Study Shows Women Now Control Car-Buying Dollars

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A woman shaving her face, a pile of money and a sign that reads

If you’re debating purchase of a 2019 Chevy Equinox vs 2019 Honda CR-V, studies show that you are likely to be a married female, between the ages of 26-54, with a combined income over $75,000, with a husband you should probably check in on.

In October of 2016, a study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, 51% of women identify themselves as the CFO of their household, having taken the reigns of their respective household finances. This, combined with the fact that well over a third of married respondents count themselves as the primary breadwinner in their relationship represents an important distinction to be made by retailers and retail marketers everywhere.

Regardless of industry, it’s crucial for marketers to identify the primary decision-makers within a household. This informs them of who their marketing campaigns should be directed towards. After all, women, men and children all speak very different languages and assign priorities in very different manners.

But the automotive industry presents a fascinating side-note. Whereas women have gained a stronger foothold in other areas of commerce thanks to their diligence, reliability and the progressive evolution of gender roles in recent decades, their growing influence on car-buying comes from something else entirely.

That’s right, a large number of men seem to have just given up.

This is the claim being made by Newt Ehrdick. Aged 42, Newt is self-described as a ‘happily married father of three’. Newt’s friends, however, describe him as a ‘sad shell of a wild man, who once shot-gunned a bottle of Southern Comfort and ran naked through a Blue Man Group show singing ‘Tubthumping’ by Chumbawumba’. (Mr. Ehrdick would neither confirm, nor deny, the nature of their claims…)

“A lot of people talk about the Depression,” claims Newt Ehrdick, describing the financing woes of the late-aughts. “But it was really the death toll for vehicles that actually appealed to men. It was bad enough that we had spent the last decade-and-a half being tricked into believing that SUVs were way cooler than minivans, but then the SUVs got smaller. More family-friendly. We were forced by spouses to buy them in order to prove that we were now reliable adults. Dude, that sucks! A college buddy of mine was once forced by his wife to choose between an HR-V and a CR-V. Can you believe that? Poor guy shot himself! Not in the head or anything, mind you. But he [shot himself in the foot] just so that he could feel alive again! Fast-forward another five years and here we are. Empty, soulless creatures with little or no actual influence in our own households…”

Granted, Newt Ehrdick recognized exceptions, stating, “The last few years, things have gotten better. The Trackhawk? The Raptor? The Hellcat? I can’t even begin to tell you how refreshing it is to men, just knowing such vehicles are out there.”

But then, as quick as the glimmer of hope appeared in his eyes, it was gone. He head tilts forward, his voice a melancholy whisper.

“Not that our wives will let us get one…”

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