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Which car brands connect with women?

Buick, Toyota are tops with women buyers; truck brands

For mainstream automotive brands to show continued growth in
challenging economic times, they must find traction across all
demographics. The latest analysis from S&P Global Mobility
shows that some brands are enjoying much more success with women

Among the top 25 brands in the United States, Buick ranked
highest in 2022 of women’s share of brand, at 55.0% of personal new
vehicle registrations, followed by Mitsubishi, Mini, Lexus,
Infiniti, Mazda, and Kia. In terms of total volumes of
personal vehicles registered to women in 2022, Toyota clearly
ranked above all other brands.

On the flip side, Ram placed lowest with just 17% of new
personal vehicle registrations going to women, followed by GMC,
Ford, Tesla, and Dodge. The bottom-two brands’ reliance on trucks
is reflected in their male bias. Tesla is the outlier there,
showing that despite the success of its Model Y compact SUV in a
strongly female segment, its personal vehicle registrations have a
decidedly male skew.

Brands with highest female buyer

Buick 55%

Mitsubishi 51.4%

Mini 51.1%

Lexus 50.4%

Infiniti 49.6%

Mazda 49%

Kia 49%

Industry average 41.2%

Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration

Brands with lowest female buyer representation

Ram 17%

GMC 28.7%

Ford 31.1%

Tesla 33.1%

Dodge 33.9%

Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration

Although share of brand is one way to examine demographic
preferences, overall volume registrations to women consumers also
is a critical measurement.

On a pure volume level, Toyota secured the most hearts and minds
of women car buyers in 2022 by hundreds of thousands of personal

Brands with highest volume of registrations among

Brand Volume Women as % of total

Toyota 606,985 43.3
Honda 363,799 48.2
Chevrolet 340,999 34.7
Ford 313,477 31.1
Hyundai 294,380 47.7

Source: S&P Global Mobility CY 2022 vehicle registration

Why the importance of attracting the female audience? For one
thing, women make up more than half of the population, 50.5%
according to the most recent US census, and influence the vast
majority of vehicle purchases.

Additionally, women buyers consistently show more brand loyalty
than men, on average 4 percentage points more likely to stick with
the same brand, according to S&P Global Mobility. Female brand
loyalty figures are even higher for the brands with the highest
percentage of women buyers: 9.2 percentage points more loyal than
men for Mini vehicles, 7.6 for Mitsubishi, 5.2 for Lexus and
Infiniti, and 4.3 for Buick. The only mainstream full-line brand
with higher loyalty among men than women was Ford.

Why the success for Buick? According to Marc Bland, chief
diversity officer for S&P Global Mobility, some of the success
comes from GM’s extra focus on female buyers: “The majority of the
OEMs now have a minority dealer organization, but GM takes it a
step further: They have a Women’s Retail Network.”

Members of GM’s WRN include all female dealer principals and
department managers. The group holds annual meetings with briefings
about best practices, ensuring strong and equitable representation
across GM’s entire dealership network. The WRN also launched a
scholarship for women entering automotive-related fields of study
more than a decade ago.

“How consumers are treated at the dealership is important,” said
Cheryl Woodworth, associate director of consulting for S&P
Global Mobility. “The evolution of the
car-buying process
, entailing less negotiation and with
potentially more of the buying process online, is very appealing to

Safety is also a top priority for women buyers, and the US auto
industry’s only female CEO made that a top priority for GM. One of
Mary Barra’s first initiatives was Speak Up for Safety – an
initiative stemming from GM’s ignition switch recall – that created
a framework for employees to call out perceived safety risks in any

“Those kinds of things resonate out from GM’s 200,000 employees,
to their dinner tables, their families, their extended families and
friends,” Bland said. “It creates this cloud that GM has safety at
its core.”

But not all GM brands are seeing this boost. Cadillac and
Chevrolet both placed in the bottom-half of rankings, with
truck-heavy GMC near the bottom.

Part of Buick’s strength comes from its product portfolio, which
is entirely made up of compact and midsize SUVs. The other GM
brands’ broader offerings, including large SUVs, trucks, and
performance cars, skew more heavily towards male buyers. But a
general focus on women buyers may be insufficient. Breaking it down
into further ethnic or geographical subsets may be necessary for an
OEM or dealer to better target its marketing.

“As we move to 2023 and beyond, best practices at OEMs should
look at women as not just one homogenous group,” Bland said. “For
example, African-American women registered more new vehicles than
their male counterparts. And the Chevrolet Silverado is in the
top-10 volume vehicles registered among Hispanic women.”

Broader representation across different consumer groups is key
for any brand that hopes to grow, and some brands clearly have work
to do.

This article was published by S&P Global Mobility and not by S&P Global Ratings, which is a separately managed division of S&P Global.

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