The Auto Channel
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The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
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Car Electronics Attract Women

DETROIT--According to a recently released Polk poll, women place more importance on state-of-the-art electronic accessories when purchasing a new vehicle than do men.

“Women represent a strong purchasing force in the auto industry,” said Yolanda Reid, Polk loyalty research manager. “The auto industry estimates that more than 11 million people will have access to telematics within the next four years. And since women make up a significant part of this market, automakers will need to keep in tune with what women want in their vehicles to help them with their already hectic lives,” she pointed out.

More than 18 percent of the women surveyed cited electronics as a key buying factor than did men, at 15 percent.

And as might be expected, the more often a consumer--man or woman--purchases a new vehicle, the more important the latest electronics are to them.

These high-tech electronic accessories, such as vehicle navigation systems and entertainment centers, are thus more important to frequent new vehicle buyers (those that purchase every year or every two to three years) than to those who buy new cars less often, according to the study.

“Consumers will find an increasing number of automotive communication devices available in the very near future, as the market for telematics reaches billions of dollars within the next four years,” said Reid.

According to the Polk study, consumers who purchase a new vehicle every one to three years are more likely to look for the latest electronic features in their new vehicles. And because these frequent buyers often purchase a newly introduced or re-designed vehicle, automakers and suppliers have an ongoing opportunity to introduce new telematics to a niche group of consumers that is always looking for the latest, according to Reid.

“The automobile will soon be perceived as much more than a mode of transportation--it will be a mobile communication and entertainment center as well,” Reid said. “And the auto industry is doing its best to stay on the cutting edge of technology, with recent developments including voice-activated controls, on-line mapping systems and in-vehicle access to e-mail.”

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