There’s no denying that the vehicles most researched by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) purchasers are those produced by gay-friendly automakers.
With more income and fewer kids than the average car buyer, GLBT turns to smaller, fun-to-drive, sporty cars. Joe LaMuraglia, Gaywheels founder, has this to say: “There are many stereotypes about what we as a community drive, [but] we are as diverse as the rest of the population.”
That said, LaMuraglia noted, “The vehicles that the Gaywheels.com user is researching [are] markedly different than that of other automotive research websites, while still reflecting the diverse interests in our community.”
“To wit, the ten most researched vehicles are for the most part small and relatively affordable. All ten are from makers considered friendly to the GLBT community,” said Bill Howard and Errol Pierre-Louis of Technoride.
Gaywheels.com, the sole source of information specifically targeted to and about GLBT car-shoppers, recently announced its list of the Top Ten Most-Researched Vehicles during the second quarter of 2007. For the fourth straight quarter, the entry-level Toyota Yaris maintained the top position, while for the first time ever, a Nissan product, the Infiniti-branded FX sport-utility vehicle, joined the list, the Web site said.
In releasing a list of its Top Ten researched vehicles, Gaywheels.com said that the ten in the most demand are the Toyota Yaris, Saab 9-3, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Eos, Dodge Caliber, Toyota Camry, Audi A3, Volkswagen Rabbit and the Infiniti FX.
The Yaris is a model name used by the Toyota Motor Corp on the export version of two different models: the Vitz hatchback, sold as the Yaris in Europe, South America, Australia, and North America; and the Belta sedan, sold in North America, South America and Australia.
Additionally, the Vitz and the Belta share underpinnings with each other. However, while the Vitz was designed at Toyota’s European design studios, the Belta was created at Toyota’s Japanese design studios. The two diverse design projects for similar cars marketed toward varied demographics.
The Yaris replaced the Saturn Sky roadster as the most researched vehicle. Meanwhile, the Infiniti FX was a new addition replacing the Pontiac G6.
The Sky roadster from the Saturn marque of the General Motors Corp. was released in the first quarter of 2006. It utilizes the Kappa automobile platform shared with the Pontiac Solstice. The Sky features a Saturn turbo, 18-inch wheels and a 2.4 L Ecotec LE5 I4 engine that generates 177 horsepower as well as an all-new I-4 2.0L direct injected turbocharged engine that makes 260 horsepower. The roadster also features manual and automatic transmissions with five gears.
Gaywheels.com classifies vehicle manufacturers as gay-friendly or not based on their corporate policies for offering domestic-partner benefits to their employees in the United States. The company has been keeping tabs on gay-friendly vehicles on a quarterly basis for the past 1.5 years. The latest findings were taken for the quarter ending June 30.
“Since the inception of this list, the Top Ten Most-Researched Vehicles have always come solely from gay-friendly automakers, delineating the importance of a brand’s corporate policies and positions in regard to the gay community,” said LaMuraglia.
The Gaywheels Top Ten Most-Researched Vehicles is derived from the Web site’s server logs and sheds light on what new vehicles are most popular with our users. We publish the list quarterly, the company said.
What is with the gay-friendly factor? Research on the GLBT consumer showed that majority of auto shoppers want to spend their money with companies that have progressive policies towards GLBT employees. The only problem is, that information is not easy to find, until now, the Web site noted.