Detroit Automakers Challenged with Winning over Female Buyers

As women influence car-buying decisions in every four out of five purchases, it's important to cater more to their needs. Detroit's automakers still face challenges, mainly due to the fact that many women prefer foreign automakers to domestic automakers. With women's names on the registration of more than 39 percent of all new cars sold, it's important for these automakers to step it up. The list of top ten vehicles with the highest percentage of female buyers has no domestic brands, according to data retrieved from R.L. Polk & Co. However, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC have taken steps to improve their appeal to female buyers. When it comes to brand perception, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Chrysler Group LLC continue to lag, even with their improved lineups. "When you look at the big segments in the industry, like midsize, and you think about the top reasons for the purchase, it's quality, reliability, dependability, fuel-efficiency and long-lasting. And the imports dominate those areas," said Anne Feighan, strategic planning director at advertising agency Campbell-Ewald told the Detroit News.
Detroit's automakers have made efforts to improve the gender gap. Ford has introduced the Fiesta to its lineup, and more than half of buyers are women. Buick added the smaller SUV, the Encore, with expectations that 60 percent of buyers will be women. Chevrolet, though, seems to have made the most improvement from working with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi to create a new Malibu collection. The 2013 Malibu has been completely redesigned inside and out, with women's sales rising from 43 percent in 2011 to 45 percent in 2012. There doesn't need to be significant changes to make a vehicle more appealing to a woman. Simple changes here and there will do fine. Introducing new paint colors in pinks and purples might attract a very select group of women, but as a whole, it would deter many. New colors have been added, though, in addition to the more traditional black, silver, red, and blue. Source: Detroit News