When we think about girls and cars, initially we can’t really imagine what the two words put together represent. Now, try to imagine a girl’s garage… Be honest, what car popped up in your mind?
It was a VW Beetle, wasn’t it?
To be fair, that’s what came to my mind, but at the same time I’m a girly girl and we all know that there are no two girls the same. It is true that many of us happen to be great admirers of the VW Beetle, but it’s not just the looks that caught our attention – it is part of a very reliable brand and for the size, it gives you a lot of comfort and coziness inside.
This being told, a lot of women would purchase a Volvo, a GMC, a BMW, a Mercedes, or even a classic car, depending on their circumstances. According to quite a few people, Volvo is an obvious choice for a mom for its safety features and many comforts. Many will choose a GMC because, well let’s face it, for some women size matters. And when it comes to a Mercedes or a BMW, or even a classic car – sometimes women simply know cars and know what they should buy.
Regardless of which vehicle is most popular among women, one thing is for sure – the 18th century is long gone and women should be given just as much credit, for their love of cars, as men.
A girl’s garage is not your regular garage.
You know those stories that start with a friend of a friend did whatever…, and you think that can’t be real, well think again because this is one of those stories.
A friend of a friend – a good-looking, economically stable, educated, and very elegant woman – happens to be a car gal. At first, you wouldn’t think so – someone wearing dresses and skirts with high heels, 360 days of the year cannot possibly be interested in or knowledgeable about cars. However, when you see her arrive with her convertible black Mercedes with red leather interior, you start to get the feeling that she likes good German engineering, and later when a car passes by and she sniffs the air and her comment is: “He needs an oil change”, then you know she is into cars.
In addition to the black Mercedes, she has an SUV, and a white BMW X5– a car simply to die for. The fact that they look impeccable adds up to the willingness to have those cars. So, what does she do with them in her garage? In the winter, she carefully details the convertible and then puts it into the garage – nice and cozy. She cleans up the BMW thoroughly every other week. Now, if you want to know how much she loves her cars, well – she checks if they are alright when the electricity goes off.
As you can imagine now, girls’ love for cars can be just as intense as boys’ love for cars, sometimes even more, if you include the mothering instinct into the equation.
So what can you expect to find in a girl’s garage?
The answer is anything – from a Volvo through a race car to a truck. According to the 2012 TrueCar study, the highest percentage of brand purchases by females in 2011 belongs to the MINI – 46.2%, which out-placed the VW Beetle a few years ago. Nissan follows at 45.7% and Kia – at 45.6%.
In 2011, the redesigned Beetle stood out in popularity with the male population – 45.4% of the buyers happen to be male.
When it comes to the most popular make/model in 2011, females seem to strongly prefer Volvo S40 (now discontinued in the US) with 57.9 % of the purchases made by them. Nissan holds second place again as the brand popular among women, with 56.9% of the purchases, followed by VW Eos with 56.4% and VW Beetle – 54.6%.
According to TrueCar’s study, the average woman in the US prefers foreign brands for her vehicles, which signifies that they prefer smaller, more reliable, and more fuel-efficient vehicles; unlike their male counterparts who happen to enjoy more exotic and sporty vehicles, disregarding the fuel-efficient and practical point of view.
Even though this study shows that the gap between genders (when it comes to choosing a vehicle) still exists, it is gradually fading when it comes to women racers and truck drivers. It is true that it did take a while for women to have their own spot on the racing line, and in the truck industry, both of which are still predominantly male fields, however, the garage of either one of those female groups is no different than that of a man.
According to Wikipedia, many of the female drivers have started their careers by attending numerous open-wheel racing events, such as IndyCar Series, ARCA, NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, and/or the Drive for Diversity program.
Betty Skelton Erde was a female driver that set a speed record for women with the pace car, at a speed of 105.88 mph on the sand, in 1954 at Daytona. As impressive as her career was, she was far from being the only one.
Janet Guthrie, an aerospace engineer, was the first woman to race on a superspeedway after her first race at the NASCAR World 600 in 1976 (where she finished 15th) and the first woman to complete in both – Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.
These women have brought inspiration to many others to overcome the discouragement by many associations for women to participate in races, s.a. the Indianapolis 500. Unlike them, the NASCAR association has allowed female drives since the day it started in 1949, and since the launch of the Drive for Diversity initiative in 2004, it has attracted more and more female drivers.
Nowadays, we have extremely successful female drivers, such as Danica Sue Patrick, who is proclaimed as the most successful woman in the history of American Open -Wheel Racing. She has competed in numerous races on a national and international level. Some of her major accomplishments include – finished 2nd in the Formula Ford Festival in 2000 in the UK, 3rd in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2004 in the US, and 5th in the IndyCar Series in 2009 in the US.
As you can see, a girl’s garage is not girly anymore.
The fact that more and more women decide to enter another male-dominated and dangerous world – the one of a truck driver – proves how strong and empowering women can be. Even though the general opinion has been that women cannot be truck drivers due to the lack of driving skills or strength to take over the heavy load, women truck drivers seem to have proven that belief wrong.
According to a study by the Women in Trucking Association, which evaluated the behavioral characteristics of men and women in the trucking industry, in terms of patience and conformity both genders scored the highest out of the rest of the traits; however when it comes to intuitive decision making – women scored higher than men. By having the technical skills and the behavioral traits, women get the work done, and given their increasing number – 290 000 and growing, according to the NCBI, the job position of a truck driver is more and more appealing to them.
So if you are a trucking company and you are facing a truck drivers’ shortage, consider a more targeted campaign for hiring women – you might be surprised.
Now, how about you ladies– what’s in your garage?