The Female Perspective on Cars: Johnson Controls Conducts International Study Investigating ‘What Women Want’ in Vehicle Interior Design

Results to inspire and drive women-focused design and product development

PLYMOUTH, Mich., Aug. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — When choosing a vehicle, women want design options that offer flexibility, allow them to connect to the outside world and offer more storage space. These are some of the key findings from a study conducted by Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) in the United States and Europe, in response to the recent women-focused trends and market indicators highlighting the increasing buying power of women. The company will utilize the data to inspire and drive industrial design and new product development that meets the evolving needs of women.


“Today’s women are more autonomous than ever before. As their lives evolve, it’s clear that their vehicles need to transform with them,” said Bill Fluharty, vice president, Global Research and Discovery. “The information gained from this study will help provide the insight that is critical for Johnson Controls to continue creating ingenious automotive interiors that meet the changing needs of female consumers.”

The results from both the United States and Europe were mostly similar. Some research result highlights include:

— Women are in transition — whether a recent college graduate or a retiree, transition resonated throughout the interviews. Women’s life stages, mind sets and responsibilities are evolving and their vehicles need to transition to address these changes. From the working woman with her mobile office to “mom’s taxi service,” vehicles need to be customized to offer features and products that meet their expanding roles.

— Women are connected — women of all ages are incredibly connected to technology and depend on the most recent technological advances to feel more connected to their family and friends. For women, technology is more than simply gadgetry and electronics — it offers them the safety, security and convenience they desire.

— Women need more storage space — women are creating their own storage areas because their vehicles (across most segments) fail to provide them with adequate space. In addition they would prefer to have reconfigurable storage compartments that truly optimize available space.

— Women need style — the study revealed that women long for greater style in their vehicles and miss the excitement of driving more “fun, non-mom” vehicles.

— Women are environmentally conscious — women are looking for ways to be environmentally friendly that are convenient to their lifestyle and sensitive to their budget.

— Women feel good in their car — the vehicle provides a feeling of safety and security, especially when they are alone in their vehicle. They use their commute as a way to take a break and relax. Women have a lot of personal items in their cars, which provide a feeling of being at home, and they wish to have more possibilities to create their interior to get more of the feeling of being at home.

To explore women’s current values, motivations and concerns and to better understand how the female perspective influences interior vehicle needs, Johnson Controls conducted a qualitative research study. A multi-method research approach of individual interviews, duo in-home interviews and focus groups were conducted throughout Chicago, Boston, Germany and the Czech Republic in the fall of 2007.

In addition to interior design insight, the information generated by this study also helped identify and prioritize some of the key criteria that women consider when purchasing a vehicle, including function, safety, style, gas mileage and price.

Johnson Controls’ Consumer Research Group utilizes advanced research methods — such as trend, target group, brand, product interior and concept research — to gain insight into consumer mindsets. The group then translates the gathered market and consumer intelligence for designers and engineers to create product developments that are targeted to the needs of the industry.

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

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SOURCE: Johnson Controls

CONTACT: Debra Lacey of Johnson Controls, +1-734-254-5735

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