Qualitative consumer study investigates how women view cars

Women and their sense of practicality - even in the car

Burscheid, Germany
- 27 August 2008. Women feel quite at home in their cars, they have fun driving and especially enjoy the feeling of freedom they get when out driving alone. In addition, they attach great importance to the attractive design of their cars - both in terms of the vehicle's exterior and interior. These are the findings of an international study that Johnson Controls recently conducted. Intensive consumer research has played an important role in the development of innovative products for many years at the world's leading supplier of automotive interiors, electronics and batteries.

Handbags, cell-phones and water bottles should be securely stowed and therefore get their own space in a car. Furthermore, women want more storage space for all of the important things they use regularly, such as sunglasses or tissues, and practical storage with non-slip bases. The ability to conveniently and safely access everything from the driver's seat, even while on the move, is of particular importance. Sufficient legroom for passengers - particularly in the rear - is also a crucial aspect in the opinion of women drivers. These requirements to automotive interiors, along with a large trunk and well laid-out instrument panel, are at the top of the wish lists of German, Czech, and American women when choosing a new car. These are the findings of the "Women and Cars" qualitative study. The consumer research team at Johnson Controls worked with experts from a renowned marketing research institute to find out what women really want from an automotive interior. Additionally, one-to-one, paired and focus group interviews were conducted with women drivers in Germany and the Czech Republic (representing Europe) and in the USA.

Consumer research with a high practical value
Designers and product engineers at Johnson Controls are constantly developing new concepts, products and equipment details on the basis of comprehensive studies.
The general findings from the "Women and Cars" study will now be incorporated. Consumer researchers have discovered that women are often faced with multiple conflicts in their different roles and that change is also a constant part of their lives. Having to juggle a family, career and leisure time involves a great deal of flexibility and dynamism, especially against the background of different phases of life. Therefore, women are also looking for this flexibility from their car.

Johnson Controls recognized these trends early on and is working on relevant product developments based on this study, as Nick Xiromeritis, Director Research & Innovation at Johnson Controls, explained: "This current study has provided us with important facts on how we can design automotive interiors in the future which will meet the changing needs and wants of women drivers." According to the German Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles, women make up approximately one-third of the more than 46.5 million vehicle owners in Germany (as of 1 January 2007). The "Women and Cars" competence center at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences is predicting that the proportion of women owners will rise to 50 percent within the next 25 years.

Further information is available from:

Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Experience
Industriestra├če 20-30
51399 Burscheid

Astrid Schafmeister
Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219

Ina Longwitz
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.