Moms Are Decision Makers - Tough News For Midsize Cars

Moms buy cars. It isn't a shocker. Studies have for years noted that women are major decision-makers when it comes to what vehicle a household gets. But the sole decision-maker? Really? In a consumer poll by online auto shopping and research site Cars.com, 75% of moms surveyed said they are, in fact, the ones making all of the decisions. 

Ninety percent of moms surveyed in the study -- conducted by C+R Research and involving over 1,000 shoppers -- want the negotiation of the price to be as simple and easy as possible, and almost three-quarters of them said that shopping online for a new or used vehicle makes the process easier. And 66% of them said they trust the info they get online more than what they learn from dealers. About the same percentage said most dealerships treat them like a valued customer, but 75% said that even so, they feel salespeople are still pushy and aggressive.

But nearly 70% of moms polled also said that despite these factors, they still prefer to conduct negotiations in person, and prefer a long-term relationship with a single dealer; the majority said they would rather buy multiple vehicles from the same lot.

“It’s important for dealers to remember that moms have done the same amount of research, if not more, than any other customer before stepping onto the lot, and they’re confident in their ability to navigate the car-buying process,” said Jack Simmons, manager of dealer training at Cars.com, in a statement. The respondent pool included 367 moms who were planning to purchase a vehicle within the next six months or had done so within the previous six months.

They don’t seem to be interested in mid-size cars, unfortunately. New data from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) says that families' preference for compact cars and crossovers has hurt the mid-size car category, meaning that now is the time to buy cars like Camry, Fusion, Accord, and Altima -- not to mention Chrysler 200 and the new Hyundai Sonata: slow sales mean big incentives are coming. 

"What is traditionally a good month to buy new vehicles across all segments will be even more so for consumers looking at mid-size cars this May," said Larry Dixon, senior automotive analyst of NADA Used Car Guide, in the report.

The organization says sales in the segment have dropped more than any other (11%) over the first four months of the year. "Today's compact car is big enough to comfortably accommodate small families, has amenities comparable to its larger cousin and comes with a price tag thousands of dollars less," said the NADA report.

NADA cites Ward's Auto data that sales of mid-size crossovers are up 14% year-to-date; and Autodata data showing incentive spending for the mid-size car segment rose by 28% through April.

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2 comments about "Moms Are Decision Makers - Tough News For Midsize Cars".
  1. Kate Baumgart Hogenson from Metzner Schneider Associates , May 12, 2014 at 12:24 p.m.
    Tell this to Volkswagon who re-designed their Beetle, their entry in the compact arena, because "it was too much of a chick car and we needed to appeal to men."
  2. nina grody from Grody Company , May 13, 2014 at 4:47 p.m.
    Women have been the decision maker, if not the main influencer, in auto purchases for generations. While much of the industry continues to ignore reality, holding on for dear life to it's male bias, brands such as Tesla, Ford and Audi are turning away from traditional marketing processes and opting for transparency, engagement via a pull vs push strategy, and gender blindness.