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Picking the Perfect Gift for the Tech-Savvy Mom

Forget teenage male geeks, here's the real high-tech drivers.

by on May.06, 2009

Looking for the perfect gift for the tech-savvy mom on Mother’s Day?  Forget flowers.  Think about an iPod or, if your budget can stand it, a new Honda Odyssey.

Those are some of the findings of a new study that defies the conventional wisdom about soccer moms.

“If you think moms are behind the times, think again,” Deb Grieb, an analyst with the research firm, AutoPacific, Inc.  “The stereotypical idea of a mom is someone who just hauls her kids back and forth.  But because they’re on the road more, their need for technology is greater than many folks – especially if they’re a working mom.”

With the weekend holiday in mind, Grieb took a closer look at a group of mothers who truly plug into today’s connected and digitized world.

The Honda Odyssey proves to be the most popular vehicle among these tech-savvy mothers, and by a wide margin, accounting for roughly one in 11 women in the group.  The next most popular model, the Nissan Altima, doesn’t even come close.  That likely makes sense not only because of the predilection among moms for minivans, but because the Odyssey offers a lot of high-tech features, such as backup cameras, power doors and Bluetooth hands-free phone systems.    

Now, the study found a big difference between what tech-savvy moms are driving and what they’d really like to have parked in their driveway.  There, the most popular brands are BMW, Lexus and Toyota.

Tech-savvy moms embrace seemingly all forms of automotive technology, says Grieb, “and not just those that enhance connectivity.”  They have “lots of airbags” in their vehicles, she says, as well as Bluetooth, backup cameras and satellite radio.

They also feed their digital needs at home, with such things as wireless networks, iPods, computers, and large-screen plasma or LCD TVs – which are owned by at least half of this group.

“The lesson here is to look at the data before making assumptions,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “Clearly, moms are very interested in using the latest technology. Moms are multi-taskers at the highest level and desire convenient technologies that allow them to safely accomplish their daily routine, while also making sure that the latest Hannah Montana song is available at the push of a button.”

While tech-savvy husbands should heed the data before settling for a bouquet of roses, this coming weekend, automakers might also beware.  Honda is clearly benefiting from the desires of digital moms, but other makers could be honing in on the right formula.

Peterson points to Ford, in general, and its new Flex, in particular.  The so-called “people mover” is designed to appeal to buyers who don’t want just another mom-mobile minivan.  Though it sacrifices the sliding side doors, it offers the power tailgate and many of the other features popular with the tech-savvy mom.  And it adds the new Ford Sync system, which not only permits hands-free cell phoning, but provides traffic and weather reports and can even the cheapest nearby gas station and the times for that Hannah Montana movie.

While the truly tech-savvy mother is a small subset of the overall female auto buying population, AutoPacific data reveal, they are a picky and, significantly, an influential group that automakers are coming to notice.

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One Response to “Picking the Perfect Gift for the Tech-Savvy Mom”

  1. Herbert P says:

    Not all Mothers are good at multi-tasking. Cell users have the same accident rate as DUI drivers.