Monday, January 1, 0001

Numerous studies the world-over show that women account for the majority of car purchases and influence most car-purchasing decisions. In South Africa, Women influence 80% of all car sales and 60% of new car purchases are attributed to them. Yet, a recent survey in the Philippines shows that women have some pretty tall orders about want they want in a car, and for the most part, they aren’t getting their hearts’ desires.

“In the survey conducted by the Business Inquirer, women had on their wish lists a quick-drying fan for manicures on the steering wheel; a dispenser for hand sanitizer and lotion; extra headroom for hats; a built-in vanity table; a retractable and lighted vanity mirror; a built-in hair iron in the back seat, and a coffee machine,” says 1st for Women Insurance’s managing director, Robyn Farrell.

Other must-haves included parking assist and surround-view cameras; a heads-up display which shows the kids in the backseat; a self-cleaning anti-bacterial steering wheel cover, and a more developed voice command option which allows the driver to call, find music and access the GPS, as well as control the mobile devices that the kids are using. It may take some time before women start getting to tick-off their outrageous ‘wants’ from their car wish lists – if ever.

That said, Volvo apparently once had a concept car which had remote controlled gull wing doors to make it easier to load kids, and space on the head rest for ponytails. In the 1950s, Chrysler Dodge introduced a white and pink La Femme which had pink rosebuds on silver for the interior, and came with a matching purse, raincoat and umbrella.

“These requests are rather frivolous and patronising. In a more realistic study it was found that when buying a car, safety is of primary importance to a women followed by vehicle performance and economy – both in the price, fuel efficiency and the running costs. Women also feel strongly about how their cars affect the environment. Men on the other hand tend to be more preoccupied with gadgets, engine size and how fast the vehicle could go from 0 to 100. Studies show that safety is an important factor for men, just not the most important,” concludes Farrell.

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