A British leading car executive is urging automakers to start focusing more on women's needs when making cars.
Dr. Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Nissan, said research shows half of all women are unhappy with their cars and three-quarters feel misunderstood by automakers. Though cars are not made with women in mind, women are the key influence in seven out of ten car purchases.
Palmer said, "Our industry is failing the largest and most influential customer segment in the world."
He said many of the problems women experience with cars have to do with back pain from the seats, less room for their high heels, and the lack of useful gadgets.
Palmer was rated by AutoExpress magazine as the most powerful Brit in the global motor industry.
He said it's not only the design of cars that are sexist, but the sales force as well. He said there needs to be more women on the shop-floor, as well as in the design and marketing departments.
"One factor is the lack of women in our business. I'm sure that Nissan is not untypical in employing less than 10 percent female managers in our ranks," he said.
"But our UK universities produce less than 9 percent of female engineers each year. That compares with China at about 30 percent."
Palmer believes if there are more female engineers, and more females employed in the car industry, we will start to see real changes.
"If a car company does not have female engineers that is a competitive weakness. Generally the car industry is not seen as female friendly. The best way to address that is to have more females in every part," he said.