We’ve all heard the old adage, “Beware the woman driver!”
Sir Stirling Moss even reiterated his own
similar opinion last week, only to be debunked by many women racers in the
profession. That normally insulting phrase took on a whole new meaning recently
at the the Doug Foley Drag
Racing School held at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, where I met up with top NHRA
drivers, Brittney and Courtney Force, for a day of drag racing.
People need to move—and carry things. Adding some all-new and updated game-changing, people-and-cargo-movers to its line-up, Ford has recently expanded its truck brand in the U.S., with new models that go on sale later this year. The Blue Oval is already the best-selling truck maker in North America and now adds two new vehicles for 2014-an updated Transit Connect Van and an all-new Transit Connect Wagon.
We recently took a look and climbed aboard the two new vehicles in Detroit, with Ford’s designers, engineers and marketers on hand to educate us about the new models. First, let’s take a closer look at the van, which came to the U.S. in 2010 as a creative solution for small business owners and others that had the need or desire to own a somewhat utilitarian, compact panel van.
If you’re not familiar with the first-generation version that came stateside from its popular run in Europe for close to a decade, you might think of a bulky, rectangular box with four wheels and the “Airport Shuttle” image, or the name of your electrician painted on the side of a van. You might even think back to the velour swivel seats and dastardly fuel economy of vans in the 1970s and 1980s.
Established in 1999, the WAAI’s Spirit of Leadership award is presented
annually to professional women in the automotive industry in recognition
of their significant accomplishments in their profession, community,
and family. These women have dedicated their life to their profession
and to giving back to others; and they serve as mentors and are role
models to us all. Sustained superior performance, community involvement,
influence and support of other women within the automotive industry are
just some of the qualities these women possess.
Jody DeVere, CEO, AskPatty.com Jody is the face and primary voice of AskPatty.com, Inc, a website, blog, and
marketing to women agency providing automotive education to women
consumers, as well as training, ongoing marketing support and education,
and certifications to car dealers, independent service locations, tire
dealers, collision centers, and other automotive retailers. As a social
media marketing to women expert, journalist, car care expert, and safety
spokesperson, it has been a primary goal to promote, mentor and support
careers for women in the automotive industry, and she has more than
twenty-five years of achievement as a successful entrepreneur focused on
sales and marketing leadership to assist her in this quest. She is a
champion for women in the automotive industry, and her company serves as
the first point of contact for many women who are seeking the very best
in car sales and service across the United States and Canada.
Barbara J. Pilarski, VP, Business Development, Chrysler Group LLC
J. Pilarski was named Vice President - Business Development for
Chrysler Group LLC on June 9, 2009. In this role, she is responsible
for negotiating key strategic partnership arrangements for Chrysler
Group globally and for managing alliance relationships. Pilarski
reports to Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler Group.
to her current position, Pilarski served as Executive Director -
Mergers and Acquisitions, North and South America, Chrysler LLC. In
this position, Pilarski was responsible for all aspects of merger,
acquisition and divestiture activities affecting North and South
America for Chrysler, and formerly DaimlerChrysler, business units.
joined Chrysler Corporation in 1985 as a Financial Analyst and has
held positions in various functional areas, including Controlling,
Treasury and Mergers and Acquisitions.
earned a bachelor's degree in Finance from Wayne State
University (1985) and holds a Master of Business Administration
degree from the University of Michigan (1988). She also participated
in Chrysler Corporation's Advanced Degree Development Program
is actively involved in the following organizations:
sponsor of the Chrysler Women’s Forum, an employee resource group
which leverages female employees to improve Chrysler’s overall
product and service offerings to its customers
United Way for Southeastern Michigan, serving both as a Steering
Committee member for Chrysler’s annual fundraising campaign, as
well as a Board Member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society
Girls and Boys Clubs of Southeastern Michigan
for recruiting efforts at the University of Michigan
was also honored in 2010 by Automotive News and Deloitte as one of
the “Top 100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive
This year's other honorees include:
Joy Libert-Gelb, Dealer/ Owner of Yonkers Motors
Margery Krevsky, Founder/ CEO of Productions Plus-The Talent Shop
Andra Rush, President/CEO of Rush Trucking
The Spirit of Leadership Awards Reception will take place at this year's NADA Conference, at the Peabody in Orlando, FL, on Saturday, February 9, 2013.
San Antonio, Texas: One of my favorite car stories is about my friend Bob’s elderly grandmother, who drove a Toyota Avalon. She would take four right-hand turns to avoid a left. For a number of years, I thought of this driver as the demographic for this four-door, full-sized sedan. I surmised that this Toyota model was designed to appeal to older, more cautious drivers who loved rolling along in large and long lumbering boats. Times have changed, cars have changed, and so have my impressions of Toyota’s flagship Avalon. I have an all-new impression of the all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon which, by the way, is named for a mythical island in Camelot lore.
The Car Care Council Women’s Board is comprised of professional men and women from the automotive aftermarket who are dedicated to providing career leadership to women in the automotive aftermarket, providing car care information to female audiences and encouraging youngpeople to investigate opportunities in the automotive aftermarket. For more information, visit http://women.carcare.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Organized by the Car Care Council Women’s Board, the annual awards and a reception are sponsored by a variety of aftermarket companies and organizations. The 2012 sponsors include: Robert Bosch LLC, SKF Automotive Division, Tenneco, The Timken Company, Automotive Communication Council (ACC), N.A. Williams Company, Maximum Marketing Services, Mobile Air ConditioningSociety (MACS), MOTOR Information Systems and Snap-on, Inc.
Jody DeVere CEO AskPatty.com was honored as the she was named the ninth annual Aftermarket Woman of the Year by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Amy Mattinat, owner of Auto Craftsmen in Vermont and one of the top expert automotive women advisors for AskPatty.com was honored as The Car Care Council’s Female Service Shop Owner of the Year.
Andrea Schultz was selected as the first-ever Woman of Promise by the Car Care Council Women's Board.
Each year, the SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) recognizes the top individuals for their contributions to women in industry. The winners of these awards were recognized at the 2012 SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast Powered by SBN.
Lauren Fix was the recipient of the “Woman of the Year “ Award from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Businesswomen’s Network and The Car Care Council’s “Automotive Communications Award” for public relations efforts. “This is such a great honor, said Lauren Fix, "I was so surprised to receive this honor from my peers. SEMA Business Womens Network has been an important part of my career and we are blessed to be among the best women in the business."
Karen Gietzen-Stewart Ford North America Advanced Planning and Innovation Manager accepted the award for Ford Motor Company, who was the recipient of the Athena Award for their support of the SEMA Mustang Build Powered By Women, better known as "High Gear," was unveiled at 2012 SEMA Show in the Ford booth. TheSBN launched the project to showcase 40 women designers and engineers of the automotive industry. With SEMA and Ford Motor Co. teaming up forthe build, an additional 40-plus SEMA member companies, donated products and services, which includes custom paint,customized wheels, a custom leather interior,high performance suspension, and a new supercharger autographed by industry legend Vic Edelbrock. More information can be found on http://www.SEMA.org/SEMAMustangBuild
Doug Evans, Executive Vice President, Performance Automotive Group for Source Interlink Media, LLC was recipeint of the Mentor of the Year Award which was created to acknowledge and honor an individual for their wisdom,encouragement, and willingness to "help others along" as a foundation for growth within and for our industry. "Advocating for women in the automotive industry is something I am dedicated to so to be recognized by this group of businesswomen is particularly gratifying," Evans said.
More Rocking Women!
Amy Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The SBN
will mark its 20th anniversary in 2013, and no conversation about
Rockin' Automotive Women would be complete without the inspirational Amy
Faulk, founder of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). Faulk grew up
around cars, starting her racing career in 1978 when her husband Kenny,
a mechanic and race car builder, fired his driver and put his wife in
the driver’s seat of the modified Volkswagon he’d built. Faulk went on
to become the first woman to win a national event in an alcohol
dragster. She was also the first woman to win an NHRA division
championship, one of the first to work in the performance auto-parts
industry and to be elected to the SEMA Board of Directors. She also
created the MPMC Media Trade Conference.
accomplishments include 1979 NHRA Super Stock World Champion, the 1980
Car Craft Magazine Driver of the Year, 2002 SEMA Hall of Fame, 2003 NHRA
Division 2 Sportsman Hall of Fame Award (first woman recipient), the
first recipient and the inspiration of the NHRA Appreciation Award, SEMA
Person of the Year and 2009 NHRA Hall of Fame Recipient.
1993, Faulk saw a need for a committee that fit the needs of women in
the industry, and the SBN was created. She is currently the CEO of
Hypertech and is still drag racing in the Stock Eliminator category,
striving to be the only person—male or female—to win national events in
The first and only all female team in Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. One of the biggest crowds at SEMA gathered to watch teams of young engine builders compete in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow challenge. The competition started Monday afternoon as 13 teams from around the country showed off their skills and teamwork.
The Gear Up Girls Event at the SEMA Show! — with Bogi Lateiner, Camee Edelbrock, Sara Morosan, Theresa Contreras, Christina Kwan, Jamie Apodaca Eriksen, Marla Moore, Julia Johnson, Luanne F Brown, Susan Roba Carpenter, JoAnn Bortles and Rose Kawasaki.
The Gear Up Girl Networking event is an incredible opportunity to connect with---and encourage female students who have an interest in working in our industry. I met the Heart Wrenchers women who started a club for the women enrolled in the Automotive Technology programs at Skyline College. Skyline's Auto Techprogram has had two female graduates in THE LAST TEN YEARS. They hope to change that! They now have eight outstanding women enrolled and they are well on their way to careers in the automotive industry.
Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenger: Alexis DeJoria began her first full season of Nitro Funny Car racing with Kalitta Motorsports in2012 after joining the team for four races late in the 2011 campaign. DeJoria qualified at three of the four Nitro races she entered in 2011. She also made it to the Finals in Bristol, TN earlier this year, an incredible feat for a rookie driver.DeJoria competed in Top Alcohol Funny Car competition for five seasons. She is one of just two women ever to win an NHRA Alcohol Funny Car event. She began drag racing in the Super Gas category and also campaigned a Super Comp dragster. Alexis' career best run is a 4.040 @ 313.66 mph at the 2012 Toyota Supernationals at Englishtown, New Jersey.
Complete with flower-filled courtyards, restful fountains
and red-tiled roofs, the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara is the perfect place to
enjoy the leisurely pace and warm embrace of the California lifestyle and test
drive the all new 2013 Honda Accord line up. The evening before the drive we
were treated to a reveal of the new models over cocktails, a cool demo of how
they design around people in the car and the excellent visibility designed into
front and passenger windows. We concluded the evening with a fine dinner of
Mexican inspired eats.
In the morning the Honda team went over all the new specs
and features in great detail to give us the all the background on all the
models including the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan that is scheduled
to debut in early 2013. The technology features are amazing and MANY for
safety, drivability, communication, GPS location and entertainment. Something
for every busy on the go woman driver needs and more.
I test drove both the all new Honda Accord 2013 Sedan and
Coupe models and had so much fun driving the 6 speed manual Coupe, YES a stick
shift! Very sporty feel as I took a long test drive over hill and vale in the
Santa Barbara wine country. We stopped for a Asian inspired lunch at the
Firestone Winery, (no wine tasting darn it). On the way back I drove the Sedan
with Tanya from Mommy Goggles which was so quiet and smooth, good thing too as
Tanya's tummy did not agree with all the winding roads!
My 2013 Honda Accord driving impressions: Nimble, quick acceleration
on both models. Smooth drive on uneven surfaces, better in the Sedan than the
Coupe. The manual 6 speed shifting was smooth and easy to handle as well. Loved
the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system and the standard on all models rear
Trunk space is very roomy for a mid size compact car. New
body style and trim is quite a sexy departure from prior years Honda Accord
plain Jane models.
I so enjoyed meeting all the women bloggers and media at the event, including Tanya from Mommy Goggles and Jill
from UrbanMommies Media in Canada, and most of all the of so effervescent Vicki Poponi,
Assistant VP Honda Product Planning, who will be my September 20th Automotive
Advice for Women Radio Show Guest. Be sure and turn in at 3pm PDT / 6pm EDT to
learn more about the all new2013 Honda Accord and Vicki's career in automotive,
a fascinating story.
AskPatty.com and the Certified Female Friendly® program are sponsoring the first ever Diversity Women's Issues track at a large automotive industry event during the 2012 AutoConnections Conference & Expo September 5- 8th at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas.
I was delighted to participate in the 2012 Heels & Wheels event which was formed to honor women as a major force in the automotive purchase decision. Heels & Wheels allows automotive women to gather and test drive vehicles in a female-only environment and offer some real-world testing. The aim is to garner input on vehicles as they directly affect women car buyers.
These are some of the thought leadership principles we aspired to glean from our time together. What will appeal to her? What will make or break her purchase decision? We get influential women in cars to ultimately discover what women want in a car. Real-world testing includes: loading groceries, child seats and golf clubs, ingress/egress, cabin functionality, accelerating, braking and ride. That information is culled and used to increase female buying power by providing useable “woman-tested” knowledge.
Over thirty women media pundits along with eleven automakers, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Buick, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Chrysler, Dodge, Mitsubishi, all gathered at the Hotel Estancia La Jolla, CA. Insights were shared by the Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence team, vehicle designers, product marketing specialists, panel speakers and a very special "Driving In Her Shoes" presentation by Joni Gray and Christine Overstreet, the effervescent women leaders of Heels & Wheels, on the dynamic and every changing women's car buying market.
IZOD IndyCar Series Driver to Carry Girl Scout Logo on Helmet While She Races the Indy 500
While competing in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Katherine Leggewill honor millions of Girl Scouts by wearing the Girl Scout logo on her helmet during the 96th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Legge, who attributes much of her success to the confidence and character she developed while growing up as a Girl Guide in the United Kingdom, will become the ninth woman to race in the Indianapolis 500.
The logo will be worn to call attention to Girl Scouts’ ToGetHerThere campaign, and Legge’s partnership with the Girl Scouts will continue beyond Sunday’s race as she becomes Girl Scouts’ inaugural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Ambassador and Girl Scouts’ first motorsports athlete as a national spokesperson.
“Without a strong belief in myself, I would not be one of the few women to compete at the highest level in the male-dominated world of motorsports,” said Legge. “Carrying Girl Scouts’ logo on my helmet reminds me of what got me here. When I was a young girl, Girl Guides inspired me to believe that if I set my mind to it, nothing could prevent me from achieving my dreams.”
Girl Scouts of the USA is celebrating its centennial this year and is using this moment to engage all members of society—mothers, fathers, all adults and IndyCar fans, corporations, government and nonprofits—to help girls reach their leadership potential. To support this effort, Girl Scouts has launched the ToGetHerThere cause campaign, the boldest advocacy initiative dedicated to girls’ leadership issues in history. The goal of the campaign is to create balanced leadership in one generation.
This year’s 8th Annual M2W® – The Marketing To Women Conference, was a re-charge fo rme full of research, data, cases and companies that show how marketing-to-women makes great business sense. It was even suggested that “marketing-to-women” be called simply “marketing” after a research presentation based on interviews with 20,000 consumers worldwide revealed that women’s purchasing power globally exceeds 20 trillion.
Some of the session that were very relevant to my readership, company, clients and the automotive sector included:
Marketing A Male Dominated Category To Women - Panel Moderator: Stephen Reily, Vibrant Nation. Panelists: Garry Rosenfeldt, Midas; Onney Crawley, Craftsman Lawn & Garden, Sears; Hilary Shaev, NBA; Suly Salazar-Layton, Genworth Financial; Claudia Garber, Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fastest-Growing Market - Michael Silverstein, Boston Consulting Group
Eve-olution: Why Women Rule the Web - Amy Janis, Yahoo!
Black Women: Diverse, Strong, Moving Forward and Under the Radar - Pepper Miller, The Hunter Miller Group
Workshop: How to Avoid Extremism in Marketing to Women... As Told By A Man - Gerald A. Carrafiello, The Gate Worldwide