Hardcore Female Automotive Enthusiasts, and How the Industry Tries to Placate Us

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a rant (Car Guy vs. Fan Boi) so I figured it’s time for a new one. I don’t get riled up very often, but when I saw this in a LinkedIn discussion for SEMA people, I just had to share it.

First, the press release:

Ford Motor Co. has donated a 2013 Mustang GT to be customized by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) for the purpose of promoting women working in the automotive aftermarket industry. Starting on May 23rd visitors to Source Interlink Medias websites including; HOT ROD, Automobile, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords, and Mustang Monthly will vote on one of the three designs they want built. The finished vehicle will be auctioned off to raise money for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship.

Ford Motor Co. and SEMA Join Forces on Mustang Build Powered by Women sourceinterlink.com

Ford Motor Co. and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) teamed up to present the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. Under the direction of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) and built entirely by SBN members, the project is designed to shine the light on women working in the automotive aftermarket and encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry.

This raised several alarms, because I’m sure that the ‘SBN’ is already clamoring all over itself to get all of the products they sell/promote/manufacture on this car. This thing will be accessorized to the max with a ton of useless crap that is ‘female friendly’. I bet $1 that it’s also an auto-transmission.

Sigh….

This also caught me in a mildly bad mood.

(Not, it’s not PMS, but wouldn’t that be fitting?)

Here’s my reply:

I really hope this doesn’t end up as some over-accessorized, giant-heavy-chrome-wheels, auto-tranny show pony. The women that I know who are ‘into’ cars prefer to row their own gears, and mods that are more than just all-show-and-no-go. Ford should keep this in mind, especially if they want to cater to the younger generation of empowered female enthusiasts who are out there auto-crossing and attending other performance-oriented events, not just the ones polishing their boyfriend’s wheels at a car show.

And then, I found the Mustang ‘renderings’.

http://www.hotrod.com/all-female-mus…d-sweepstakes/

Really? Seriously? ‘Rosegold accents’? Neon colors + ‘white leather racing interior’? And that last one is pretty much a standard Foose-styled rip-off.

You’re trying to get female enthusiasts to come out of the woodwork and WANT to be involved in the industry, not hide themselves in shame over this thinly veiled marketing ploy with yet another riced-out Mustang.

Sure, girly stuff is great and all, but please don’t accessorize my Mustang like the Kardashians would want it, okay?

If you want to cater to the True Car Chick, ‘accessorize’ mine with: KW V3 coilovers, lightweight Enkei racing wheels and agressive tires, a full header-back exhaust, Recaros and 4pt harnesses to keep me snug during track days or a rip up Hwy 1, a lightweight driveshaft, and some N/A bolt-ons and tuning that will wake up the Coyote 5.0L a bit but not make it stupid to drive on the street. Some big Baer Brakes would be nice too. And you better make it a manual transmission, or I’ll just laugh in your face and walk away.

Come on, SBN. Try harder.

– Kristina “The Highly Opinionated Car Chick” Albrecht