The thread was lively and went on for several hours. I had to take a break both from laughing and being so damned angry at what these smart, competent, intensely rad women had to say about the experience of trying to buy a car in today’s environment.
It seems that some things never change.
The Facebook site is Outdoor Women’s Alliance Front Range, which is populated primarily by twenty, thirty and some forty-somethings who spend their off-time and some who are professionals at people-powered sports ranging from running to climbing to skiing and kayaking, well you name it. This is one intense group of accomplished women. They do the kinds of things that leave most folks with their jaws on the ground.
That particular day I was reading and weighing in on the comments these women were making about how car salesmen were “steering them away” from their preferred SUV or being told that “girls don’t go off-roading” or how “most girls aren’t interested in a standard.”
That just takes the breath away. They were regularly asked if your “daddy is going to make the buying decision” or, in one case, when one woman was in the market for a motorcycle, the salesman turned his back on her entirely and spoke to the boyfriend. Even after she got in the salesman’s face and informed him that she was buying the vehicle, that he’d already sold her boyfriend a motorcycle previously, the man continued to ask the boyfriend how he liked his purchase. The couple left.
One woman kept asking for a Jeep with clearance for camping. The man kept taking her to low-clearance crossovers.
It seems the car industry continues to be both brain dead and completely deaf when it comes to women, smart women, and very radical outdoor women.
AND THEY ARE LOSING THE SALE RIGHT AND LEFT, FRONT AND CENTER.
Not only did we have a laff fest at this sophomoric behavior, we shared ideas, war plans, and resources on how to never ever walk into a dealership again.
“I KNOW What the f — k a manual transmission is….”
To give you a taste of the liveliness of our debate, here is a choice quote:
“I can relate. I tried to use a broker but he disappeared on me. And when I finally shopped Direct I had to repeat myself a gazillion times “yes, I want a manual transmission 4x4.” Yes, the one with three pedals and a shifter I KNOW WHAT THE F — K MANUAL TRANSMISSION MEANS you f — ker.”
These women might take Dad or their BFF along to the dealership but he’s arm candy. The women are there to discuss the numbers, performance, engine size and the parameters of a vehicle. Asking about “Daddy” is guaranteed to lose you the sale.
Millennials purchase 30% of all new cars despite their rising cost. However they aren’t going to be buying them from traditional dealerships. Today’s smart, competent and rad women like those on Facebook have zero patience for the inanity and patriarchal condescension that still lives on like an ancient rite of passage in most dealerships. Nothing much has changed, except that these women can and will go on line. Bypassing the dealerships, and their moronic salespeople, completely. We’re tired of this crap. These women often complained that the salespeople knew less about their products than they did.
Sliding underneath the car is part of the inspection
Somehow, with this group, that doesn’t surprise me one bit. One woman slid underneath the car before she bought it. They lift the hood and dig around, knowing what they’re looking for. These women are serious consumers and expect performance vehicles that can do the work that they themselves can do in the wild.
As a military veteran, I advised them to treat this like preparing for a war, with their wallet and their financial health as the prize. They can get up and leave at any time. And should. Many of their boyfriends are just as insulted as they are. That “sweet little thang” act doesn’t cut it with a woman who can confidently hang from a crack several thousand feet over your head, or do 26-mile endurance runs at 11,000'. You do NOT insult these chicks — or the men they are with — by treating them like simpering idiots.
Talk to HER, not Him
When dealerships and their sales staffs start operating like we’re in the 21st Century- when women have their own lives, credit ratings, credit cards and jobs, sales might improve. When these salespeople begin to realize just how smart, well-informed and well-prepared many of these women are, numbers will improve. Since women either influence or make 85% of all car-buying purchases- and that’s all over the world- it’s time to get with the program.
“Go ask your daddy.” You want to sell these women a car, you’d better man up, show some respect, or go out of business fast.