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Marketing Plan for Ford Motors Company
The logic is really very simple -- when a model is supposed to be for women, it has to be designed by women.
It is clear that cars are now being purchased in USA for both men and women, and many times, women have their own cars. This fact had been realized as early as 1956 when there was a model called Dodge La Femme for women to drive and probably that was the reason why it failed. (Women and SUVs) There was a difference in the thinking of men who designed the car and women who were supposed to drive it.
The market for cars among women is large and it had been 20% of the new vehicles during 1984 and this has gone up to 28% in 1990. The decisions are taken by them in 80% of the cases of purchase. (Women and SUVs) This fact has been realized and on 12 June 2005, there was an article in the New York Times which was about the purchase of cars by women. This article emphasized that women bought cars to avail of the speed that it gave them rather than match up to their images as wife or mother. There is a consulting firm called RL Polk and there the vehicle registration records were compiled through car registration figures. This exercise gave an indication that women above 45 who purchased cars preferred cars in a niche called "mid-sized sporty." (Women Claim the Open Road)
This range includes two door models like Mazda RX-8 and Chrysler Crossfire. This has shown an increase of 277% from the figures that existed in 2000. When women with earnings at higher income levels like $100,000 are considered, then the preference is for smaller luxury cars like BMW 3 series and Audi 4. The sales of these cars have gone up by 93% over their sales in 2000. Women in USA had liked full sized pickups, and the sales of those vehicles have gone up by 310%. The reasons for the women buying cars are individual, and a respiratory therapist, Pamela Robinson says that "I wanted to go back to being the person I remembered being. You were a person before you got married, before you had kids. I just decided to reclaim it." She has been saving up to buy an orange Nissan 350Z sports car. (Women Claim the Open Road) It does not mean that women are really looking for anything different in the cars, but their feelings may be different. According to an automobile magazine, women like vehicles that are stylish, safe, fun to drive, an expression of their personality, meet their needs, reliable, loaded with features and are available at a reasonable price. (Women and SUVs)
In a study in Europe, among the Ford cars, the favorite among women was the Ford fiesta. They are a favorite car there and viewed as being stress free. Their price is viewed to be low, and women like their compact build and ease-of-use. The cars were also resold on the second hand market easily and this was also a reason for their popularity. This is of course maintained to be kept up by the company -- repairs and servicing not being very expensive. The car itself is not viewed to be very exciting, but it remains very popular with women. Another car that is popular is Volkswagen Golf and this is viewed as a sound investment. The biggest attractions for women are that the car feels safe, the feels reliable, the car looks secure and the car does not look very difficult to drive. Another car is the Renault Clio and this had started in 1990. The biggest attraction of the car is that it is not viewed to be a man's car, and is viewed only as a woman's car. Another car is the Audi TT and this appeal to women due to their unique lines, shape and attention to detail. The other advantage is that this car has the highest values on the second hand car market and this assures buyers that they will not go into a loss when they have to sell. (Ten Cars Women Love)
The next question is to go into the features of cars and decide what women are looking for. The main areas of concentration of a woman are on vision, ergonomics, safety, aesthetics and security. This is the result of a study conducted by Jaguar. The definition of vision is that women would like to be able to see the end of the bonnet. The meaning of ergonomics is the reach and height adaptations of steering columns, ease in the use of controls and driving position in totality. The safety aspects are concerned with airbags, impact protection, and ABS and traction control. The concept in terms of aesthetics is the style of the car which should be acceptable to them. The idea of security includes remote controlled central locking, electric windows, alarms and engine immobilizers. (Ten Cars Women Love) These are also viewed to be very important.
The buyers of cars are from women are increasing and at present about half the buyers are women. When the buyer is a woman, in 97% of the cases, the user of the car is going to be the woman herself. In terms of statistics, these women have an average age of 41; 78% of these women are graduates and the median household income is $63,000. (Women and SUVs) At the same time, there are some benefits of selling cars to women. According to a study conducted by researchers at University of California's Haas School of Business, the Yale School of Business and JD Powers and Associates, women and racial minorities pay about 2% higher than white buyers for a car at the retail outlets. The amount works out to be around $500. Even when it is the woman buying the car and not the man, the same difference in price is collected by the seller from the buyer. (Women and minority automobile buyers) Advertising pages in important magazines like U.S. weekly and Star magazine have been showing double digit increases during last year. The greatest increase has taken place for advertisements for cars, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals. (Women Claim the Open Road)
It has already been explained that the market for cars among women is increasing rapidly and has already reached as much as 28% of the total market. This indicates possible future growth, and it is also seen that women do not like all brands or all designs. The biggest advantage for Ford is the repairs and service facility that the organization can provide and that has to be provided for the new brand also, which will be clearly targeted to women. The target itself makes a major change in the marketing strategy for the company. The features of the new car will have to be designed, and it is clear that male designers may not find it a very appropriate exercise as has been the case earlier. While this will involve some additional costs, there are also expected benefits through additional pricing which is expected due to the buyers being women. Advertising will of course be required separately for the car.
Even when the plan is executed, it will not happen for the first time. This has been done by Volvo which has set up a new team for designing a woman's car, and this was the statement from Lena Ekelund who is a deputy technical manager. They designed a totally different car called YCC or your concept car and this was presented at an international show. This is a sporty coupe with curves. The project was carried out by an all woman team of executives,…[continue]
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