The Gender Gap Goes on the Road

Dating back to the notion of “car as mistress,” there has long been an element of gender in the way consumers react to vehicles. It lives on now in the varying appeal new automotive technologies have for men and women.

In a Harris Interactive survey, men were more apt than women to express interest in Bluetooth connectivity (48 percent vs. 37 percent), voice-activated controls and features (41 percent vs. 32 percent) and digital surround audio (44 percent vs. 33 percent). Women were more likely than men to be keen on some less-flashy but more-practical features, including pivoting front seats (32 percent vs. 25 percent), anti-trap/anti-pinch power windows (37 percent vs. 31 percent) and parking-assist systems (30 percent vs. 20 percent).

As Harris notes in its own analysis, women are increasingly important to the automotive market — and increasingly “tech savvy” in their approach to it. So, a vehicle marketer would be foolish (or more foolish than usual) to overlook their technological preferences.