Vauxhall have announced plans to roll out a new Female Buyer Initiative (FBI) scheme aimed at making dealerships more attractive to women.

A programme has been developed byGeneral Motors (GM) to make dealerships more welcoming to women, and following a successful pilot, Vauxhall plan to extend the FBI scheme throughout their entire company during 2008, with a series of women’s car workshops entitled ‘Women in the Driving Seat’.

The workshops will be hosted in Vauxhall dealerships andwill includeadditional topics such as road rage, advice on self-protection and defensive driving.

Since its launch in 2006, the FBI scheme has already proved successful with other car manufacturers.

“We did something similar with Chevrolet last year and it was a big success,” said a spokeswoman from GM. “We want women to see that a dealership isn't a place they should be worried about going into.”

This comes after a recent poll by Sheila’s Wheels in September 2007 which claimed that one in five women have pulled out of buying a new or used car due to offensive comments from sales people and an intimidating showroom environment.

This could have a damaging affect on dealer's sales figures, according to GM. The group hopes to increase female customer numbers by 40 per cent between 2006 and 2020 by gearing more oftheir selling techniques towards women.

Stephen Jury


February 6, 2008