Single Women Get Credit for Booming SUV Demand
Nora Patey knew what she wanted when she went car shopping over Presidents Day weekend: a small SUV, with a backup camera, high carriage and a reasonable monthly lease payment. Even so, many of the salesmen made their pitches to her boyfriend.
“He would have to say, ‘It’s not my car, don’t talk to me, talk to her,’” the 24-year-old recalled. “Even though I would initiate the introduction and say that I was looking for the car, and I was buying it, a lot of the conversation would frequently get directed to him.”
Like Patey, who eventually bought a 2016 Mazda CX-5, a growing number of women are shifting the gender demographics of vehicle sales and challenging automakers’ long-held assumptions about who drives their cars. In particular, single women are buying more SUVs, fueling a surge in demand that has 2016 on pace to top last year’s record 17.5 million light-vehicle sales in the U.S.