Here’s a quick recap after spending two days wandering the floor of the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 2013 LA Auto Show press preview:
All the Ladies in the House Equals One: I attended a couple dozen press conferences, and I noticed that only one was presented by a woman. That would be the GM lunchtime press conference on the second day, when Cristi Landy, marketing director for Chevy’s small cars, introduced two new variants of the Chevy Sonic. There were plenty of women journalists and PR people and everything else, but when it came time to tell hundreds of journalists what was new with their companies, all but one had a man tell us all what was what. (Side note: I met Landy last summer at a Chevy Spark event, and she’s super cool. She’s very supportive of girls in STEM.)
You’ve Got Money, and They Want It: There were plenty of cars with traditional masculine appeal, like the new 2014 Corvette Stingray or the massive Ford Super Duty trucks on display. But there were tons of cars aimed right at you and your pretty little wallets, ladies. Crossovers, efficient yet practical hybrids, electric cars that can fit your kids — car companies are getting hip to who holds the literal purse strings in most households in the twenty-first century. Don’t let them forget it. Buy what speaks to you and what works for you from dealerships that respect your decisions.
Don’t Dis the Models: I started attending auto shows as a freelancer in 2007. Since then, the ladies in the high heels and shapewear who stand next to the cars have learned to use their brains as well as their beauty. These women are a valuable resource for press and public alike. If you go to an auto show (especially a big one like LA, Detroit, Chicago, or New York), don’t hesitate to ask these women questions — they have committed the stats and features to memory for all the cars in their section. Do not mistake them for dumb bunnies anymore.