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June 11, 2012

Heels & Wheels - Thought Leadership on Women Car Buyers

Heels&Wheels_Christine_OverstreetI was delighted to participate in the 2012 Heels & Wheels  event which was formed to honor women as a major force in the automotive purchase decision. Heels & Wheels allows automotive women to gather and test drive vehicles in a female-only environment and offer some real-world testing. The aim is to garner input on vehicles as they directly affect women car buyers.

Heels & Wheels Thought Leadership on Women Car Buyers

These are some of the thought leadership principles we aspired to glean from our time together. What will appeal to her? What will make or break her purchase decision? We get influential women in cars to ultimately discover what women want in a car. Real-world testing includes: loading groceries, child seats and golf clubs, ingress/egress, cabin functionality, accelerating, braking and ride. That information is culled and used to increase female buying power by providing useable “woman-tested” knowledge.

Heels&Wheels_AutomakersOver thirty women media pundits along with eleven automakers, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge, Mitsubishi, all gathered at the Hotel Estancia La Jolla, CA. Insights were shared by the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence team, vehicle designers, product marketing specialists, panel speakers and a very special "Driving In Her Shoes" presentation by Joni Gray and Christine Overstreet, the effervescent women leaders of Heels & Wheels, on the dynamic and every changing women's car buying market.

FreeTheGirls BrasBras for a Cause

Each year Heels & Wheels sponsors a woman oriented non-profit. This year we all we invited to bring bras to benefit the Free The Girls non-profit organization that provides job opportunities for survivors of sex trafficking.  We collected gently used bras and donate them to women as starting inventory for their own business selling the bras. In Mozambique (the launch of the pilot program), and in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, bras are considered a luxury item and command top dollar in the used clothing market. Many of the women we work with were sold into prostitution as children, at only 8-10 years old. Because their lives were stolen from them, they missed out on going to school and getting an education. Selling clothes allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits and provides lucrative income—as much as 3x minimum wage for the girls in our pilot program.

Heels&Wheels_Wine_TastingWhat a delightfully delicious event with all my favorite things to eat, do and see. Awesome automotive industry women to network with, friendships renewed or new ones made, a stunning location, great food, wine tasting and some gorgeous new vehicles to drive! So enjoyed every moment and cannot wait until next year's event.

I will be writing a series of reviews on each of my many vehicle test drives over the next few weeks so stayed tuned for more!

IMG_0042Jody DeVere
CEO Certified Female Friendly®


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