Jane Cartwright Founder of Ford Rangerettes Official

HOW WOMEN ARE HELPING DRIVE UTE SALES NEWS ARTICLE

Thanks News Corp Australia for such a great piece on FORD RANGERETTES OFFICIAL.

It's fantastic to see an article that accurately represents women's contribution to 4WD sales, our enthusiasm for modifying vehicles and our love of off-roading! 

It's essential to acknowledge the diverse range of enthusiasts in the 4x4 community and whether we are behind the wheel or not, we are just as much into cars and 4WDing as the lads! 

Story by - David McCowen - News Corp Australia Network

Full-sized four-wheel-drive utes are exploding in popularity, driven in part by women keen to get away from the daily grind.

Utes are stereotypically the domain of men but women are helping drive the sales dominance of the vehicles – specifically dual-cabs.

And they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on after-market customisations to take the vehicles boating, caravanning, jet skiing and touring.

Popular ute models such as the Ford Ranger and Toyota HiLux have overtaken sedans and compact cars including the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 to become the nation’s favourite vehicles.

Sales of dual-cab Utes have grown from about 183,000 vehicles in 2013 to almost 240,000 last year, when the Ford Ranger overtook the Toyota HiLux to become Australia’s favourite new car.

Founder of the Rangerettes Ford club for female drivers Jane Cartwright said utes were “absolutely not just for blokes.”

“A lot of women like to get out with their kids on a weekend,” she said.

“On the weekend we’re all out in the bush, or we’re all down the beach. We’re always doing girls’ weekends away. The relationships that it forms are incredible.”

The Rangerettes have almost 4000 members in Australia who participate in activities including trips through the bush.

Cartwright has spent around $200,000 on her custom Ford to transform it into a machine capable of tackling any task.

“People spend a lot of money on them,” she said.

“A lot of the girls have completely modified their Ford Ranger utes so that you can shower, you can cook a roast.

“We have a massive horse riding community, plus boating, caravanning, jet skiing and touring.

“A lot of our members are touring Australia solo.”

The Rangerettes won popularity among women who struggled to be included in what Cartwright describes as the “male dominated forum” of traditional four-wheel-drive enthusiasts.

Toyota sales information shows one in seven HiLux customers are female.

Customer data provided by Ford shows that female ute customers were more likely to be younger than male counterparts, with a university education and a white-collar job.

A spokeswoman for Kia, which is preparing to launch its new Tasman ute, said market research shows that almost half of four-wheel-drive utes sold in Australia were delivered to metro areas, and that white collar customers outnumbered tradies.

Though officially women represent less than 15 per cent of ute customers, dealership data may not tell the full story.

Automotive industry analyst Ben Sullivan said thousands of utes were bought by couples every month.

“The big trucks tend to be attributed to men, who will say ‘that’s my car’,” he said.

“Blokes think they own the car, or say they do, but there are a lot of women out there in them. Just look at the school run.

“It may well be hubby’s tax loophole too, to give the missus a car.”

Mr Sullivan said utes were growing in popularity with women as they become more relevant to motorist needs.

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