1 in 5 motorists name their car, do you? [w/poll]

We all know someone who's named their car. And chances are – let's face it – that person is probably a girl. We're not being sexist here: we're just looking at the numbers presented by a new study from DMEautomotive.

The industry research group conducted a study that indicates that one in five American car owners have named their vehicles. But that one in five is likely to be female and between the ages of 18 and 24. The study upsets certain notions of men being more attached to their cars than women, and millennials not caring about cars: at 23 percent, women proved more likely to personify their vehicle than men (at 18 percent), and car owners in their late teens or early twenties are the four times more likely to name their cars than someone over 55.

Because most women (by far) view their car as female and men are pretty evenly split, there's about twice as many "female" cars on the road as "male" ones (those identities having been ascribed by the vehicles' owners). But this part had us scratching our heads the most: apparently one in four cars that have names, have names that begin with the letter B: as the tidy infographic above shows, Baby, Betsy, Bessie and Betty (along with Black Beauty) rank among the most popular names for cars in America.

Of course some cars may be more susceptible to being named than others, though the study (whose findings you can read below) doesn't get into that. As our friends at Road & Track discovered, Mini dealers have devised a simple way of figuring out whether an owner may be interested in trading in: if they've named their Mini, chances are slim that they'll be willing to part with it.

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Baby, Want to Name My Car? Younger and Female Car Owners Most Likely to Name Their Vehicles

New consumer study from DMEautomotive illuminates a powerful emotional connection between consumers and their vehicles; top names include 'Baby,' 'Betsy,' 'Bessie,' 'Black Beauty,' and 'Betty'

Daytona Beach, FL – January 13, 2014 – Women and younger car owners are the most likely to give a nickname and associate a gender to their vehicles', according to a new report from DMEautomotive. The survey on car-naming behavior investigates the depth of the emotional connection between consumers and their cars as represented by the degree to which they personify and ascribe a gender to their vehicles. The survey was fielded among approximately 2,000 consumers in 2013, and also revealed that one in five car owners nickname their vehicles.

"While these findings, on the surface, are just plain fun...they also offer an interesting, even counter-intuitive perspective on the relationships car owners, especially women and the young generation, develop with their vehicles," said Doug Van Sach, DMEautomotive's Vice President, Strategy and Analytics. "The accepted cliché is that men have a more passionate, personal relationship with their beloved cars, while women view them as utilitarian machines that get you from Point A to B. But this research provides a different insight: women are significantly more likely to christen their vehicles, and also associate a female gender with them, while more men perceive their vehicles as male. And while we've seen numerous headlines on the fact that millennials are the least car-passionate generation in history, they're far more likely to personify and name their vehicles. This indicates an emotional and personal vehicle attachment in these demographics, one that auto marketers might want to explore and leverage."

Key Research Findings:

Vehicle Relationship Building Begins with a 'B'

1 in 5, an estimated 50 million consumers (Experian data, 247.9 million cars on US roads. November, 2013), name their vehicles
1 in 4 vehicle nicknames begins with a 'B'

top vehicle names

Mostly She-Cars

Twice as many female cars (32%) on the road as male (16%)
49% of owners identify their cars as either male or female
Vast majority of women (88%) view their vehicle as female
Men split on gender: 55% associate their vehicle as female /45% as male
Women more likely to give their vehicle a name (23%) than men (18%)

Young Much More Likely to Name Cars than Older People

Car owners aged 18-34 are more than twice as likely (32%) to name their car than those 35+ (15%).
18-24 year old car owners are roughly 4 times more likely (40%) to name their car than those over 55 (13%) and are the most likely to associate a gender with their car (69%).
Twice as many owners over 65 (63%) don't perceive their vehicles as being either male or female, compared with those aged 18-24 (31%).

Age groups by likelihood to name their car

About DMEautomotive

DMEautomotive (DMEa) is the industry leader in science-based, results-driven automotive marketing, and provides turnkey marketing to the largest and most innovative automotive organizations, from automobile dealerships to many of the largest aftermarket companies in the U.S. DMEa's uniquely panoramic view of the complete automotive sales and service market, combined with its cutting-edge, science-based marketing programs, increases customer yield, conversion and retention.

DMEa does not take marketing performance on faith, and each product and service is measured by a simple, precise scientific approach: Is it true? Prove it. Will it work? Test it. Does it generate results? Show it! Supported by DMEa's proprietary, cloud-based Red Rocket Technology Platform, the DMEa product suite includes science-based, data driven, multi-channel customer acquisition and retention marketing programs; best-in-class campaign reporting; data management and analytics; auto-focused Customer Interaction Center solutions, and complete on-site mail and email fulfillment services. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, DMEa also has major operations in Jacksonville, Florida.

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