Auto execs question need for car girls at shows
In this March 6, 2018 a hostess poses next to a Skoda Vision X, during a press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. Some automakers want visitors to focus their minds more on the models _ the cars, not the women. In the wake of the #MeToo movement and growing concerns about sexual harassment, some leading car business executives have been taking a new look at its traditional use of often scantily-clad women on display stands, as attractive, smiling accessories to the vehicles at auto shows. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
Two hostess pose next to the new Skoda Vision X, during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The Motor Show will open its gates to the public from March 8 to March 18 presenting more than 180 exhibitors and more than 110 world and European premieres. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
GENEVA (AP) — At the Geneva motor show, some automakers want visitors to focus their minds more on the models — the cars, that is, not the women.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement's explosion and growing awareness about sexual harassment, some auto executives have been taking a new look at the traditional use of often scantily-clad women on display stands at auto shows.
Some companies say a cultural shift is in the air. Though a walk through this year's Geneva auto show suggests the industry still actively associates its products with female sensuality and uses models to leverage that.
"I don't think we will be able to change the situation from one day to the next," said Susie Wolff, former development driver for the Williams racing team in Formula One, which has recently decided to stop using models at the start of competitions.
Wolff doesn't like the idea of women standing by merely to be objectified. "But I think we are making change in a positive way," said Wolff, who was at the show to promote an initiative to get more women involved in motorsports.
Leggy and heavily made-up models still adorn the stands at the Geneva show, though there seems to be a bit less skin on show than previous years.
"We never looked into optics, or whatever, when it comes to our presenters," said Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes. "Our customers coming here expect from us that we can properly explain what our product is all about. And that is for me the more important thing."Read More...