MYTH VS REALITY
“As long as it is red” or “smaller the better” are but two general assumptions made about what women want from their cars. Seemingly, men buying on behalf of a woman relative or friend, and also the industry as whole, are largely driven by these stereotypical assumptions. So, here are some realities that contradict these common myths and tell us what women actually want from the cars they are buying.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT COLOUR
It is commonly believed that exterior colours are among the key drivers of choice for women. This study defies that belief, with only 16 percent of women stating colour or the availability of a particular colour as the reason for selecting a specific car. On the other hand, aspects like the vehicle’s brand, its visual appeal, the kind of innovative technology and features that it offers are ranked much higher on a woman’s car-buying wish list. The study shows that women are willing to spend money on safety and infotainment features in their cars.
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT COMMUTING
Men buying for women family members or friends tend to gravitate more towards the lower variant, as they only tend to look at it as a means of transport. However, women are more discerning, with almost all of them tilting more in favour of the top or the mid variant for the added features.
While brand and style are placed at the top, practical aspects like fuel efficiency, budget, ease of parking, etc., are placed lower in the list of what a woman wants from her car. On the other hand, men buying for women cite the practical aspects as major reasons for choosing a car.
PRODUCT & BRAND ARE CRITICAL
Of the men buying a car for a women family member or friend, 80 percent stated budget and 63 percent stated cost of ownership as key choice drivers. In contrast, women buying for themselves, while staying mindful of budget and cost, attach more importance to the vehicle brand and the product itself.
SAFE & SOUND
Safety, security, and convenience are key expectations that women buyers have from their cars, and are willing to pay more for such features and services. Hence, a good security alarm system, 24-hour roadside assistance, rear camera and automatic door-closing system are features that top the list. Also, a hassle-free experience while getting their cars serviced is very important for women buyers. Facilities like pick and drop, and mobile apps that give live progress of a car’s service are sought after. Staying connected with their job, home or even social network is important, even while on the move. So, features like in-car infotainment and navigation are right up there on a woman’s buying list.
Unlike bygone times, a woman driving is hardly a rare sight today, with most acquiring their driving licenses in their early twenties. Interestingly, women in smaller cities tend to begin sooner than those in metros. Most women drive all days of the week, with purposes ranging from work commuting, shopping to ferrying kids. Also, most women cover a weekly range of 25-50km, while a significant number manage to clock around 50-100km in a week.
Many women, today, believe that the ability to drive is a necessary skill as it makes them independent of public transport or the need for someone else in order to go places.
22-25 years is the age range in which most women have learnt to drive and acquire a license.
25-100 kilometres is the range that 45 percent of women drive in a week. 32 percent manage to clock above 150km.
78 percent women say that they use their cars in 4-8pm time frame. 74 percent use it before 12pm.
45 percent of women buyers drive to work every day and 25 percent like driving to outstation destinations.
When it comes to brand awareness, it’s BMW that comes on top, followed by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and then Volvo. Brand association, however, sees Audi at the top, followed by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Design, innovation and premium-ness were perceived to be highest for Audi. BMW was considered to be the stand-out from the crowd and offered good bang for the buck as well. Mercedes-Benz and Volvo were viewed as vehicles engineered for safety.
POWER OF WORDS
‘Word of mouth’ plays a big part in the buying decision of women.
Seeking inputs from a trusted family member, friend or even another owner of the product are considered the most important sources of information for a woman car buyer.
Digital and social media are used during the shopping process but are not the principal source of information gathering. Some also rely on auto journals to get information and opinions about cars.
Also read: Indian women car buyers surveyed part 1