Currently reading: Matt Prior's tester's notes - Let the cars do the talking
They may look glamorous, but manufacturers shouldn't rely on beautiful women to get themselves motor show coverage

One lingering thought from the Geneva motor show, whose news has otherwise mostly now passed.

If you are a car maker who populates your motor show stand exclusively with female models, I am going to assume one, or more, of the following three things.

One, that you think your car is so uninteresting that no one will deign to look at it unless a model is standing next to it. Two, that you think I’m so shallow and vacuous that I won’t be interested in looking at or writing about your car unless there’s a model standing next to it. 

And three, that when you say you’re serious about encouraging women to study science, engineering or business and to join and succeed in what is a transparent, equal-opportunity car industry, you’re totally full of it. 

Because if that last point were true, at your company’s most public event of the year, you wouldn’t make your highest-profile female workers the ones who are employed only for their ability to stand and pose.

So which of those three is it? None reflects particularly well on you.

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michael knight 25 March 2015

Norma Smellons

Wow, knee-jerk reaction there pal? Bit too PC for you, this new world? I think if matt's fairly reasonable article generates this much anti-left heat (for some reason you think it's left-wing to point out the hypocrisy of some of the corporate spiel companies trot out) then he's hit a nerve. He's spot-on; you can see the tacky end of the car aftermarket relies heavily on TandA to generate interest, appealing to the page3-mourner. Research suggests that more women choose cars than men, certainly in the US, so the OEMs are cranking big bucks into making sure their products appeal to women equally, in some cases more than their appeal to blokes. The motor-show thing is a throwback, no place for it anymore.
AHA1 23 March 2015

Well said Mr Prior!

It's simply a no-brainer. The car (and motorbike and power tool and so on...) industry needs to drag itself into the 21st century and dispense with this embarrassing, ridiculous & obsolete practice. Lots of good reasoning on here from previous commenters and the naysayers on here have condemned themselves frankly. Dinosaurs, ostriches, dodos quite clearly. I'm a 50+ bloke like, I suspect, most on here but I can still see the wood for the trees, I hope. Guys: if you are actually on speaking terms with any of them, ask a selection of women what they think about this topic. And LISTEN, for once, to their (no doubt varied) responses. You may learn something. Let us know.
Norma Smellons 20 March 2015


Well said. Industry-wide diversity is a wonderful goal. My point is that banning models at motor shows, using the highly specious pretext of gender equality, will not get the industry one micron closer to it.
tallpaul 21 March 2015

@Norma Smellons

I think that part of the problem are the photo journalists. Having spent a day at the Geneva Show this year it was clear that most major manufacturers had as many good looking chaps as girls employed as models/hosts. However, it is only the girls that get snapped draped over the cars....maybe because that is what the snappers want to see?