October 1st, 2010
01:30 PM GMT
Paris, France (CNN) - As I sit at Ford's massive stand here at Paris Motor Show, I can see new C-Max models, new Focus models, new Mondeo models, but not a single female model.
I can't remember Ford having the ubiquitous "pretty model" standing by its cars at the last car show either.
No matter, a 30-second walk to Chrysler proves it’s not just an “American” thing. There are plenty of young, tall and always female models in short blue dresses here. Then again, Chrysler is controlled by Italian car company Fiat. It does seem to me the Italian models (the ones made of metal) seem to always have the other kind of models standing next to them.
Now I'm at Alfa Romeo and the ladies are all in black with high heels and lots of bling. Across the way is Ferrari and, well, what can I say? At least there are no bikinis.
David Fitzpatrick, account director at automotive PR agency PFPR Communications, was recently quoted as saying that the “days of bikini-clad women on bonnets are long gone.”
Many women will be cheering that development, especially the ones employed within the industry. The question is whether carmakers are just moving with the times, or whether they are making a deliberate effort not to alienate female car buyers. In tough times for the auto industry, perhaps they should consider going one step further and dispensing with models all together. Just a thought.
Off to Maserati and well, for such a small brand there is a lot of media attention (could the red wine and chef slicing beef have anything to do with it?). At least here there aren't the living models standing quietly next to each car. So it appears not all Italian brands feel the need to accessorize their vehicles with women. Or maybe they are just on a break. I think I'll walk back to Ferrari.
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