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June van de Klashorst
Way ahead for women and car industry
16/01/2001 6:00 AM
Better information and a fairer go for women buying a vehicle or having it serviced or repaired are the aims of a national report on women’s experience with the motor vehicle industry.
Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave and Women’s Interests Minister June van de Klashorst have released a national report,
The Way Ahead: Women and the Motor Vehicle Industry,
was produced collaboratively by fair trading agencies and women’s policy offices in all states.
“The industry has made genuine attempts and progress to become ‘female friendly’ but the report points to some high levels of customer dissatisfaction,” Mr Shave said.
“The majority of women surveyed were positive about the service and treatment they received when buying a new car but there is room for improvement in several areas.”
The report suggests strategies to assist women, including encouraging employment of women in the industry and ensuring they have access to advice about buying a car.
Mrs van de Klashorst said the research showed that nationally:
almost one in four women felt the salesperson did not understand that the buying decision was theirs, even when they were paying for the car;
one in five women felt they were treated in a sexist and patronising manner; and -
one in five women believed they paid more for their car than would a male.
She said the survey found a similar situation with car servicing and repairs:
almost half of women surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the experience;
more than one in three said they believed that being female changed the way they were treated; and -
more than one in four women believed they were treated in a patronising manner.
“This report will help counter stereotypes of women held by some members of the motor vehicle industry, address perceptions by women of the industry, and ensure there are processes to protect all consumers,” Mrs van de Klashorst said.
Mr Shave said the report was useful because it addressed the issues of purchasing a vehicle and servicing and repairs which are key concerns for people who contact the Ministry of Fair Trading.
“Fair Trading received 268 complaints about the industry from women last year. The highest number related to buying a new or used car and mechanical issues,” he said.
Mr Shave said a positive partnership had developed between members of the national working party, industry and community organisations in the preparation of the report.
The report can be viewed on the Ministry of Fair Trading’s website,
The report is a result of work carried out by a national working party of representatives from fair trading agencies and women’s policy areas around Australia.
Minister for Fair Trading John Clune 9213 6500
Minister for Women’s Interests Owen Cole 9481 7810