More women seal the deal as car-buying and selling demographics shift

Michelle Brown knows how much clout women have when they walk into a car dealership. It’s the nuts-and-bolts basics that Brown, one of the Lia Auto Group’s top performers, drummed into her male associates.

“I’d tell them, ‘You didn’t look at the woman directly. You have to make eye contact,’ ” said Brown, an 11-year industry veteran who consistently ranks as the company’s top Infiniti salesperson.

Women now account for 65 percent of all U.S. new-car sales and 53 percent of all used-car sales. And even when they’re not closing the deal themselves, women influence 95 percent of all vehicle purchases.

“We’ve seen a shift,” said James Goyette, general manager ofMohawk Honda. “Time and time again, we hear men say, ‘I have to check with my wife.’ Not as many women say they have to check with their husbands.”

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