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Car Brands Ranked For Woman Buyers


21 February 2023

Buick, Toyota are tops with women buyers; truck brands trail

For mainstream automotive brands to show continued growth in challenging economic times, they must find traction across all demographics. The latest analysis from S&P Global Mobility shows that some brands are enjoying much more success with women buyers.

Among the top 25 brands in the United States, Buick ranked highest in 2022 of women's share of brand, at 55.0% of personal new vehicle registrations, followed by Mitsubishi, Mini, Lexus, Infiniti, Mazda, and Kia. In terms of total volumes of personal vehicles registered to women in 2022, Toyota clearly ranked above all other brands.

On the flip side, Ram placed lowest with just 17% of new personal vehicle registrations going to women, followed by GMC, Ford, Tesla, and Dodge. The bottom-two brands' reliance on trucks is reflected in their male bias. Tesla is the outlier there, showing that despite the success of its Model Y compact SUV in a strongly female segment, its personal vehicle registrations have a decidedly male skew.

Brands with highest female buyer representation

Buick 55%

Mitsubishi 51.4%

Mini 51.1%

Lexus 50.4%

Infiniti 49.6%

Mazda 49%

Kia 49%

Industry average 41.2%

Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration data

Brands with lowest female buyer representation

Ram 17%

GMC 28.7%

Ford 31.1%

Tesla 33.1%

Dodge 33.9%

Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration data

Although share of brand is one way to examine demographic preferences, overall volume registrations to women consumers also is a critical measurement.

On a pure volume level, Toyota secured the most hearts and minds of women car buyers in 2022 by hundreds of thousands of personal registrations.

Brands with highest volume of registrations among women

Brand Volume Women as % of total


Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration data

Why the importance of attracting the female audience? For one thing, women make up more than half of the population, 50.5% according to the most recent US census, and influence the vast majority of vehicle purchases.

Additionally, women buyers consistently show more brand loyalty than men, on average 4 percentage points more likely to stick with the same brand, according to S&P Global Mobility. Female brand loyalty figures are even higher for the brands with the highest percentage of women buyers: 9.2 percentage points more loyal than men for Mini vehicles, 7.6 for Mitsubishi, 5.2 for Lexus and Infiniti, and 4.3 for Buick. The only mainstream full-line brand with higher loyalty among men than women was Ford.

Why the success for Buick? According to Marc Bland, chief diversity officer for S&P Global Mobility, some of the success comes from GM's extra focus on female buyers: "The majority of the OEMs now have a minority dealer organization, but GM takes it a step further: They have a Women's Retail Network."

Members of GM's WRN include all female dealer principals and department managers. The group holds annual meetings with briefings about best practices, ensuring strong and equitable representation across GM's entire dealership network. The WRN also launched a scholarship for women entering automotive-related fields of study more than a decade ago.

"How consumers are treated at the dealership is important," said Cheryl Woodworth, associate director of consulting for S&P Global Mobility. "The evolution of the car-buying process, entailing less negotiation and with potentially more of the buying process online, is very appealing to women."

Safety is also a top priority for women buyers, and the US auto industry's only female CEO made that a top priority for GM. One of Mary Barra's first initiatives was Speak Up for Safety - an initiative stemming from GM's ignition switch recall - that created a framework for employees to call out perceived safety risks in any meeting.

"Those kinds of things resonate out from GM's 200,000 employees, to their dinner tables, their families, their extended families and friends," Bland said. "It creates this cloud that GM has safety at its core."

But not all GM brands are seeing this boost. Cadillac and Chevrolet both placed in the bottom-half of rankings, with truck-heavy GMC near the bottom.

Part of Buick's strength comes from its product portfolio, which is entirely made up of compact and midsize SUVs. The other GM brands' broader offerings, including large SUVs, trucks, and performance cars, skew more heavily towards male buyers. But a general focus on women buyers may be insufficient. Breaking it down into further ethnic or geographical subsets may be necessary for an OEM or dealer to better target its marketing.

"As we move to 2023 and beyond, best practices at OEMs should look at women as not just one homogenous group," Bland said. "For example, African-American women registered more new vehicles than their male counterparts. And the Chevrolet Silverado is in the top-10 volume vehicles registered among Hispanic women."

Broader representation across different consumer groups is key for any brand that hopes to grow, and some brands clearly have work to do.

This article was published by S&P Global Mobility and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.