EVENT: Heels & Wheels Does It Again!

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By StyleMayvin

Attending Heels & Wheels is definitely one of the events I look forward to each year, so when I had the opportunity to cover it for BumperCandy in addition to my own blog, I was thrilled! As a lifeSTYLE blogger, it’s always good to be in the presence of other professional women who are seasoned automotive journalists because we tend to learn so much from each other and this is one of the few, if not only, press trips specifically focused on female auto buyers (and writers).

In it’s third year, Heels & Wheels just keeps getting better! It is evident by the manufacturers who attended and brought along their cars for us to test drive, that reaching women buyers is very important to them. In fact, this year’s automotive line up included: Dodge Dart GT, Buick Verrano, Aston Martin DB-9, Hyundai Sante Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander GT, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, Mini Cooper Convertible, Mazda6, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Kia Cadenza. Attendees were able to spend a great deal of time in each vehicle as the cars were actually driven from Portland to central Oregon with planned driver switches along the way. They were also made available on the second day to drive around the scenic and picturesque mountain area surrounding the beautiful Brasada Ranch, our home for the duration of the trip.

When most people think about car buyers, a woman is not usually the first person who comes to mind however, studies have shown that women are actually “better at” making automotive purchases than men. Why? Because they are more level-headed when making their selection,  they do their research and what better avenue for doing any type of research than the good old Internet? Honestly, where would we all be without the it? According to KBB (Kelly Blue Book), new car shoppers find the Internet to be more helpful, relevant and valuable than other media sources. A large percentage (68%) of the women visiting the KBB site have already decided on the car they intend to purchase based on segment or type of car, 50% on the price and 46% on the actual brand. Women are also significantly more likely than men to place greater importance on safety, affordability, fuel efficiency, driving performance and let’s throw style in for good measure since every women wants a great looking car too. So what does all of this mean? In short, we can conclude that women definitely do more research prior to purchasing and are considerably more pragmatic in making their vehicle choices.

With automotive sales now consistently on the rise, it would be in the best interest of car manufacturers to capture the attention of as many potential buyers as possible.  We are seeing evidence of this being put into action via the marketing channels and commercials being produced to not only capitalize on a particular gender but also the unique lifestyle choices of various groups of people. From eco-friendly to fuel efficient, or an awesome off-roading experience to a luxurious driving machine (yes, these are all things that women also enjoy!) there’s something out there for every buyer and budget. In the end, most women are loyal to the brand they choose and research has made them very savvy shoppers.

Check out last year’s coverage of Heels & Wheels, right here.

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