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TrueCar.

com, the authoritative voice in new car pricing and industry trend information, has released its third annual demographic study based on car-buying behavior in 2011, examining gender differences in auto buying. TrueCar.com's study was based on over nine million retail purchases in 2011.

"While gender preferences amongst the buyers of various automotive brands still exist, the gap is narrowing," said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence at TrueCar.com. "The SUV and truck heavy mix of the domestic automakers continue to generate a disproportionate number of male customers, while the exotic brands remain to be the best medicine for a midlife crisis."

Some of the key findings of the TrueCar.com study include:

  • The brand with the highest percentage of retail sales to females in 2011 continues to be MINI (46.2 percent), followed by Nissan (45.7 percent), and Kia (45.6 percent) compared to 2010 when MINI (47.9 percent) came in first, followed by Kia and Honda respectively (46.8 percent and 46.0 percent).  There were fourteen brands with a female ratio over 40 percent in 2011 and newcomer FIAT landed at 41.9 percent.
  • Males continue to be the majority of exotic new car buyers but in 2011, there was only one exotic brand with 10 percent or less retail sales to women, Ferrari (7.5 percent), compared to 2010 when there were six brands.
  • Sixteen of the top 20 brands in 2011 with the highest percentage of female buyers were import brands, while domestic brand FIAT landed at 12. Chrysler, Buick and Jeep bottomed out the list at 18-20. Only three luxury brands made the top 20, with Lexus (44.2 percent) being the only luxury brand over 40 percent.
  • Thirteen of the top 20 brands in 2011 with the highest percentage of male buyers were either exotic or luxury brands. When including luxury brands, nine of the top 20 were domestic. GMC and Dodge brands both had over 70% new car male buyers in 2011.
  • The new Volkswagen Beetle, introduced in 2011, had a higher percentage of male buyers in 2011, with 45.4 percent of buyers being male. In 2010, the Volkswagen New Beetle had only 39.4 percent of male buyers.

 

"Female car buyers really gravitated toward smaller, more fuel-efficient cars and crossovers," said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at TrueCar.com. "It was the complete opposite for male buyers, who preferred either a fast and sporty vehicle with distinctive curb appeal or a big vehicle, like a large truck or SUV."

TrueCar.com also examined the most current market prices and listed discounts for all of the brands and specific models that were tracked with over 1,000 vehicle sales annually.  Below are the top ten brands with the highest male and female purchase ratios and their current discount percentages:

Top 10 Female Brand Purchases in 2011

Top 10 Male Brand Purchases in 2011

Brand

% Female

Current
Discount %
from MSRP

Brand

% Male

Current
Discount %
from MSRP

MINI

46.2%

1.7%

Ferrari

92.5%

N/A

Nissan

45.7%

6.6%

Bentley

83.4%

N/A

Kia

45.6%

3.6%

Maserati

82.8%

N/A

Honda

45.5%

3.8%

Porsche

76.5%

2.7%

Mitsubishi

44.9%

6.1%

Jaguar

73.9%

4.8%

Mazda

44.3%

5.0%

GMC

73.5%

2.9%

Lexus

44.2%

4.9%

Dodge

72.0%

3.9%

Suzuki

44.0%

2.5%

Land Rover

71.2%

2.1%

Subaru

43.9%

4.5%

Ford

68.6%

8.2%

Hyundai

43.7%

2.6%

Chevrolet

67.8%

2.9%

Below are the top ten models that had the highest percentage of male and female buyers (minimum 1,000 retail sales) and their current market discounts from MSRP:

Top 10 Female Purchases in 2011 - Makes/Models

Top 10 Male Purchases in 2011 - Makes/Models

Makes/Models

% Female

Current
Discount %
from MSRP

Makes/Models

% Male

Current
Discount %
from MSRP

Volvo S40

57.9%

N/A

Porsche 911

88.2%

2.7%

Nissan Rogue

56.9%

2.1%

GMC Sierra

87.5%

7.4%

Volkswagen Eos

56.4%

3.9%

Ford F-Series

87.0%

5.6%

Volkswagen Beetle

54.6%

1.3%

Chevrolet Corvette

86.9%

6.9%

Hyundai Tucson

54.0%

0.9%

Chevrolet Silverado

86.4%

7.5%

Honda CR-V

53.4%

1.5%

BMW M3

85.1%

3.2%

Toyota RAV4

53.0%

2.4%

Audi S4

84.7%

3.3%

Nissan JUKE

52.7%

0.6%

Audi A8

84.4%

3.2%

Jeep Compass

52.7%

3.0%

Cadillac Escalade EXT

84.3%

1.9%

Nissan Versa

52.2%

0.1%

Maserati Granturismo

84.3%

N/A


 




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