When people hear about women, cars and Saud Arabia they automatically draw up a conclusion that since women are not allowed to drive in the Kingdom so they play no role in the sales of cars in the Kingdom. Well I am here to put that misconception to rest, because women in the Kingdom mostly have say over which car they will be driven around in and the specifications the car. According to the marketing director of Aljoimah Company, Abdullah Bo Hulaigah, upwards of 15 percent of the women in Saudi Arabia are buyers of cars. As and when the car value increases the women have started to play an increasingly active role.
In accordance to industry watchers, the women buy 1 in every 5 luxury sedans sold in the Kingdom. Around 480,000 cars were entered into the Saudi Market last year out of which 25,000 were sold to women. This number would greatly multiply if and when the government decides to allow women to drive. A sales representative from Alamthal car finance company, Norah Hajji stated that women had been less interested in the speed, performance and handling of the car, and usually bought cars that were spacious, had a god overall appearance and were safe. The working middle income women expect the cars that they buy to last them a long time.
Purchasing power behind the Saudi women is maybe the only reason why there are still showrooms with women and men sections. While most of the commercial centers allow for men and women to shop in the same premises, vehicle showrooms are generally less crowded. Other commercial areas with separate sections are banks and libraries or literary events. This trend of women only showrooms started in 2006, not to propagate gender segregation but to allow women to shop openly and take their time. Similarly Saudi women prefer sitting in cafes where there are no groups of single men.
A sales representative for Cadillac, Omar Al Anzi stated that the women are picky when it comes to the color and appearance of the car. Colors such as black, pearl or gold are what attract women the most. The ladies generally prefer tinted windows as well. The sales manager at BMW, Mini Cooper and Rolls Royce, Shareef Najy stated that the number of women influencing the sale of a car may be under rated due to the face that women have the cars on the name of their male relatives.
Sales manager at women’s division of the Al Jomaih Company, Mudhi Bin Jrais stated that the company will also be opening their own showroom only for women in Riyadh. She revealed in a tweet on social media platform twitter that the showroom will be designed according to specifications of women customers and for families. 25 female employees will serve the customers. These employees will showcase features of the car and will provide any information to the customers. She also added however that neither the employees nor the customers at the women’s only showroom will be allowed to drive the vehicles for test drives.
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