September 20 2011 at 04:20pm
By Motoring Staff – Original Article
Don’t be shy, ladies, there will be just as many women as men attending October’s Johannesburg Motor Show – and with good reason.
Just as many (if not more) women as men buy cars, or have a big say in the buying decision. In the United States women account for 85 percent all consumer purchases, including everything from cars to health care – and 91 percent of all new homes!
Here in South Africa, with increasing numbers of two-car families, and lots more ladies moving up the corporate ladder to the level where a company car is part of the deal, women are increasingly choosing their own cars and negotiating their own deals.
They know what they want, and why they want it. After all, they have to drive it.
Sales rep Claire Veitch isn’t about to miss the show.
“I want to see every single car there, if it takes me all day to walk around,” she said.
She’s never had any hesitation about buying a car she likes, for herself or the family – and she doesn’t take any advice from her husband.
“But that’s because I have no interest in Lancias, beach buggies or clapped-out old Landys,” she said.
She loves new checking out new models (after all, this is retail therapy on a grand scale!), and when she’s in the market for a new car, she enjoys doing her homework, reading reports and asking around for friends’ opinions.
But nothing beats a day at the show, sitting in all the new cars and getting a feel of the controls.
Because, in general, ladies go with gut instinct first, and then worry about price and fuel efficiency, while men are more concerned with size and performance (what else is new?).
But a lot of women still feel they they’re not always afforded the respect they deserve from salesmen. Durban travel agent Kim Duffy said she felt perfectly comfortable deciding on the family car and her own car (they have three children, so her input is crucial on the family sedan) but she was reluctant to sign the deal without a man present.
“When I bought my last car my father-in-law squeezed the salesman for extra carpets and got a towbar thrown in,” she explained. “I wouldn’t have been able to do that.”
New Zealand photographer Sherelee Clarke has always bought her own cars – and negotiated the deal from start to finish.
“I did ask my brother to take my latest car for a drive before I bought it,” she admitted. “But I would have bought it anyway, even if he hadn’t liked it.”
She said her brothers felt strongly that women shouldn’t be in charge of making the final decision on a family car.
“They seem to think a woman is incapable of making the right choice,” she laughed.
But that’s wrong and we can prove it: When the Ford company asked a group of engineers, all ladies, to design the ultimate car “by girls for girls”, they came up with a concept – the YCC – which eventually became the cheeky little Volvo C30 – and that’s anything but a girly car!
So don’t be shy to ask questions and try the cars on for size, girls – you’ll have an absolute ball at the show, on at the Expo Centre, Nasrec from October 6-16.