Leading car companies race to target Saudi women drivers with ‘cheesy’ ads

Eager to make a profit off Saudi Arabia’s announcement allowing women to drive, world’s biggest car companies from Ford to Volkswagen to Jaguar have come up with advertisements targeting the new market of millions.

The advertising blitzkrieg follows the official announcement on 27 September by King Salman that the ban on women drivers will end in June next year.

“The ads are a bizarre mix of clichés about Arab women and cheesy “girl power” messages that would make even the Spice Girls roll their eyes,” news site Vox reported.

In a tweet, US automaker Ford posted an image of a woman’s eyes in a rearview mirror positioned over a dark background, evoking a veil. The text: “Welcome to the driver’s seat.”

According to the Bloomberg news agency, the biggest sellers of cars in Saudi are Toyota and Hyundai, whose SUVs (sports utility vehicles) are especially popular.

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