Automakers Celebrate Lifting Of Ban On Women Drivers In Saudi Arabia
Marketing campaigns should be in full swing sooner than laterby Kirby Garlitos, on
We knew it was coming sooner than later. Now that the women of Saudi Arabia are all set to be allowed to drive, automakers from all over the world have been quick to react to the ground-breaking news, celebrating the development on the social media with hashtags #SaudiWomenMove and #SaudiWomenCanDrive.
Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were the first automakers to post their congratulations and promote themselves to the women of Saudi Arabia, getting the word out early that they’re ready to welcome women drivers into the driver’s seat for the first time in the history of the Middle Eastern country. The quick response to the living of the driving ban was a smart move, particularly because of the business potential that it offers for a lot of these companies. Data gathered by The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association revealed that Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of vehicles and parts in the entire Middle East region. At the same time, data from LMC Automotive pointed to Saudi Arabia as the 21st biggest automotive market in the world, a figure that could go up with the potential of having more customers by virtue of lifting the ban. In total, Merrill Lynch estimates that as many as nine million potential new drivers could be in the hunt for new cars in Saudi Arabia, including 2.7 million resident non-Saudi women. With all these numbers being thrown out, it’s no wonder that companies like Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan were quick to roll out the carpet for Saudi women. It’s going to be great for business!
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Check out the social media posts from these automakers
Some might say that Ford, Nissan, and Volkswagen are simply taking advantage of the situation regarding the lifting of the ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia. To that, I say the three automakers are doing exactly what everybody should be doing at this point. By all accounts, the Saudi Arabian market is one of the most lucrative auto markets in the world and the potential of it becoming more lucrative by introducing close to 10 million new drivers is a huge opportunity for automakers to expand their businesses.
Ford Middle East was one of the first to comment on the lifting of the ban with a smart and visually catchy post depicting a rearview mirror with a woman’s face on it. The surrounding area is all black, evoking an image of a woman wearing a niqab, a garment of clothing traditionally worn by Muslim women to cover their heads, leaving only a small slit for the eyes. The Ford post was accompanied by a simple “Welcome to the driver’s seat” message to go along with the hashtags #SaudiWomenMove and #SaudiWomenCanDrive.
Note: photo of Ford’s social media post about the lifting of the ban on women drivers
For their parts, Nissan Middle East and Volkswagen Middle East also posted about the lifting of the ban. Nissan threw in an image of a Saudi license plate with “2018” and “GRL” on it. That’s an easy nod to the year 2018, the year that the ban is expected to be officially lifted by the Saudi Arabian government. The “GRL” letters reflect a shortened version of “girl.”
Note: photo of Nissan’s social media post about the lifting of the ban on women drivers
Volkswagen’s post also plays up the imagination with an image of a woman’s fists and the words “My Turn” between them. The image itself appears to hint at a woman holding the steering wheel of a car. The German automaker added a message on its post, telling future women drivers “It’s your turn; take over the driver’s seat.”
Note: photo of Volkswagen’s social media post about the lifting of the ban on women drivers
Given how important this development is, I fully expect more automakers to follow soon with their own social media posts, welcoming Saudi Arabian women to live in the fast lane.
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