Friday, January 8, 2010

Who I am - and who I am not

I am a product specialist for a major automotive manufacturer, or as some people call us, a spokesmodel. (You can call me that. I don't mind. Some women don't like it, though.) I work on the auto show circuit, touring the USA talking about one of the things Americans are most passionate about: cars.

There are different kinds of auto shows and different kinds of auto show girls. I don't do Hot Import Nights shows, and you won't see me in a pair of booty shorts. (At least I hope not, but who knows where this economy will lead us.) While I will not disclose the company I represent or my real name, I will tell you I can actually talk and interact with show visitors. As a product specialist I receive intensive technical training and am quite knowledgeable on the vehicles I represent and our competitors.

You will see some lovely ladies at the show who are not allowed to talk with the public at all, notably working for the exotics like Maserati and Lambo. Their whole job is to pose enticingly next to a car you can't touch. That isn't my job, but there certainly are days I wish it was. I wonder what their day rate is?

(Actually, I do often pose enticingly next to a car you can't touch, but then I pick up a microphone and talk torque and the like for a while before returning to my patented "platform pose.")

I started this blog for a few reasons. One, too many people have no idea how to behave like a respectful human being at the auto show and probably have no clue they are acting like idiots. Two, this industry and this career are surrounded by romance and mystique. People see us and think we live wildly glamorous lives. I don't want to burst your bubble, but...

Actually I guess I do want to burst your bubble, because this blog is an exposé of sorts. Not an exposé of some seedy auto show undercurrent, because it is a pretty fabulous gig filled with awesome people. An exposé, rather, of you, your perceptions of us, and how you treat women in general. Nothing happens in a vacuum.

And for the record? You don't have enough money to buy the car I would come with, buddy.


  1. Mixed messages. You won't wear booty shorts unless your economic situation forces you to compromise your standards. You don't want to be treated like a commodity, yet "You don't have enough money to buy the car I would come with, buddy." That certainly implies that you can indeed be enticed by great wealth (unless you were trying to say that nobody has that much money because you can't be bought).

    And yes, some of the showgoers can afford any car made today.

    Just as show goers never really know who the model or spokesperson they engage with is as a real person, so too do models and spokespeople make assumptions about show goers. Obviously there are men (and women) that attend auto shows who can afford megabuck cars. Otherwise, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Aston wouldn't bother renting display space at the major shows. Though the NAIAS split off the "Gallery" over to one of the casinos, I believe that at the '08 Gallery which was a private thing for about 400 heavy hitters, they ended up booking orders for about $12 million worth of cars.

    They flew some of those 400 in from around the country but the Detroit area itself has some very wealthy people living here. Al Taubman, Roger Penske, the late Bill Davidson, Tom Monaghan, Mike Ilitch, and Barry Zekelman are/were billionaires or close to it. Franklin, Bingham Farms and Bloomfield Twp are still among the wealthiest zip codes in the US.

    Hell, Zekelman (who lives across the lake from Grosse Pointe in suburban Windsor) sued Bugatti for not delivering a car for which he paid $1.5 million.

    Bringing it back to auto shows. There was a salesman from Jaguar of Troy on the stand a few years ago. At the time I owned an old XJ and I told him that even though my car was old, with faded and peeling paint, the people at that dealership treated me very well. He told me that he can't afford to judge people by appearances and that two Chaldean brothers, about 45 or 50 years old, came into the showroom in work clothes and plopped down $80K in cash for a spanking new Vanden Plas.

    You never know. Grandpa (or his son) might just be a very rich man.

  2. Looking forward to your coverage of Detroit and Chicago auto shows! PS: I'll try not to ask the dumbest questions.

  3. "Mixed messages. ..."

    Sense of humor fail.

  4. @Schreiber:

    Having big bucks is not a license to act like a douchebag to the hired help, whether they're in hotpants or business suits - which is the whole point here.


  5. The final statement you made says more about you than it does about the guys out there you loathe so much. It's not an expose about guys, it's an unintentional expose of you.


Please leave a comment below - I do so love to hear from my public. I reserve the right to delete anything I want because it's my blog. Any guesses as to my identity will be deleted immediately. Spammers will be forced to attend a full season of monster truck rallies.