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Single Women Fuel Demand for SUVs in Auto Industry

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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Driving

More women are buying small SUVs like the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

All the single ladies are putting their hands up—and right onto a brand-new SUV. There is a new trend in the automotive industry that dealerships need to pay attention to, and it has a lot to do with the single women in the industry.

Over the course of the past few years, single women have been slowly shifting the gender demographics of vehicle sales. Rather than going into a dealership looking for a small sedan, these women are instead searching for an SUV—something large, in charge, and practical.

Research firm MaritzCX found that from 2010 to 2015 alone, the number of women who bought small SUV models rose 34%, which is a large increase compared to a 22% rise for men. Premium small SUVs also saw a significant increase in sales to women with 177% growth. And, overall, 40% of these female vehicle buyers weren’t married.

“There’s a group of single, professional females out there that need vehicles, and you need to be attentive to them,” said James Mulcrone, director of research services in MartizCX’s Michigan office. “They’re going to make money, they’re going to make their own decisions, and they can be very loyal consumers.”

As these trends change, it’s likely that the makeup of the dealership sales team will change, too. Dealerships might look to attract more female customers by balancing the ratio of male/female sales people out on the floor. According to Celeste Briggs, the director of Women’s Retail Network at GM, “Dealerships that welcome and invest in women have the opportunity to create a strategic advantage.”

With 60% of women who leave a dealership without buying a vehicle never returning, it sounds like it’s time for dealerships to take notice of the influence single women have on their sales before it’s too late.

News Source: Bloomberg