Helping women with car dealers
Sarah A. Webster
Detroit Free Press
Dec. 25, 2006 12:00 AM Women flat-out decide or in some way influence most of the car and truck purchases in the U.S. - more than 80 percent, according to some estimates.
But talk to women candidly about their auto-buying experience, and you'll find that many aren't thrilled with the experience in showrooms.
Women still report being asked, "When are you going to bring your husband in? When are you going to bring your dad in?" and similar questions, said Fara Warner, author of the 2005 book Power of the Purse.
So what's a male-dominated industry to do?
Enter askpatty.com, a New York-based Web site that aims to help improve communication between female customers and auto sellers.
The site educates women about all things automotive, and it certifies dealerships as female-friendly after they've passed a course on how to communicate with women. About 50 dealerships have signed up.
"I'm not a screaming feminist waving my finger at auto dealers," said Jody DeVere, president of askpatty.com. "I'm a businessperson, and I saw an opportunity."