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by Sean Kilcarr

Here’s an interesting finding from a recent survey conducted by marketing firm DMEautomotive, though its implications for the trucking industry may be unclear: Women and younger car owners are the most likely to give a nickname and associate a gender to their vehicles, with twice as many female-named cars or “she-cars” (32%) on the road versus male-named cars or “he-cars” (16%).

blog012114-2"While these findings, on the surface, are just plain fun ... they also offer an interesting, even counter-intuitive perspective on the relationships car owners, especially women and the young generation, develop with their vehicles," noted Doug Van Sach, DMEautomotive's VP-strategy and analytics.

"The accepted cliché is that men have a more passionate, personal relationship with their beloved cars, while women view them as utilitarian machines that get you from point A to B,” he said. “But this research provides a different insight: women are significantly more likely to christen their vehicles, and also associate a female gender with them, while more men perceive their vehicles as male.”

Van Sach also stressed that while there are “numerous” headlines about how the “Millennial” or “Generation Y” set of 18 to 32 year olds are supposedly “he least car-passionate generation in history,” they are actually far more likely to personify and name their vehicles.

“This indicates an emotional and personal vehicle attachment in these demographics,” Van Sach pointed out.

DMEautomotive’s survey, fielded among approximately 2,000 consumers last year, turned up some other surprising findings as well:
  • One in five or an estimated 50 million consumers name their vehicles
  • One in four vehicle nicknames begins with a 'B'
  • There are twice as many female cars (32%) on the road as male (16%)
  • Some 49% of owners identify their cars as either male or female
  • A vast majority of women (88%) view their vehicle as female
  • Yet men split on gender, with 55% giving their vehicle a female name versus 45% with a male name
  • Women more likely to give their vehicle a name (23%) than men (18%)
  • Car owners aged 18-34 are more than twice as likely (32%) to name their car than those 35+ (15%).
  • Those car owners aged 18 to 24 are roughly four times more likely (40%) to name their car than those over 55 (13%) and are the most likely to associate a gender with their car (69%).
  • Twice as many owners over 65 (some 63%) don't perceive their vehicles as being either male or female, compared with those aged 18 to 24 (31%)
blog012114-1Again, this survey is focused on light vehicle owners, which is of course a very different demographic from the truck driving population. Still, it would be interesting to one day discern what percentage of those big rigs out plying the highways actually sporting a name are female versus male in orientation.

To read more blog posts from Sean Kilcarr's award-winning blog "Trucks at Work,", click here.