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Women in Cars - A Mega Trend for the Automotive Industry

woman buying a car

LONDON--June 16, 2014: Women are gaining increasing power in an important segment traditionally owned by men: cars. How the empowerment of women is transforming the future automotive industry will be one of the key trends that will dominate Frost & Sullivan's annual workshop 'Urban Mobility 3.0: Future of Mobility and New Mobility Business Models'. A new analysis on women and cars will be launched during the event that will take place on 25th June, 2014 at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. As it has been the case in the past, this one-day workshop will focus on emerging trends that are to shape the auto industry and our lives behind the wheel during the coming years.

The new Frost & Sullivan analysis finds that, for the first time ever, in the USA female driving licence holders have tipped the balance at 51 percent. And this is not just among the younger age groups, but consistently across all ages greater than 25. Canada and the UK are set to follow by 2016. Canada is already very close to having a majority of women with driving licenses. The ratio of licenses granted to women is currently 49.95 percent. In the UK new driving license applications for men are declining whilst those for women have grown by 2.5 percent during last three years. The number of female driving licences in Britain will reach parity with men within the next two to three years. Women are already making more trips and driving more mileage than men.

"Although it is hard to make predictions on trends related to car ownership, it is clear that 80 percent of car buying decisions are now influenced by women," explains Frost & Sullivan's Partner and Global Director Sarwant Singh. "When buying a new car, women are practical, but they also tend to associate the purchase with aspirations of freedom and independence." This will mean that all car categories will be more personalised and we will see more customised small city cars. At the same time, there are trends seeing expansion to segments traditionally dominated by men: SUVs and luxury cars.

"Women prefer small and more manoeuverable vehicles, but they also give importance to design, spaciousness, safety, quality of materials, colour and sustainability," explains Frost & Sullivan's Singh. "They like options like park assist, clear lighting for petrol, easy access, integrated systems for mobile devices and entertainment. We are convinced that in a few years women will favour cars with advanced systems such as autonomous driving, digital assistants and other health, wellness and well-being features."

Women tend to base their purchasing decision on the status of the car itself or associated values such as comfort and colour. When it comes to volume brands, women are less likely to associate themselves with a brand, model or car variant (hatchback or saloon, for example). Luxury brands, however, are a different story with women revealing themselves to be much more susceptible than men to those endorsed by celebrities.

There are many interesting factors that are accelerating this trend. "There are more women in education today than men in both the developed and BRIC countries (with the exception of India)," confirms Mr Singh. Furthermore "the pay parity between men and women is decreasing. There are more women with jobs, and even in a developing market like India, this is accelerating rapidly. Finally, the number of women millionaires, and their presence in the world's rich list, is also growing exponentially."

Each year, Frost & Sullivan's workshop 'Urban Mobility 3.0: Future of Mobility and New Mobility Business Models' attracts over 150 executives who have been selectively invited by Frost & Sullivan to the event. They represent global OEMs and services providers from both the automotive and transportation sectors, as well as government official.