Female car buyers find love with Porsche

(October 28, 2011) SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Female car buyers are making up a larger customer base for some of the top domestic auto brands, but none approach the gains that Porsche has made with women this year, according to an analysis by Edmunds.com.

The analysis found that of all automakers, Porsche has made the largest relative market share gains among women nationwide over the past year.

From January through August 2011 23 percent of Porsche buyers were female, compared to 19 percent during the same period last year. The growth accounts for a 21.1 percent proportional change, year over year.

Biggest Increase in U.S. Female Market Share, By Brand

Rank Brand Female Share
Jan-Aug 2010
Female Share
Jan-Aug 2011
Proportional Change
1 Porsche 19% 23% 21.1%
2 Buick 35% 38% 8.6%
3 Dodge 27% 29% 7.4%
4 Chevrolet 31% 33% 6.5%
5 Infiniti 33% 35% 6.1%
6 GMC 26% 27% 3.8%
7 Ford 31% 32% 3.2%
8 Lincoln 35% 36% 2.9%
9 Jeep 36% 37% 2.8%
10 Chrysler 37% 38% 2.7%
  OVERALL 39% 39% 0.0%


Edmunds.com's analysis found that eight of the ten car brands with the fastest growing female market shares were domestic automakers. Among those domestic brands, Buick has made the largest market share gains among women, increasing the proportion by 8.6 percent year over year.

Trailing just behind Buick were Dodge (+7.4%) and Chevrolet (+6.5%). Luxury Japanese make Infiniti (+6.1%) also made the top 10. Overall, 39 percent of all new cars have been registered by women in the U.S. this year, essentially flat compared to last year.

"One thing that these 10 brands have in common is that their shares of female buyers all fall below the industry average of 39 percent," notes Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "It's smart for these brands to develop new and refreshed products that have a stronger appeal with women so that they don't miss out on an important part of the market."

Foreign makes dominated the list of the largest decreases in female market share. Mini has seen its market share of females shift from 48 percent in the first eight months of 2010 to 46 percent during the same period in 2011, for a proportional change of -4.2 percent. Fellow European competitors Audi (-2.9%), Volvo (-2.3%) and Volkswagen (-2.3%) are next on the list, followed by Korean automotive giant Hyundai (-2.3%).

To perform this study, Edmunds.com analysts examined new car registration data provided by Polk for the periods January 2010-August 2010 and January 2011-August 2011. Only brands selling a minimum of 1,500 vehicles to females nationwide during each time period were considered for the analysis.