HER WORLD OF MO­TOR­ING

This woman-at-the-wheel won­ders: Are you what you drive?

Torque (Singapore) - - CONTENTS - LYNN TAN

TTHE short story Crocodile Shoes, by Jojo Moyes, is about a woman who ends up with a pair of crocodile-skin Louboutins after her bag ac­ci­den­tally got swopped at the gym.

They were not the kind of shoes that she usu­ally wears, but with a packed sched­ule ahead, she had no other al­ter­na­tive but to live in them for the day.

Thanks to those shoes, she clinched a cou­ple of deals on the same day be­cause her clients could not take their eyes off those stilet­tos on her feet. The men were se­duced by it, while the women were im­pressed.

One fe­male client of hers even com­mented: “You can tell so much about some­one from what they wear.” Does the same ap­ply to what you drive?

Apart from the size of their car­buy­ing bud­get, what else can we con­clude about the per­son who drives a shiny new car ver­sus one who has a beat-up old ride?

Not much, re­ally, if you think about it. It does not even nec­es­sar­ily mean that the for­mer is wealth­ier than the lat­ter. Be­ing un­will­ing to spend more on a pricier car does not nec­es­sar­ily im­ply that he or she is un­able to af­ford it.

Of course, there are the usual stereo­types. For in­stance, we as­sume that the guy in a flashy con­vert­ible is a swing­ing bach­e­lor or cal­lous Casanova, while the guy be­hind the wheel of an MPV is a du­ti­ful fam­ily man. Are Volvos still con­sid­ered an ac­coun­tant’s car of choice, and are Mercedes-

Ben­zes still par­tic­u­larly ap­peal­ing to towkays?

If you are out to im­press a date, friends or old school mates, a swanky ride will def­i­nitely achieve that pur­pose. Driv­ing up to a ho­tel lobby or valet counter in an ex­pen­sive model may likely get you a warmer wel­come or bet­ter ser­vice.

But if your prop­erty or in­surance agent, or banker, showed up in a flashy car, would you think “He/she must be good at what he/ she does, so I can trust his/ her rec­om­men­da­tion”, or are you more likely to go “He/she must be fleec­ing me in or­der to af­ford that car”?

So, while the Louboutin lady in the story scored a few con­tracts by virtue of her footwear, would a nice car work for or against her in this case?

The age of the driver also comes into play. A more el­derly per­son can get away with driv­ing a swanky car, and there won’t be raised eye­brows. A younger per­son be­hind the wheel of that same swanky car, how­ever, would set peo­ple’s imag­i­na­tions run­ning wild over what he/she does or have them won­der­ing about the driver’s back­ground.

At the end of the day, how other peo­ple per­ceive you based on what you drive is sec­ondary. It is, first and fore­most, how you per­ceive your­self driv­ing a par­tic­u­lar car that made you buy it in the first place.

“I love her and I like your heels,” said the non-cal­lous Casanova.

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