Women Buying More Cars, Favor Imports


Over the past four years, the number of women buying cars has steadily increased as a percentage of total sales, according to R. L. Polk, a consumer marketing firm. Women now make up 38.5% of all new-vehicle registrations, up from 36% in 2006.

So what are women buying? They appear to prefer Toyota and Honda vehicles. Collectively, the two Japanese brands account for more than 1 out of 4 of every car purchase by women, about 29.7%.

Even so, other automotive brands depend more on female shoppers. Nearly half of all Mini car buyers, 47.9%, are women. That’s the most out of any brand.

When you break down women into different ethnic and racial categories, women have even more influence in what Polk calls “Ethnic Communities.” Ethnic women — from African-American, Asian and Hispanic households — now make up 45.4% of sales in those communities compared with ethnic men, up from 40.7% in 2006. In a separate blog post, Polk points out that 49% of Asian-American women, 47.5% of African-American women and 41.6% of Hispanic women make new-car buying decisions.

Overall, ethnic minority groups (men and women) are most loyal to Toyota and Honda, according to Polk.

Below we list the top five brands for female car buyers and the top five brands most dependent on female shoppers:

Top Five Brands based on Passenger Vehicle Sales to Women Brand / Share of Women Market

  • Toyota 15.7% (Represents 15.7 of every 100 sales to women is a Toyota) 
  • Honda 14.0% 
  • Ford 10.0% 
  • Chevrolet 8.9% 
  • Nissan 8.8% 

Top Five Brands based on Women's Share of Brand Sales

  • Mini 47.9% (Represents 47.9 of every 100 Minis sold are registered to women) 
  • Kia 46.8% 
  • Honda 46.0% 
  • Nissan 45.5% 
  • Subaru 45.0% 

Women Driving Increased Auto Sales (Polk)

Toyota Honda In The News