FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Men, Women and Cars

As with most things, men and women see the world differently when it comes to shopping for cars. Market research firm NOP World has developed an index of the top car model picks for men and women; it shows clearly what guys and gals want, and how they arrive at their very different conclusions.

If a car manufacturer wants to market a vehicle to men, all it has to do is make it powerful and load it with lots of impressive features. The NOP World index shows that guys prefer the fastest, baddest rides they can afford. According to the index, the top "guy car" is the Porsche 911 (starting price: $70,095).

With women, though, it's slightly more complex. Women weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each model, then consider each against cost, usually choosing the most reasonably priced one. According to NOP World, the top choice for the ladies is the Pontiac G6 convertible (not available as of this writing, but the standard G6 has a starting price of $21,555). None of the top picks for women has a starting price higher than $36,080; the most expensive choice for men (the specialty Ford GT) starts at $143,345.

From this index, one could easily conclude that women see cars as strictly utilitarian, even necessary evils, whereas men have a passion for them. Then again, we might have determined the same thing when we were in kindergarten, when the boys played with toy cars and trucks while the girls played with dolls.

It's also important to note that the index isn't representative of all men and women, and certainly doesn't reflect purchasing decisions in the real world. Men whose hearts say "Porsche" while their bank accounts say "Kia" have some compromising to do. And women will often find that that sensible little car could use a little more horsepower or luxury. But it's curiously indicative of how men and women see the world, and suggests how they might go about choosing products and services of all types.

Source: CNN Autos