Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Holy Grail of Women Gadget Stories

I have found it. The ultimate story involving women and the gadgets they would buy, if only the makers of said gadgets truly grokked the ungrokkable miasma of mystery that is womankind. It is from the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest English daily, which has a history of being incredibly off-base in the women department, and it is about cars. It's as if the entire cast of Mad Men suddenly popped up in a Toyota dealership in Tokyo and decided, "You know what's missing here? Cookies!"

Toyota Motor Co. said that some time ago one of its female employees was overheard telling her coworkers, "Today's cars don't have any playful touches."

Her remark and similar comments prompted the launch of the Chambre a Paris, a special edition of Toyota's small compact Vitz car, which came out in February. The French term "chambre a Paris" means a small room in Paris.

Is Japan so squeezed for space that people are now actually spending their honeymoons inside their cars? No wonder their population is shrinking.

Yoneda said they first switched their focus from performance and comfort to creating a sense of neatness, both inside and out.

Ah yes. "Women have no wilderness in them, / They are provident instead, / Content in the tight hot cell of their hearts / To eat dusty bread." And to drive go-carts with snazzy cup organizers.

The car features colorful touches such as hubcaps patterned with a dot design and seats that come with seat covers in three colors, allowing customers to quickly and easily change the car's interior color scheme.

Just think. I could be spending every other Sunday wrassling with yards of auto upholstery. How fun!

Yoneda said the women polled requested comfortable, sofalike seats, a polka-dot paint scheme and other features that have not been found in cars so far.

Polka-dot cars! I hear they have great resale value. In Candyland.

Honda Cars Aichi set up a team of young female employees to revamp sales service at its dealership. It now also makes a variety of items available to its female customers. Women can now receive a blanket and cookbook to leaf through while they are waiting. Women also are served a cup of hot chocolate and given cookies during a sales pitch.

So I've got the blanket on my lap, the cookbook in one hand, the hot chocolate in another and my mouth stuffed full of cookies. Anything else you care to stuff in my face before trying to sell me that $20,000 piece of machinery? A roofie, perhaps?

Check out the rest here.


  1. I do not want a polka dot car - but I would not say no to a cookie.

  2. You know where polka dots totally rule? When they're black and applied on the outside of a red Beetle.