When it comes to auto shows, there are two things you are guaranteed to see. The first is obviously cars, but around all those new cars there is bound to a huge collection of models. The car show girl is not a new phenomenon, but thanks to a new piece over at the Wall Street Journal, we have some insight into just how much they get paid, and we learnt that there is a lot more involved than just looking pretty.
The pay to stand in front of a new car at Detroit was upward of $1,000 per day, but each girl is a highly trained professional who is packed with knowledge of the car, but also with intelligence-gathering skills. These women are talking to all the auto show visitors, not to cure their own boredom, but to gather important candid thoughts on the new models. They are told to look for any information that covers thoughts on colors, design, and more.
These “product specialists” aren’t always just fly-by-night hires either like most people think. Maria Fotiu is the name of the young woman found by the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, and she has been with the Volt since 2011, traveling all over the country collecting thoughts and impressions that show goers had about this range-extended EV. Many of the changes that have been made to the new Volt are directly due to her efforts at car shows.
You may not agree with the act of putting models on the show floor with new cars, and there are lots of reasons to not agree with it, but it is nice to hear that these women are paid well, highly trained and serve a purpose that goes well beyond eye-candy. If you are interested in learning more, the full piece at WSJ is a pretty fascinating read.
This new breed of well paid “product specialists” is a great sign for the auto industry. For starters the more practical outfits and higher wages demonstrate a greater level of respect, and recognition that these are actually human beings and not just set pieces. That high pay also shows that automakers are once again starting to feel safe in the rise of sales and are willing to spend money on high quality talent.
Finally, the idea that brands are using this as a candid point to grab information and thoughts on new cars signifies the willingness to adapt and change based on customer opinion. All of these are great signs of good forward progress.