Lynn Tan: The world of cars, motor sports, and basically anything automotive – this has always been a male-dominated territory. To some people, the association between cars and women brings to mind only one thing – race queens.
There are, of course, exceptions. Like female car racers, female “trackies”, and female enthusiasts who can carry off a conversation about four-inch heels just as confidently as they can about 19-inch wheels. But these remain a minority among their female peers, while males are still the majority in the world of cars.
Before deciding on which property or stock to invest in, we usually listen to what the expert analysts have to say. I’m probably not wrong to assume that the general sentiment is that men do, or are perceived to, know more about cars than women.
When it comes to buying cars, you would want to hear from someone whom you think knows everything about the car, or at least someone who knows more than you do. This person should be able to answer all your questions – confidently and, hopefully, correctly, too – without hesitating or batting an eyelid (ideally not an eye shadow-laden one).
This applies not just to female car buyers but male buyers, too. Between guys, there is also an added male-bonding edge to the whole car shopping experience, like hearing from one of the bros.
Yes, men have been known to succumb to the lethal combination of skirts, flowing tresses and sparkling eyes. But, come on – you’re committing to a car, which is by no means a small investment by Singapore standards. So I give men more credit when it comes to purchasing a vehicle.
Even if they did buy a car from a female salesperson, I would like to think that it was because of her professionalism and product knowledge. If any potential male car buyer had any ulterior motives to begin with, then the success of the transaction won’t be because women make better car salespersons. It would simply be because the salesperson in question is a woman.
David Ting: Singapore Girl, you’re a great way to fly… Singapore girl, you’re a great way to buy… a car, in this case. I don’t pay good money to fly Singapore Airlines just to hear a flight steward, however handsome he might be, ask: “Coffee, tea or mee?”
Similarly, if I were shopping around for a big-ticket item, I would rather be served by a “stewardess” (a pretty one, please). And the bigger the ticket, the prettier she has to be to justify my attention and, ultimately, my all-important downpayment.
So I’m shallow when it comes to buying cars, but there’s a practical side to this.
Girls tend to be more meticulous, so you can expect all that paperwork to be done properly. Girls also tend to have better handwriting, so you can actually read some of the scribbles on that sales contract before you sign on the dotted line. And girls know more about housework than guys, so your spanking new car on delivery day is sure to be spanking clean, inside and out.
Then there’s the ego problem. I love discussing cars with my friends, but I hate talking shop with friendly car salesmen, who must think they know more about cars, the motor trade and the intricacies of COE bidding than me, the proverbial poor consumer.
I don’t want to feel less clever than the guy trying to sell me new wheels, who probably knows the vehicle like the back of his hand. Gals, on the other hand, at least look less knowledgeable than me about cars in general and “my” car in particular.
Put simply, saleswomen boost my automotive ego while salesmen bruise it. I need to feel empowered here, not underpowered.
So give me Eve and let me play Adam.
Doing the test drive with a guy seated next to me is another no-no.
If I were to test fly a fighter plane, for example, I wouldn’t want a fellow Top Gun co-pilot on board telling me to “turn left”, “turn right”, “go straight”, “clutch in”, “watch out!” I would very much prefer a chick in the cockpit that I can impress with my superior “flying” skills. Superior to an L-plater, I mean, but it’s superiority all the same.
Test-driving the car with a salesgirl beside you has its dangers, however. There’s this Leng Kee legend of how a young chap crashed a Honda test car on a perfectly straight road because the short skirt and long legs riding alongside his gearstick distracted him. She should have worn pants that day.
Singapore girl, you’re a great way to buy a car.
Many female flight attendants move on to a second career in car sales