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Let's Talk Business

Erin Baker and Rachel Hogg

‘MACHO’ AUTO INDUSTRY IMAGE MISSING THE MARK WITH NEW CAR BUYERS

  • BRITS OF BOTH SEXES HAVE FELT CONDESCENDED BY SALESPEOPLE AT A CAR DEALERSHIP
  • MAJORITY ARE PUT OFF BY OBVIOUS GENDER STEREOTYPES IN ADVERTISING; HALF SAY THEY FIND THEM PATRONISING
  • FEMALE TRIO OF PRESENTERS LAUNCH ‘THE REV TEST’ - A NEW ONLINE CAR REVIEW PROGRAMME THAT CARES AS MUCH ABOUT ISOFIX AS IT DOES HORSEPOWER

 

Many car owners today care more about how many buggies they can fit in the boot than how quickly the vehicle can do 0 – 60mph, if at all. But the industry, manufacturers and the media included, seem obsessed with portraying a ‘hyper-masculine’ image, which is turning off potential buyers, both male and female.

 

The unique new study by Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace for new and used cars, shows 87% of Brits feel increasingly disconnected from motoring content, advertising and the auto industry at large. Two in three (64%) car buyers (77% of women Vs 58% of men) find extreme gender stereotypes in car advertising off-putting and over half (52%) even find them patronising.

 

In the face of a hyper-masculine industry, the number of women car owners is in fact growing faster than men (DVLA). The number of female registered keepers of cars has increased by 66% since 1996, compared with an increase of only 23% in male keepers. Despite being key customers, 15% women have reported feeling like they had to do twice as much research to hold their own at a dealership, while 1 in 10 (10%) have reported car salespeople only speaking to their male counterpart, when they were making the purchase.

 

In fact, the majority (76%) of female drivers surveyed agree that car brands don’t currently understand a women’s car buying needs. To resolve this a third (33%) of Brits feel that employing more women in the car industry will give brands a better understanding of their customers; of how cars are used in everyday life (30%) and ultimately provide better experiences for both men and women at dealerships.

 

MACHO, MACHO MAN

The research also shows that the ‘macho’ image of the automotive industry could be impacting more than just it’s advertising. Within car dealerships, 16% of men and women say they’ve been ‘talked down to’ by salespeople, while 1 in 10 were made to feel like they asked silly questions and 1 in 5 felt overly pressured by sales staff to make decisions.

 

To help ‘tip the balance back’ towards a gender-neutral industry, Auto Trader has launched ‘The REV Test’ – a new web TV series led by a female trio of presenters: Erin Baker, Editorial Director of Auto Trader; former racing driver and television presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson; and automotive journalist Rachel Hogg. They’ll be discussing the research as well as their selection of the most masculine motoring ads of all-time.

Let's Talk Business: Erin Baker and Rachel Hogg on the macho auto industry

Erin Baker- Editorial Director of AutoTrader and Rachel Hogg- Automotive Journalist spoke to Biz on the auto industry image.