Days of car ownership being a largely male-dominated area are long gone. Combined with changing lifestyles and higher spending power, more and more women in India are buying cars. It’s a fast-growing section of the market, and carmakers across the board are witnessing an increase in the number of women buying their cars and SUVs. The same is true for Ford, another carmaker that has identified the women car-buying population as a fast-growing one, and is gearing up to better address their needs.
Speaking to Autocar India at the second edition of the #SheDrives pro driving school, Anurag Mehrotra, Managing Director, Ford India, said, “Going forward as OEMs, we'll have to start thinking about crafting and designing products that keep the sensibilities of women at the fore, and addressing the different orientation or utility women may be looking for.”
Mehrotra mentioned the opportunity Ford sees as the number of women car buyers continues to increase steadily, and also shared which Ford models are the most popular among them.
“There are more women buyers coming into the marketplace. We knew women were driving cars more, but the ownership pattern was still largely male-dominated. Today, across the industry, 8 percent of car ownership is with women. We believe over the next few years that figure will rise to 12 percent. The good thing as far as Ford is concerned is that women constitute 15 percent of all EcoSport buyers, and 25 percent of all Freestyle buyers”, said Mehrotra.
Explaining the reason behind the Ford Freestyle being chosen by a higher ratio of women car buyers, Mehrotra said, “With the Freestyle, the points that have resonated with women car buyers are the high ground clearance, given the conditions of roads in India; it's safe with six airbags, and finally, they do not want to compromise on the fun-to-drive factor. I'm happy to see that shift in women ownership increasing and going after attributes beyond price and cost of ownership and really valuing the experience.”
After getting off to a rollicking start in Mumbai, the #SheDrives pro driving school moved to Gurugram for its second outing. Over 200 women from different age brackets registered for the Gurugram leg and picked up valuable driving tips from Asia Pacific rally champion Gaurav Gill.