Motor Show Aims Undivided Attention on the Wheels

By: Anthony Fontanelle

Car makers intend to put brakes on those gorgeous babes to make viewers and consumers focus on the wheels instead. Motor shows are popular because some find it a great place to look over gorgeous models. Sometimes, these models overshadow the cars. Instead of concentrating on the car specs, spectators find the models more attractive. Hence, motor shows have established a reputation to cover human types - not just automobiles and the whole motoring lot.

Some experts think that attractive models have long been acting as the vehicle's ultimate accessory. Further, Asian car confab thinks the charming ladies are like potholes on the road to higher sales. This is the reason why South Korean carmakers intend to slash the number of scantily clad ladies at this year's Seoul Motor Show to make people look at the cars instead.

The Seoul Motor Show is scheduled to start next month. The said show usually lures thousands of camera-wielding men snapping pictures of gorgeous models in skimpy outfits whose images quickly make their way to websites. "We would rather have the spectators' attention on our cars than the attractive ladies," said Hyundai Motor Company spokesman Jake Jang.

Hyundai, the world's sixth-largest car maker, will hire fewer models for the event. Its affiliate Kia will do the same. Additionally, Renault Samsung Motors, starting last year, changed the attire of its models from miniskirts to more modest business suits and gave them handheld computers to help answer questions, a company official said. The official added, "When we look at motor shows overseas, the foreign brands did not have models with provocative clothing. It only seems to commercialize women and we want the car to shine, not the women."

Separately, Nissan, the Japan-based automaker, intends to unveil a 'cute car' to deviate from the ordinary auto revelations. Nissan goes wackier with the introduction of the Pino, a toylike minicar just 11 feet long with star-stamped upholstery, sparkly-snowflake hubcaps, and a hook for a handbag. The car is especially designed to respond to the needs and whims of cute-obsessed young women and the Pino also can be equipped with accessories that include pink bear-shaped cushions, seat covers with hearts, a CD case that looks like fat red lips, and a colorful cover for a tissue box. Exterior colors include pink (of course) and "milk tea beige."

Nissan marketing manager Miwa Ishii said that one goal for the Pino is to court young drivers to the Nissan brand with hopes that they will move on to buy more expensive models in the future. "Rather than talk about the features of a minicar, we thought it's better to talk about how cute it is," she said. "It's a new model. We're starting from zero to build public awareness about it."

The move could be discouraged by auto experts in other territories because painting cars pink and adding 'cute' features suggest sexism and it thus turn off women. But in Japan, even prevalent grown men are not embarrassed using 'cute' accessories. The practice is as common as using on automobiles.

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