'Female Friendly' Car Dealerships
BOSTON When it comes to buying a car, it's usually a man's
world, but that's changing. Car dealers are now becoming more female
"Women represent more than 50 percent of all new car buyers in the U.S.," said Jody Devere of AskPatty.com. "Women also influence 85 percent of all automotive purchases."
Yet according to at least one study, women are routinely quoted higher prices for cars than men. And when it comes to negotiating the deal, or even just looking, many women still feel uncomfortable about the way they're treated.
"There was a guy. He didn't even introduce himself. And he was like boom, boom, boom," said car buyer Cristy Gonzalez.
But now, a growing number of dealers are getting in gear.
"The car industry - it's more male-generated business," said car dealer Linh Iam. "We just need a little bit of help."
So Linh lam and his staff take a course that teaches car salesmen how to deal with female buyers.
"I really believe the automotive industry is waking up to the fact of the tremendous purchasing power of the woman consumer," said Devere.
Devere created AskPatty.com - the course trains car sales staff nationwide to work with women, both onsite or online. Once the course is successfully completed, the dealership is certified as "female friendly." Devere says the concept is taking off. "They are interested and ready to really address the needs of women consumers."
Jody says the biggest mistake women make when they go to the car dealer is not doing some homework first, especially about costs. She says it's easy to feel ripped off if you don't have good figures to make comparisons.
Many dealerships are also hiring more women as sales representatives.