Daytona Beach, Florida - Women and younger car owners are the most likely to give their vehicle a nickname and ascribe it a gender, according to the findings of a recent survey in the United States.
Admittedly, it sounds frivolous, but the survey of car-naming behaviour among approximately 2000 consumers in 2013 was intended to investigate the depth of the emotional connection between drivers and their cars, as represented by the degree to which they personify and ascribe a gender to their vehicles.
And the answer is, one in five of the respondents' cars had a name.
Researcher Doug van Sach commented: "On the surface, these findings are just plain fun, but they also offer an interesting, sometimes counter-intuitive perspective on the relationships between drivers, especially women and the young generation, and their cars.
"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 A to B," he said
"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 lots of headlines about the fact that people born after 1990 are the least car-passionate generation in history, they're far more likely to personify and name their vehicles; that shows an emotional and personal attachment that the industry should explore."
BY THE NUMBERS:
One in five US drivers have given their car a name.
One in four of those names begins with a 'B', notably:
Baby (Four percent)
Betsy (Four percent)
Bessie (Three percent)
Black Beauty (Three percent)
Betty (One percent)
Half (48 percent) of drivers identified their car as either male (16 percent) or female (32 percent)
The vast majority of women drivers (88 percent) identified their car as female, while men were more evenly split, with 55 percent saying their car was a 'he' and 45 percent calling it a 'she'.
Car owners aged 18-34 were more than twice as likely (32 percent) to name their car than those over 35 (15 percent). Narrowing it down even more, 18 to 24-year-old drivers were roughly four times more likely (40 percent) to name their car than those over 55 (13 percent) and were the most likely to assign it a gender (69 percent).
But twice as many drivers over 65 (63 percent) don't see their cars as either male or female, compared with those aged 18-24 (31 percent).
DOES YOUR CAR HAVE A NAME?
Let us know in the comments section whether your car (or bike) has a name; to start the ball rolling, one look at the picture above will tell you why IOL resident biker Dave Abrahams' Triumph 650 Daytona has been known as Pokemon from Day One.