Women and pensioners get little respect from German car dealers

Bamberg. Women and elderly car buyers are shown less respect than men by German dealers, says an auto industry study.

Dealers bombard senior citizens with hi-tech selling techniques such as Internet presentations and video recordings.

But older people just want a sensible conversation with their car dealer, said Wolfgang Meinig, head of the Forschungsstelle Automobilwirtschaft (FAW).

FAW, a research center for the automobile industry based in Bamberg, questioned more than 2,500 German car owners for the drivers' satisfaction study.

Meinig said authorized dealers ignored pensioners' needs despite the high loyalty shown by elderly car buyers towards brand dealers.

The study showed that nearly three quarters (70.6 percent) of drivers over 55 buy their cars from authorized dealers.

Nearly as many (66.8 percent) also have their car repaired at the dealer they buy from.

Customers under 35 are less loyal, the study showed. Some 33 percent of under 35s buy from authorized dealer and 39 percent have their car repaired at a dealer.

Meinig said that many dealers still treat women as "second class customers" who have little technical knowledge.

Dealers ignore the fact that "women are often the family managers, who decide when a car has to be repaired, when it needs to go for an inspection or when the next new car or a used car for the son is due."

But the survey showed that women than men are generally more satisfied with dealers' performance.

Meinig believes that this could be due to the fact that "women are more agreement orientated."

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