Models gear up car sales

Updated: 2011-04-25 07:56

By Gao Changxin (China Daily)

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 Models gear up car sales

A Chinese model poses next to a Porsche at the Shanghai International Automotive Industry Exhibition on Wednesday in Shanghai. Car models play an important role in promoting cars. Eugene Hoshiko / AP

A college program

Fang Hua, general manager of Paras Talent Management, a nationwide model agency founded in 2002, said her car model business has grown more than 30 percent annually over the past few years. "Every year, more and more carmakers and public relations companies come to us for models."

Fang's company has contracts with about 60 models. In response to the growing demand, it sponsored car model competitions in 2003 and 2005 to select young models and train them for the car model specialty.

She said she didn't know how many car models there are in China, "but my experience tells me the carmakers' demand has been surging. If a qualified car model wants, she can have work to do almost every day."

In 2005, Beijing Geely University set up a car model department paid for by the carmaker Geely Holding Group. Many students have applied, said one of the teachers, Jiang Linghan.

More than 500 students pay 12,000 yuan a year for the four-year program. Classes are on subjects such as basic auto knowledge, marketing, branding, bodybuilding and how to make poses around cars, Jiang said.

Some carmakers started the model selection process for the Shanghai auto show last year, because they wanted to make sure they got better models than their competitors, Fang said.

"The models really play an important role in promoting cars," she said. "The cars are dead but models alive. Their beauty and performance breathe life and color into a static car.

"Hot girls and luxury cars are linked together in China."

Jean-Marie Riviere, marketing and communication director at Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co, told local media at the auto show that car models are an important medium for a car company to communicate its brand value, which is important for a brand's long-term development.

He said he selects car models himself to make sure they are qualified and fit into his company's brand concept.

Riviere was not specific but other sources mentioned the model's height, the lines of her face and body, her overall aura. A cold-looking model might fit a Land Rover, for example, or a cute model might be right for a Mini.


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