We're all car people here and many of us happen to be men. At one time or another we've all been asked by our wives, our moms, our sisters or our girlfriends to accompany them to a dealer showroom to buy a vehicle. The ladies in our lives know that the mere presence of a male during the buying process will make things go smoother and perhaps even prevent the salesperson from pulling anything tricky. This article out of the U.K. describes attempts by Honda and Ford to make the buying experience more gender neutral and eradicate the sexism that has plagued dealer lots for a long time. Honda plans to employ at least one female sales person in each of its 200 British showroom while Ford uses a women's product panel that, among other things, visits dealer showrooms anonymously and monitors how female buyers are treated by sales staff. In our view, money is money whether it comes out of a purse or a Velcro wallet, and dealers today can't afford to lose a sale because a customer feels patronized or talked down to.

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