There are eight auto shows happening at once this weekend, and I happen to be working a regional one rather than a major. (There are almost 80 shows each season; obviously they are not all Detroit.) At this smaller regional show I noticed the women manning the booths were most certainly not the women in Detroit, most certainly not wearing silver Herve Leger bandage dresses and most certainly did know their shizz about their vehicles.
So I ventured over to ask a few questions, and this is the info straight from the horse's mouth, as it were...
A few product specialists from previous years were kept for one purpose and one purpose only: to fill in the gaps at tiny little regional shows held in cow barns where Italian fashion models don't care to venture. They have had maybe eleven days of work the entire auto show season. Meanwhile, the Italian fashion models are working all the medium- and major shows like Miami, LA, Detroit, Chicago, NYC and a bunch of others despite the fact that they don't know anything about the cars.
And the crazy thing is that last year's team was beautiful AND talented AND knew their product inside out. But Fiat decided if you're not taller than 5'9" you're outta there unless you want to work in places where consumers can see through marketing tricks designed to get their attention: small-town America where they value substance over style.
Seriously, when you're at the Chicago show in a couple of weeks go over there and ask something not in their very basic brochure. See what happens.
Joke's on Fiat, methinks. Of course, this is a company that thought an effective slogan would be "Cars you want to make out in." Does it come standard with the latest Sade CD and Bradley Cooper? Because as one of the 80% of women who help make all car-buying decisions in the US, those are pretty much the only things that could overcome this company's blatant pandering to the basest of penile instincts. (Also? Totally grammatically incorrect.)
That and giving my deserving friends their jobs back.
(BTW, I want to make clear that I don't begrudge the models working this year's shows their employment. This is a corporate decision they had nothing to do with. I'm sure they are very nice, lovely girls and are specifically told they don't have to know anything about the cars - that isn't their fault. This is an issue with the poor marketing decisions made by Fiat.)