrome and wood accents, Bose surround systems are just the tip of the luxury iceberg.
2. It’s about status and prestige. A luxury car is the “physical manifestation of all that hard work they’ve put in at the office, the smart investment they’ve made, and the culmination of that dream.”
3. It’s about the experience. A luxury car “elevates driving to an art form. The quiet interior, the purr of the engine, the way the leather seats fit your body, and the feel of the wheel in your hands” ’ these are the things experienced in a luxury vehicle.
4. Safety is standard. Luxury vehicles are typically a “4 or 5 star” overall rating with the IIHS. Safety features like collision avoidance warning systems, blind spot alerts, rear parking assist, advanced airbag systems, and pedestrian notification are standard for many of these autos.
5. They have better creature comforts. Luxury cars come with heated (and cooled) leather seats, sophisticated touch screen search functions, massaging and reclining seats, blind spot intervention systems, collision warning systems, and self-parking systems.
6. They are innovative. Luxury carmakers are always building the latest and greatest features like stylish LED headlights, emergency call buttons, individual driver profiles and system settings, just to name a few. And, most have great concierge services also, making it easy to do business with innovative dealerships.
Luxury Car Features Attract the Woman Car Buyer
There are certain key features in all luxury cars that attract a woman car buyer. She wants a luxurious car, but one that’s functional and sensible and full of safety features. She also wants a car with sleek, exterior styling and sporty handling. HighPerformance.com claims women car buyers are also looking for:
- Robust performance
- Well-crafted and high-qualty interiors
- Accident prevention features that don’t taint the driving experience.
- Slick, small and nimble
- Exceedingly fast
The Top 10 Luxury Cars Driven By Women
In a recent study published by MotorTrend.com this fall, the new 2013 luxury cars are listed below in alpha order, showing ten makes and models quite affordable, buying or leasing, to women luxury car buyers.
- Acura, TL & RL
- Audi A4 & S
- BMW X1 & M5
- Cadillac CTS & CTS-V
- Infiniti G37 & M56
- Jaguar XF & XK
- Lexus CT 200h & LS600H
- Lincoln MKS
- Toyota Avalon
- Volvo XC70 & S80
Volvo: The Volvo S40 has the highest female ownership and recently took highest honors on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s frontal crash test. It also took first place in several luxury car rankings this year, and dominated top ten lists with three winners. Year-to-date through August, women bought or leased more than half (53%) of the Volvo S40 sedans retailed in the J.D. Powers Power Information Network (PIN) sample, which is fairly representative of the total market.
BMW: BMW has done an outstanding job of targeting young professional women with their recent Joy Campaign. Lease payments are “right where they need to be…and their ads seem to hit right home with the women”, says Kelly McDonald from McDonald Marketing. “Women want to have a great look – not just clothing, a great haircut, makeup and handbag. The car is just part of their look.”
Lexus: If Volvo is synonymous with safety, Lexus is synonymous with quality and reliability. Thirteen years in a row, it has won the J.D. Power Dependability Survey Award. Although Lexus typically has fewer top ten women-owned models in the rankings, it has often been the number #2 luxury brand overall in terms of female ownership.
The Dealership Experience
Luxury car dealerships provide the best customer service and most of them are taking that to a whole new level for luxury car buyers. They offer roadside assistance, free maintenance, sometimes for as long as 48 months, like BMW, and free car washes.
As soon as a woman buyer enters a luxury car showroom, she will notice how poised, articulate and helpful everyone is. When she first visits the dealership for service, she will be impressed by how much better the service department treats her. Often times the walls are made of huge glass panes, so she can see how things are progressing with her car. The coffee, or, latte, is free, as are the pastries, muffins or croissants. Usually, there are no popcorn machines in these dealerships. (Who really wants to smell popcorn when buying a car? Please, reserve that for the movies.) Instead of hard plastic or metal chairs, she will sit on soft leather couches while she waits for her car. She may even get a pedicure. Wifi allows her access to what she needs on the Internet. And, if needed, she will get a loaner car.
The awareness, compassion, and commitment dealers make to their women car buyers must be a part of every aspect of dealership operations and delivery. It’s no accident Lexus has such high marks with its female customers. Recently they have added two new positions at the dealership level; Vehicle Delivery Specialist and a Vehicle Technology Specialist, both of whom assist buyers with getting to know the features and technology of their cars at purchase, and, when questions arise.
The manner in which customer support and customer service is delivered to the woman luxury car buyer must be consistent with the message conveyed before the sale. If the message before the sale is based on luxury and prestige, then women car buyers will be expecting to be treated with luxury and prestige after the sale. If the message before the sale is based on quality, durability, and reliability, then service after the sale must live up to the same merits.
Quality customer service and operational expertise is the foundation of a dealership’s reputation for reliability, and the backbone of integrity with women luxury car buyers. Reliable service is, and always will be, a very compelling reason to buy.
About Women‐Drivers.com Women‐Drivers.com is a marketplace connecting women buyers to trusted Certified Women‐Drivers Friendly™ Car Dealers and encourages extraordinary commercial experiences and lasting relationships between these two groups. Women‐Drivers.com is a producer of highly engaging Facebook women+family content and publishes a platform of integration services that build social communities for car dealers. The Company provides innovative web‐based marketing solutions that build trust and transparency, resulting in greater sales and servicing from women. Follow on Twitter @womendrivers.