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Women and the Automotive World
- facts & figures on women and the auto industry -

Women & Automobiles

· Women purchase 65% of all new cars and 53% of used cars, and they influence 95% of all auto purchases. (Source: Road & Travel Magazine)

· Sixty-five percent (65%) of women take their own vehicles to a repair shop for service. Some repair industry experts estimate that the average may actually be closer to 80%. (Source: Road & Travel Magazine)

· The overall percentage of female drivers rose from 4% in 1972 to 49% in 1996, while the overall percentage of male drivers decreased from 56% to 51%. (Source: U.S. Department of Transportation)

· Women purchase automobiles by: Car loan (66%), Bank loan (44%), Dealer (27%) and Credit Union (15%). (Source: New Vehicle Financing Study, Bank Advertising News and the Gallup Organization)

Women & Dealerships

The percentages of women working in car dealerships as of June 2002 were as follows: (Source: CNW Marketing Research)

· Total dealership workforce 7%
· Office staff 60%
· Finance/insurance and managers 16.2%
· General Managers 7.1%
· Owners 4.9%
· New car sales 4.2%
· Service advisers 2.2%
· Use-car sales 2.1%

Major automakers: of General Motors 7,400 dealerships, 226 or 3%, are owned by women; at Ford, women own 278, or 5% of the 5,165 dealerships. It's much the same for other automakers. Women hold about 7 percent of all jobs in dealerships, up from 3.5 percent in 1990. (Source: CNW Marketing Research)

Thirty-nine percent (39%) of women would rather deal with women in the car showroom, compared with 10 percent of men who prefer to buy cars from other men. On the flip side, 13 percent of women prefer to deal with men, and 11 percent of men want to deal with women. The rest are indifferent about the sales representative's sex. (Source: CNW Marketing Research)

Women who own dealerships tend to do well, and several manufacturers report that franchises owned by women are at or near the top in overall sales volume. Some dealers and industry analysts have an explanation for that. "The reason women become so successful is we're interested in treating women right when they come in," said Ms. Van Bortel, 48. "I don't mean to sound stereotypical, but women have so much more empathy for customers" (Source: The New York Times, 2003)

In January 2001, GM became the first automaker to create a dealer development program for women. Some other companies, such as Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. - which counts 33, or 2%, of its 1,406 dealerships as owned by women - offer only financial assistance, and only to candidate with extensive experience in the car business. GM and Ford, meanwhile, make loans and pay for intensive training and internships through the dealer association's academy. (Source: The New York Times, 2003)

Patricia J. Roberts, general director of the retail program for women at GM, said that more than 1,200 women have requested information, including some just out of college. GM's program, which takes about a year to complete, has 21 women in the pipeline. Ten are waiting for a location to open up, and others have almost completed the training. Ownership requires substantial investment. (Source: Business Women's Network)

Examples of auto dealers headed by women include:

· Irma Elder is CEO of the Elder Automotive Group. Her Jaguar dealership is the brand's No. 1 store in the world, ranked by sales volume. She also has extremely successful Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jeep, Saab, Mitsubishi and Aston Martin dealerships

· Pat Moran of JM Family Enterprises of Florida. JM Family Enterprises wins award after award not only for sales but also the "Best in Class for Leadership", for "Best Places to Work for Working Mothers," and more.

· Kitty Van Bortel, the owner of Van Bortel Subaru and Van Bortel Ford in Victor, New York, has three years of taking the prize as the top-selling franchise of Subaru of America Inc. Sales at her Subaru dealership held steady at about $43 million.

· Marcy Maguire, who, along with her husband, Bob Maguire, owns Saturn dealerships in Bordentown, New Jersey, and Tom River, New Jersey, and a Chevrolet dealership in Bordentown, is a giant in the field.

· Carey Hamilton is president of Hamilton Chevrolet, Cadillac, BMW out of Grand Isle, Nebraska. As the owner of Midway Chevrolet Buick Cadillac and Beardmore Chevrolet Subaru, she is another shining example of leading women auto dealers.

· Elsie MacMillan of Sierra Toyota in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

· Cyndie Mynatt of Ben Mynatt Pontiac Buick GMC Truck in Concord, North Carolina, provides another example of a woman auto dealer leader.

· Angelina Brown is president and CFO of the Yarri Automotive Group in Merrilville, Indiana. She is active in the Ford Lincoln-mercury Dealer Association.