Tag Archives: automobiles

What Women Want (from Cars)

It’s an age-old question: What do women want? While the answers to this question could fill a set of encyclopedias, let’s limit the question somewhat and just discuss what ‘cars’ women want. Last year, Edmunds.com researched this topic and came up with a list of cars that almost no women drive. Can you guess which car was at the top of the list? It’s a sports car, very pricey, very fast, and starts with “L” ….

Yep, you guessed it. Number one on the list was Lamborghini with male owners accounting for 93% of the buyers (tied with McLaren also at 93%), Ferrari at 92%, Maserati at 84%, and Tesla at 83%. Indeed, 90% of ALL sports car buyers are men. Although men seem to prefer loud, fast, impractical cars, this is a problem for automotive manufacturers as women play a significant role in roughly 85% of all car purchases.

So, what cars do women buy? Overwhelmingly, women prefer cars that are affordable with good fuel economy – and these tend to be mostly from Korean automakers such as Kia and Hyundai, along with Japanese automakers Nissan and Mitsubishi. These findings are based on automotive research company iSeeCars.com which analyzed 54 million car sales and more than 500,000 consumer inquires over a nearly three-year period.

The average price of the top 10 cars preferred by women is $14,870 compared to the average price of cars on the top 10 list preferred by men at $49,224. Let’s compare.

The top five cars women want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Women
1 Hyundai Tucson $16,722 66.2%
2 Nissan Versa $12,144 64.0%
3 VW Beetle $18,179 63.9%
4 Kia Forte $13,730 62.8%
5 Ford Fiesta $13,237 62.8%

 

The top five cars men want:

Rank Car Ave. Price Inquiries by Mean
1 Nissan GT-R *40,450 99.1%
2 BMW Me $35,763 92.2%
3 Porsche Cayman $43,303 91.9%
4 Porsche 911 $65,081 91.5%
5 Lexus GS 350 %33,004 91.3%

 

There are no overlaps on the top ten list. Lest we think this is an inconsequential difference, consider the size of the automotive industry. There isn’t any car company that wouldn’t like to increase the size, and diversity, of its customer base.

Think about it – what do women want?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students about their car preferences.
  2. Divide the class by gender. Ask women what cars they think the men will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Ask men what cars they think the women will prefer, and what cars they prefer. Why these choices.
  3. Ask the women to list the factors they look for when buying a car. Ask the men the same question. Compare the findings on the board.
  4. Still in gender-based teams, have the teams examine the marketing mix of the top companies, and adjust the mix to attract the opposite gender.
  5. Debrief the exercise.

Source:  Ad Week, Edmunds.com, Market Watch, iSeeCars.com

 

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Product Lines Don’t Last Forever

Nothing lasts forever. It’s a tired phrase, but a true one, that is often applied to consumer goods. In the past year or so, two of the most ubiquitous consumer products that have been deleted include the VCR and the iPod. It happens in all industries.

In the automotive industry, some of the famous car brands that have been deleted in the past decade include Pontiac, Saturn, Maybach, Mercury, Hummer, Saab, Isuzu, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth. The most recent company to delete a car line (but not the entire company) is Ford. Ford plans to kill off its entire sedan lineup (except Mustang!). The company plans to delete Taurus, Fusion, Focus, and Fiesta – some of which have had high rankings and sales. Why cut the lines?

Strategically, Ford needs to cut costs and improve its overall financial performance. The company’s decision also seems to reflect changing consumer preferences for SUVs and crossovers, instead of traditional family sedans. Generation Y and Millennials are now starting families, but they still want to maintain an active lifestyle. This makes SUVs a popular choice. By 2020, Ford plans to have nearly 90% of its vehicles in the categories of truck, SUV, and commercial vehicles. And, let’s not forget about emerging demands for electric and autonomous vehicles.

Out with the old – in with the new.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Show Ford’s Web site: https://www.ford.com/
  4. Where do the various vehicles fit in the product life cycle?
  5. Discuss Ford’s cuts to its product lines.
  6. Have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source: Detroit Free Press, Brandchannel.com, New York Times, other news sources

 

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Delivery Direct to Your Car

Have you ever had a problem with delivery of packages? Have you been a victim of ‘porch pirates’ stealing packages before you get home? If so, then you may like the new option for Amazon’s in-car package delivery, placed securely in your trunk or back seat. The service is available to Amazon Prime members who have an active GM OnStar or Volvo On Call account in 37 cities across the U.S.

It seems pretty easy. Using an Amazon app, the customer inputs the information about their car (must be a 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or Volvo). For each order, the customer selects a delivery to their car, receives a notification when the delivery is on its way, and another notification after delivery is completed and door/trunk relocked. Delivery people use the car’s assistance services to locate the car and unlock it.

The car delivery service only works for vehicles parked in lots that are easily accessible. It won’t work for parking garages or gated communities. And, if you’re worried about damage to the car, Amazon even said that it will take care of a broken window or lock that happens as a result of the delivery.

Go ahead and order – there are a lot of delivery options, including porch, office, in-home, locker, and now, your car.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the topics of package delivery. Has anyone had problems?
  2. Show the Amazon information and video about car delivery: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17051031011
  3. CNET video: https://youtu.be/8bZfZZJ7Q4Q
  4. Video of customer testimonials: https://youtu.be/w4akHn0jQCc
  5. Poll students: Would they use this service?
  6. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  7. For in-car delivery, what is the target market?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a target market profile. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source: CNET, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press, other news sources

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