MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (June 10, 2016) — Demographic shifts in the North American vehicle market are necessitating how the automotive industry operates, especially in the downstream activities of vehicle repair and maintenance, a recent study by research firm Frost & Sullivan found.
“The automotive industry has traditionally been a male-dominated sector — from manufacturing plants to repair facilities — and, historically, this did not pose a challenge for the industry in appealing to its customers, who were also predominantly male,” the firm said in its study, “Strategic Analysis of Women as Customers in the Automotive Aftermarket.”
However, current statistics show that more than 50 percent of license holders in North America are women. The number skews even higher toward women (53 percent) when considering Gen Y drivers, a consumer segment that Frost & Sullivan said “is poised to become the biggest target demographic for any business.”
Because of improvement in employment and income levels, women are also increasingly having a greater say in how vehicles are purchased, according to the firm. It noted that research shows 91 percent of car purchase decisions are now influenced by women. “Consequently, the automotive industry is waking up to an untapped market — female car owners.
“Despite this shift in trend of ownership by gender, data also points toward not just a dearth of female staff at the dealership and repair shop level, but also severe shortcomings in how technicians and shop personnel interact with women.”