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Auto Exec Pushes for Cars Women Want to Drive

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On: Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 2:50PM | By: Elizabeth Puckett

Auto Exec Pushes for Cars Women Want to Drive

The executive vice-president of Nissan, Dr. Andy Palmer, is calling upon auto makers to better cater towards the female drivers. Palmer has presented research to back up this notion, citing that half of female drivers are unhappy with their personal vehicles, and an astounding 75% feel misunderstood by the auto industry. They want more attention on important features like leg room, and less focus on horsepower and drivetrain. Women also seem to be put off by frivolous features that serve little purpose outside of being flashy. Females are the key influencers in the purchase of a vehicle, but they are feeling ignored in this industry.

A quick glance at auto makers’ fleets and advertising efforts from the minds of automotive enthusiasts leaves little left for wonder about Dr. Palmer’s revelations. Auto manufacturers are missing the mark when it comes to pleasing the needs of women, and many of their advertising campaigns even lose the female buyers.

Anyone who has watched the new Hurst Edition Trans Am official commercial can tell that car makers are making some attempt, as misguided as it may be, to draw in more female drivers. This promotional viral video shows a women stepping inside this special edition vehicle and living out ‘her’ dreams of muscle car ownership, but the way the segment plays out is more like a male’s perception of what a woman wants from a car.

What’s ironic about this particular marketing campaign is that a lack of female interest was a major contributor to the end of Pontiac’s iconic muscle car in the first place. Many female consumers were turned off by the lack of comfort and drivability from this traditionally male-driven sports car. They complained of seats which were positioned too far back to reach the pedals with comfort, a large dash which made it hard to see the road, and uncomfortable seat positions for people under 5'11". While this particular case may be the most recent, it’s certainly not an isolated trend in the auto industry.

So, what is it that women really want from their ideal car? Anything mentioned at this point would be pure speculation but more auto makers need to pay attention to this demographic if they want to compete for the female driver’s vote. Palmer also cited that there needs to be more of a presence of women in the auto industry job market if manufacturers want to crack the code that will get a woman excited about a car.

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