Sunday, May 22, 2011

Bark Buckle UP DIGS in at the all Female Automotive Event 2011 Heels and Wheels (#heelsNwheels)

This was the most amazing event of the year, Heels and Wheels. Produced by Overstreet Events, it brought together female automotive journalists, female automotive experts, female vehicle manufacture representatives and female bloggers – yes, this was an all female event!

Christina Selter (me) founder of Bark Buckle UP began the tour driving the Volvo c70 topless from Los Angeles to Palm Springs. With just one quick stop to change into my AskPatty hat, it was a smooth ride and though we did hit a bit of rain, it took only thirty seconds to put the top up. We checked in at the Viceroy Palm Springs, a row of tan bodies lining the pool.

First to arrive was Bark Buckle UP and AskPatty, Sue Mead from Houston Chronicle, BJ Killeen from Drivers Talk Radio, next to the finish line was AutoTrader – Joni Gray and Holly Reich, Automotive News – Leslie Allen, NewsWeek – Tara Weingarten, Carspondent – Nina Russin, Edmunds – Carroll Lachnit, Automotive Rhythms – Shonda Hurt, MotorWeek – Marlene Rodman and Yolanda Vazquez, TrueCar – Brandy Schaffels, Cnet – Liane Yvkoff, MotherProof and Cars.com – Kristen Varela, Decisive Auto Latino– Valerie Menard, the twitter fanatics from Kelley Blue Book - Leigh Anne & Rebekah and the top female bloggers of the universe; here’s where the conversation begins tips included.

Watch out you old school men folk; auto guys, you better run you better hide. The ladies are burning rubber, towing trailers, doing oil changes, buying Cooper Tires and coming off the line at full speed - so it’s time to get out of our way!


Day two began as our fleet of vehicles varoomed off for test drives, up and down Highway 111 with the all female driving crews buckled up, child cars seats, groceries and pets (dog played by our friend Fake Jake) secured snugly. The sun was shining and the day was just beginning.

On hand were a plethora of vehicles to analyze, photograph and film. The best part of the test drive’s were the female manufacture representatives that rode along with us, sharing detailed information and answering every question.

Vehicle Favorite Feature
GM Acadia Denali Windshield hologram
Volvo c70 Suntan included (go topless in only 30 seconds)
Honda Civic Hybrid Technology for fuel use
Chrysler Town & Country Third row seating fold outward
Chevrolet Cruze Spacious rear seat, interior design elements
Mazda5 Sliding doors easy access
Kia Optima Hybrid Front cooled and heated front seats
Dodge Journey Built in booster/car seat for pets or children
Hyundai Tucson Price starts at just over $18,000
Mitsubishi Outlander Fold-down rear seats a full 72.6 cubic feet
Saab 9-5 Sedan DriveSense twist of a knob adjust agility & performance

We ended the day with the GMC Denali. The motor has such a bark (pun intended), and the towing capacity is right up my alley, but the technology is what revs my motor. The windshield hologram was number one feature, plus the perfect amount of chrome the honeycomb grille dressed this bad boy up for the ladies.

Guys, here’s your exit the ladies are taking over the road.

TOP THREE AUTMOTIVE TIPS

TIP #1
The most important thing an automotive dealer could do to gain more female buyers is STOP INSULTING WOMEN. Listen, guys. We know cars, we have money and we are the ones buying, driving cars and not just minivans.

TIP #2
Hire more women and train your staff to communicate to women.

TIP #3
Learn about us - statistics don’t lie. How much of your marketing dollars, PR or advertising is geared towards women.
  • Average age of the female automotive shopper is 43
  • Female automotive shoppers currently own 2 vehicles
  • 31% of female automotive shoppers do not have children
Thank you to KBB, Rebekah King for female automotive shopper survey results.

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