Buy A Fiat, Buy A Boob Job

Clearly a cry for advertising help

Buy A Fiat, Buy A Boob Job

Hey, if you can't sell the car based on its own merit why not show a guy diving right into a girl's huge cleavage? Watch this Fiat ad.

Talk about trying to sell to emotions. The Fiat Palio ad ends with this blurb—Palio: For The Best Time Of Your Life. I guess, sure.. for some guys the best time of their life would be to dive right into a massive cleavage. I can't even imagine the brainstorming session when they tried to come up with ideas to sell the 'best time of your life.' Apparently, the advertising agency (Leo Burnett Argentina) described this ad as covering "...a very monumental moment in a couple's relationship."

Some have questioned it as the most offensive car ad ever. While I wouldn't go far as to say it's the 'most offensive car ad ever,' I definitely can't see the relevance between the cleavage-ish and the Palio. I nominate it for the Most Foolish Car Ad Ever.

It's too bad because the Fiat Palio is a cute little car.

2012 Fiat Palio
According to, the “...development of the new Fiat Palio required about 824,000 hours from the company's engineers... [The Palio was] driven for more than 1.7 million kilometers before the final product could now hit the streets. Almost 3,300 new components make up the car. In terms of quality, reliability, endurance and strength, no effort was spared to provide the Fiat customer the best.” And all that effort and energy summarized with a 60 second foolish ad that doesn't even tie in the product well.
You know how they say 'sex sells'? Well they also say 'a product should sell itself.' I think these Fiat advertisers just graduated from the wrong school.

Why Do You Like Your Technician?

It's really about service

Why Do You Like Your Technician?

When you ask men why they like their auto service tech (a.k.a. mechanic), they'll usually respond with the fact that their tech fixed the car right, they know what they're doing, the price was reasonable, etc. When you ask women why they didn't like their tech, it's usually because they weren't treated right, the repairs weren't explained adequately, they felt ripped off, etc.

So the feedback is almost always about service. I have not once heard a complaint or praise due to gender. If it's a female that fixed the car, bonus! Hey, if I could get a Matt Damon look-alike to fix my car that would be a fantastic bonus. But that's not what it's about.

You will always have haters. People—both men and women—will judge you because you're a woman in the trade. I've had women tell me that they feel more confident if a man fixed their car. I'm not out to change their minds. I'm here to fix cars well for those who want to leave them with me.

The issue with focusing on gender is that it's something you can't change. The way I look at it, if I'm not good at fixing a car for some reason... it's not because I'm a woman. I can't change that. It's because I am lacking the skills to do it well. Now that I can change. I can learn, I can acquire the skills, etc. I now have to figure out a way to get the skills I need to do well at my job. I shouldn't get any preferential treatment, or any discrimination, just because I'm female. 

When I started AutoNiche, I wanted to deliver client service that I felt was missing in the industry. After all, not long ago I was on the other side of the counter. I felt I could make a difference by bringing my perspective to running a repair shop. Yes, I believe that as a woman, I'll bring a different perspective to operating my business. Different. Not better. Not worse. Different. When I hire technicians and administrative staff, I'm not hiring based on gender. I want someone who can do the job well and communicate appropriately with our clients, suppliers and with me. And if I hire a service advisor or technician who's qualified and happens to look like Matt Damon, that's a bonus for me!

We're in Markham, Ontario so if you're ever in the area drop by and say hello! Here are some other women-owned repair shops:

For those of you in Calgary, Alberta, visit Elle Auto.

And representing Vancouver, British Columbia, check out Nic's Garage.

We're here to deliver client service with integrity and to provide a friendly environment. As Sandy Spicer (owner of Nic's Garage) puts it: non-intimidating car service!


Battle Of The Sexes...Again

We Can Do It

Battle Of The Sexes...Again


I like this poster for many reasons, which I'll get to in a sec.

A recent article in the Toronto Star exposed some of the sexism that happens to female auto service technicians. The local Toyota dealership employs four female technicians and they shared some of their experiences with discrimination at work. The author, Catherine Porter, also writes that the dealership has been positively affected by the women techs. “Manager Quaison Parris says foul language has decreased. Veteran mechanic Manny Neves says the atmosphere is friendlier.” Theories of why there aren't women in the trade are also in the article.

I'm happy that these experiences were written about so it's out in the open, because they're a reality. It's being recognized that this stuff does happen and that organizations are changing to address discrimination

The truth is that discrimination exists across various workplaces, sexism is not limited to those who work in male-dominated places as it quite often happens in female-dominated jobs too. From my experience in the corporate world, harassment and discrimination is also there. Just look at how many policies and procedures the Human Resources Department rolls out and you can tell that it's an issue they're trying to eliminate.

Here's how the author ends it though:

Before I drive away, Parris tells me some male customers get incensed when they see a woman lift up the hood of their car. “I tell them, 'That woman will do a better job than a man,'” he says. More than half his customers are women.

 So why don't we demand that a woman work on our cars? That's what I plan to do from now on.

I just wonder how effective this talk of 'women can do it better than a man' or 'I'm demanding that a woman work on my car' is in terms of promoting a culture that is respectful of both genders. I mean, that's reverse discrimination, no? Shouldn't the demand as a customer be that you want a competent, qualified, and skilled individual to work on your car? I mean, you can demand that a woman or man work on your car (if all you're looking for is their gender) but there's no guarantee that they're skilled. Absolutely, you should demand that a particular female tech work on your car because you know she's skilled. I'm assuming that's what the journalist meant as opposed to demanding "...that a woman work..." on her car.

So why do I like that WWII poster? Because as it says, we can do it. Not we can do it better. Just simply we can do it, we can do it too... an encouragement that doesn't put down others. For a manager like Toyota's Parris, I'm sure he meant well with how he responded to the incensed male customers. I'm sure he meant: that particular woman technician will do a great job. She could probably fix a car better than many men. But saying that she will do a better job than a man is taking a shot at all men. Maybe she's better than the men that Parris knows.

The truth is that there are a lot of great guys in the trade who will mentor and teach someone, regardless of their gender. Just as there are a lot of great women in the trade who would do the same. Sure you get your share of bad apples. But to respond to sexism with reverse discrimination puts the genders in an endless battle and it's a response that requires careful consideration.