Car companies woo potential women drivers


Saudi Gazette report

Jeddah — The historic Royal decree granting women the right to drive cars in the Kingdom is likely to save families billions of dollars, boost industries from car sales to insurance, and reassure investors that the Kingdom’s push to diversify its economy beyond oil is on track.

Realizing the huge potential market, car companies have started wooing the 10 million potential customers — Saudi women waiting for June 24 when they will be able to be in the driver’s seat.

“Welcome to the driver’s seat.” This is the catch line of Ford Motor Co.’s Twitter ad which shows an image of a pair of woman’s eyes appearing in a rear-view mirror.

Nissan Motor Co., which is considering making cars in the Kingdom like Toyota, published a number plate that’s printed “2018” and “Girl” in Arabic, congratulating Saudi women who now have the "permission to drive.”

Not to be left behind, Volkswagen AG’s campaign highlighted the words “My turn” written between two henna-tattooed fists.

BMW AG’s Mini went further, attaching a 11-second film showing a chestnut Cooper driving off a parking space with words painted in white that say “Reserved for Women,” reported Bloomberg.

Also entering the fray is Tata Motors Ltd, which owns the Land Rover and Jaguar brands, posting an image of a handbag spilling out a car key, lipstick and a bottle of perfume among other items, with the captions “Adventure awaits you” and “The road is yours.”

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp., whose vehicles made up 32 percent of all those sold in Saudi Arabia last year, tweeted a picture of a female driver standing next to a shiny blue car. Its high-end Lexus brand published an image of a woman’s finger on an ignition switch with its website and phone number underneath. “Share your choice with us?" it asks in Arabic.

About 10 million women over the age of 20, including foreigners, live in Saudi Arabia.