Tata Motors, India’s largest automobile company, is transforming its cars for women, who make up 17 per cent of its customer base. “Gears are shifting in the automotive marketing world’s attitude towards women, who represent a huge opportunity for this industry,” a Tata Motors spokesperson said.
“We started noticing the change in customer profile with the Nano. In 2010-11, 14 per cent of Nano owners were women. That number has jumped to 23 per cent in 2015-16,” the spokesperson added. The company feels this is because the GenX Nano has features like automated manual transmission, power steering, a music system and colour themes for women.
A Frost & Sullivan report says women preferred small vehicles but they also gave importance to design, spaciousness, safety, quality of materials, colour and sustainability.
“Women prefer smart city cars. Any company that wants to connect with female customers must focus on ease of driving and style quotient,” said Abdul Majeed, partner PwC India.
The Frost & Sullivan study released in 2014 had found female holders of driving licences had tipped the balance in the US at 51 per cent. This was consistent across all ages over 25. Canada and the UK are set to follow by 2016.
Cars like the Land Rover Evoque, endorsed by Victoria Beckham, have more women customers than men. The Fiat 500 is also popular among women.
“Our new cars like the Zest and Bolt have found acceptance among female audiences,” said the Tata Motors spokesperson.
The new Tiago, a compact hatch, has 22 ‘intelligent utility spaces’. “The boot space has been crafted with hooks for shopping bags by weight. The car offers a multi-drive mode,” the spokesperson added.
“Placing advertorials in lifestyle magazines like Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Femina and Elle was a strategy to create awareness among women. The company has also partnered Cartoon Network, using its Ben 10 character to target mothers,” she said.
Going forward, Tata Motors is looking at initiating driver training programmes where the company will employ women drivers to train this segment of customers in driving.