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Auto Makers Start Listening to What Women Want!

Published Feb 21st 2007, 4:21pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Girl_hugs_carseat_1 We love our cars, right ladies? Well the auto manufacturers are picking up on this more and more. reported on the automakers "Female focus" in Detroit.

5 On Your Side consumer specialist Angie Lau went to Detroit to grill auto executives about what they're doing for women. Automakers are sitting up and paying attention. Lau tracked down Chrysler's vice president of marketing, George Murphy.

"Demographics; 50 percent of women make 85 percent of the decisions. In my case, 100 percent," Murphy said. In fact, Lau said, women in focus groups have inspired some of the simplest innovations.

"There's one neat aspect of this minivan which is what do you do with a wet umbrella. Well, we've provided this tray here. Sounds crazy, but one woman said to us, 'What the heck am I supposed to do with a wet umbrella?' This is one thing told to us by them, and now I think it's really going to be a wow factor," Murphy said.

Ford_fusion Ford's director of design, Patrick Shiavone, said his team pays attention to a woman's keen sense of style when it comes to design. He said the Ford Fusion's interior is like an lbd -- little black dress.

"The little touches of chrome is almost like wearing the right jewelry with the little black dress," Shiavone said. He admitted that's not the only thing that will get women behind the wheel.

"People want to be safe. And women especially want to feel safe, so you want to have the best safety, airbags, side airbag, rollover protection, new hardware that brings these new vehicles as safe as they are today," Shiavone said.

General manager Jill Lajdziak at Saturn said she is in tune with delivering what women want. The winning car of the year, Saturn Aura, was engineered with fuel economy and safety in mind.

"It doesn't stop there. Like me, especially female, that's the foundation. But what do we want from there? We want what we want every day. We want to look great," Lajdziak said.

She said looking great also means a little flash.

"You start to put on some jewelry, your earrings, your necklace. How do we do that? It starts with the lamp, the proud display of the brand bar and logo," Lajdziak said.

When it comes to many vehicles and designs it's clear that it's women doing the driving.

Women's Favorites:

   1. Mitsubishi Spyder Eclipse
   2. Saturn l-300
   3. Toyota Rav 4
   4. Mitsubishi Eclipse
   5. Land Rover Freelander

The information is based on nationwide female vehicle registrations for 2006. Check out the original story on

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