The motor industry has in the past been accused of being slow to progress, particularly in terms of gender equality.

Motor show stand girls are a prime example of this. There are very few other industries where human beings are used quite so flagrantly as furniture for a new product.

Imagine if Apple, upon the advent of the iPhone 7, had brought out its new model in the exquisitely manicured hands of a buxom, tight-dress-clad ‘stand girl’.

At the Paris motor show, the most recent large automotive event, girls were still employed to draw eyes to the show stands of multiple manufacturers. But does it still need to happen?

Paris 4

With such important and eye-catching cars on display, do manufacturers still need to use show girls to draw people in? No journalist worth their press accreditation should give a hoot whether there’s a pretty woman nearby when a company’s important new car is rotating like a giant metal rotisserie on a turntable five feet to the left, with an interview-prepped executive lurking nearby.

Read our list of the top 100 women in the global car industry

It’d be unfair to say that the car industry hasn’t made progress, though. Prominently at the 2015 Geneva show, Honda’s stand, which featured important cars such as the Honda NSX and Civic Type R, one woman and one man whipped the covers off their cars, both wearing impossibly tight Lycra outfits. More recently, Hyundai’s RN30 – one of the most eye-catching cars of the show - was furnished with a male model stood by the car, in a matching race suit. Progress?