CarsDiva’s Blog

An Auto Industry Insider’s View…From A Woman’s Perspective

Archive for June, 2013

Pick-up Trucks, A Leading Lady… and “Glamping”

Posted by carsdiva on June 19, 2013

A true “car girl”, honored by Automotive News as being one of 100 leading women in the North American auto industry— meet Jully Burau.  Burau is General Motors’ Chief Engineer for all full-size [light duty and heavy duty] trucks.  Her passion for the auto industry began at a young age, and she credits this back to her father’s influence growing up.  Burau was hired by Buick when she graduated in 1980 and the rest is history.

Oh and then there is “glamping.” Wanna know what it is?  Check out the video for the inside scoop and learn a bit more about Jully.

 

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Car Shopping…. who holds the purse strings?

Posted by carsdiva on June 10, 2013

Did you know women buy more cars than men???

Yup, it’s true.  Women directly purchase about 54% of all vehicles, and they influence the purchase of 84%.  If you put two and two together, that’s quite a lot of buying power.  (And yes, I realize I just stated the obvious.)

So what do they buy and how do the sexes differ in their buying process?

Well, for starters, the purchase motivators are distinctly different.  Looking at what tops the list, for women it’s safety, and for men it’s performance.  Their needs, desires, and priorities differ, as well as their reason(s) for purchase. Therefore, the buying process is different.  Ahem, [car] salesmen…correction, sales “people”, please take note.

Car ShoppingI’ve seen many lists as far as which cars women buy vs. men, and they vary depending on the source.  However, the general conclusion across the board is that women favor SUVs, crossovers and compact sedans, while men have a preference for trucks and sports cars.  Again– this is a generalization– exclusions may apply, yours truly included.  (I prefer sports cars myself, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Delving further into the difference when it comes to car shopping, one will see that women tend to be more economical and pragmatic. Again– we already stated that safety is their number one purchase motivator.

Now let’s take a look at the process in terms of being at a car dealership.  Women, hands down, ask more questions.  They want to know everything. (I think perhaps I fit that stereotype…maybe.)  And they want to feel happy, satisfied and content with their purchase.  Men, on the other hand, revel at the game.  They take pride in getting a good deal, and they definitely don’t ask as many questions.  Men tend to rely on what they [assume] they know.  Could that be an ego thing??? Just sayin’….

Women complain that they’re intimidated by the whole car buying process– specifically when it comes to walking into a dealership.  They dread it.  Sometimes they’re ignored.  Having conducted my own recent survey, I garnered the same findings.  Not one female did I speak with state that she had a “fabulous” time buying her car.  In fact, in one instance, a lady told me she was initially excited, got home, and then started having buyers’ remorse, contemplating whether or not she got a good deal on her new vehicle.  Interestingly enough, 9 out of 10 car salespeople are men.  Perhaps that has something to do with it?

The evolution of the internet is definitely making things easier for car shoppers— both men and women, and shifting the process. Before the Online Shoppinginternet, women used to visit 5 to 7 dealerships before deciding on one.  Nowadays, most visit just one store.  That being said, there’s still room for improvement as evident by the discontent of people’s experiences.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with two powerful and interesting findings.  First off, more women have a driver’s license than men– 1.4 MILLION to be exact!  So basically more women can [legally] drive than men.  And secondly, women spend $300 BILLION on cars annually!!!  Now THAT is quite a compelling number, wouldn’t you say?  Maybe car dealerships should be figuring out how to cater to them a bit more…..

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LaFerrari ….that’s Italian for “The Ferrari”

Posted by carsdiva on June 3, 2013

The name speaks for itself.  Supercar of supercars, successor to the Enzo Ferrari, calling it “THE” Ferrari, is only fitting.  Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Ferrari’s President, said “we chose to call this model LaFerrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company- excellence.  Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving.”

LaFerrari frontI’m a bit behind on this one, but given my obsession with Ferraris, a post was inevitable.  Without further adieu, let’s take a look at Ferrari’s fastest car yet….

The LaFerrari was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, and it’s the first production model designed in-house. It boasts a 6.3-liter V-12 internal combustion engine, coupled with Ferrari’s F1 dual-clutch gearbox, and it’s said to be 5 seconds quicker than the Enzo and 3 seconds quicker than the [current] F12 Berlinetta on the racetrack.  Ferrari’s first “mild hybrid”, the powertrain is a combo gasoline-electric hybrid.  The HY-KERS battery pack found in LaFerrari was developed with the Formula 1 racing efforts, and uses two electric motors– one to power the wheels and the other for the ancillary systems.  The battery is charged during braking and when more torque is produced than required (i.e. the excess energy is transferred to the battery.)  During acceleration, it works in conjunction with the 800hp-output 6.3L V-12 engine, producing additional power equivalent to 163hp (for a whopping total of 963hp,) while torque is said to be greater than 664 lb-ft.

Don’t think you can be uber green and drive this new supercar on pure electric mode.  Not going to happen.  As Roberto Fideli, Ferrari’s LaFerrari Interiortechnical director, says, it’s “designed for extreme performances,” and thus, top speed in full battery mode is limited to 3mph.  So basically you can roll in or out of your garage, driveway, parking spot, etc…….you get the point.  On the other [environmentally conscious] hand, CO2 emissions are lower than the output of the Enzo and F12 Berlinetta.

I should also mention that the interior features a carbon fiber cockpit, also inspired by Formula 1. The driver’s seat is fixed to the cockpit, but lo and behold, the pedals and steering wheel are adjustable.

Only a limited number of LaFerrari units are being built– 499 to be exact. Montezemolo goes on to clarify:  “Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it LaFerrari Rearrepresents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1.”  A bit of pride in those statements, no? Clearly not intended for the masses, only the true aficionados are entitled to such a supercar.

And at a mere $1.3 MILLION (taxes, title, license and registration not included :)), not for the frugal either– or last-in-line for that matter, as they’ve already sold out.  But hey, what’s a small fortune if it gets you the epitome of the Ferrari nameplate?

Can’t wait to hear THAT engine roar….

In the meantime, I’m going to go use my Ferrari blowdryer.  (Perhaps “obsessed” is an understatement.)

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