In 1955, for example, Dodge introduced ”La Femme,” the first


In 1955, for example, Dodge introduced ”La Femme,” the first

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They Design Autos That Please Women

AFTER decades of being virtually canada goose outlet ignored, women have finally gotten the attention of carmakers.

With women constituting nearly half of today’s car buyers in the United States, and spending up to $65 canada goose uk black friday billion annually on car purchases, canada goose black friday sale car manufacturers are pulling canada goose outlet canada out the stops to please women car buyers.

From adding special features, such as adjustable seat belts or lower door sills for easier entry and exit, to including more women in their ad campaigns and training dealers how to sell cars to female customers, car buy canada goose jacket manufacturers agree that with the impact women have on the auto industry today, it makes sense to focus on them. Power and goose outlet canada Associates, an automobile market research company in Agoura Hills, Calif. By 2000, analysts predict that 60 percent of car buyers will be women.

Why have women moved from being a niche market to the mainstream? Chalk it up to the women’s movement. Today, women have more disposable income, education, and independence, and work in more diverse fields, so they are buying more cars, says Gerry Myers, president of the Dallas based Myers Group, a firm that specializes in marketing and selling to women.

Many features now widely available in cars are a result of women’s demands and their rising market share:

r Lumbar support in seats developed to give pregnant women more back canada goose outlet support.

r Shoulder belts that can be adjusted to a person’s height.

r Running boards on large vehicles (mainly jeeps, trucks, and vans) to make it easier to canada goose outlet store uk climb aboard.

Car manufacturers did Canada Goose Online make canada goose earlier attempts to appeal to women, but their efforts were primarily cosmetic. In 1955, for example, Dodge introduced ”La Femme,” the first ”women’s car.” It was pink with a floral interior and matching canada goose factory outlet accessories: a pink leather handbag, umbrella, rain hat, rain cape, and boots. But women saw the car as patronizing, Ms. Myers explains, and it bombed. Fewer than 1,000 were sold.

Women want safety first

Women want the same things men want in a car, says Janice Leeming, president of About Women Inc., a Boston based research and publishing firm. ”They want reliability, safety, and performance, but safety comes first,” she says.

Volvo, for example, has generally had a strong female customer base due to its reputation for producing safe cars. Currently, 47 percent of Volvo owners are women, says Bob Austin, a spokesman for Volvo Cars of North America Inc. That compares with 42 percent in 1986.

”It was a big belief to a lot of the [US] manufacturers that performance canada goose outlet online uk sold and that safety did not sell,” Myers says. buy canada goose jacket cheap ”But [safety] sold to women.”

Historically, Nissan was known for high performance cars, says Jerry Florence, vice president of marketing at Nissan Motor Corporation USA. But in the last five years, it has redesigned its cars to offer more mainstream sedans with ”a broader appeal to adults,” he says.

Besides canada goose black friday sale refining the cars’ traditional racing body, Nissan designed controls and switches to be fingernail friendly. Today, women account for 53 percent of Nissan’s car sales compared with about 40 percent five years ago, Mr. Florence says.

Carmakers create women’s committees

Many car manufacturers, including Big Three automakers Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, have established women’s advisory committees groups of female employees who review products, services, marketing, and sales promotions and how they affect women car buyers.

Some product features Chrysler’s Women’s Advisory Committee has influenced include canada goose outlet nyc integrated child safety seats in the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager; and longer seat tracks in the Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Intrepid, and Eagle Vision that allow shorter drivers to move the seat closer to canada goose outlet in usa the controls.

”When we look at features, we don’t specifically say: ‘This is going to be nice in accommodating a woman,’ ” says Kathleen Wideman, co chair of Chrysler’s committee.

In marketing and promotion, carmakers are organizing special promotions for women. Lincoln Mercury, which will introduce its canada goose outlet ”Mystique” Sept. 29, expects 55 percent of its buyers to be women because of the car’s safety and comfort features. To introduce its core buyers to the car, Mercury Lincoln is holding a canada goose clearance sale two day canada goose outlet jackets safe driving event for women on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in six US cheap Canada Goose cities.

The event is held in cooperation with the National Association of Female Executives, the American Association of canada goose outlet uk sale Women Business Owners, and Professional Secretaries International.