As carmakers expand their presence in China, now one of the world’s fastest-growing car markets, Chinese women have taken a liking to luxury cars, challenging the status quo of this traditionally male-dominated market.
Maserati’s managing director of Greater China, Bo Yaming, said recently in an interview that Chinese women account for 40 percent of its buyers in the Chinese market, which is in stark contrast to the rest of the world, where women account for less than five percent of buyers. German luxury automaker Porsche is seeing a similar trend. In 2015, 40 percent of its sales came from women in China, who are becoming a key growth engine. Ferrari noticed that Chinese women prefer more powerful and more expensive models, and sales to Chinese women are about four times the sales to women in the west.
“In China, women are ambitious … so they will buy more ‘high powered’ products than women in the US or Europe,” Tom Doctoroff, a senior partner at brand and marketing consultancy Prophet, recently told Forbes, addressing the difference between women in China and the West. Luxury cars have become a way for Chinese women to display their power, an outspoken symbol of their newfound status in society.
China produces the most self-made female billionaires, according to the latest Hurun Global Rich List. Among the 88 women that made the global list, two-thirds are Chinese. And those women are also making their mark in terms of luxury spending.
Recognizing the buying power of women in China, many luxury carmakers have stepped up their game for the newly rich female driver in China, from coming up with creative advertising efforts to adjusting features of the car to cater to this demographic.
German carmaker Audi came up with female features to address their needs, such as automated self-parking, personalized colors, and interior design. According to The Wall Street Journal, Italian carmaker Maserati has been hosting private cocktail parties with Giorgio Armani’s cosmetics line and Italian lingerie company La Perla, and previously worked with Italian Vogue to feature a number of Chinese women from a variety of professional backgrounds who are drivers of the Maserati.
Maserati will provide more targeted services to meet the needs of this crowd, according to Yaming. Online marketing and collaborations with Tmall will help them reach this goal.
With more women getting behind the wheel and driving up luxury car sales, it is little wonder why carmakers are racing to woo China’s rising female dollar.