Daimler Deploys Pink Truck to Lure New Generation of Lady Truck Drivers

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 25 2013 9:56 AM

A Truck for Women, and of Course It's Pink

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It's pink, so obviously women will love it.

Courtesy of Mitsubishi

Truck driving is one of the least gender-integrated professions around, since in the environment of evolutionary adaptiveness, men needed to use large diesel-powered vehicles to haul the corpses of their slain prey while women gathered nuts and took care of children. Nevertheless, the good people at Mitsubishi Fuso (which, despite the name, is currently a division of the German company Daimler, which makes Mercedes Benz, and not a division of Mitsubishi) think they can make a new generation of trucks designed to appeal to a new generation of lady truck drivers.

Naturally, the truck is pink.

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It debuted over the weekend at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show and is merely a concept model at this point. The vehicle is a derivative of the Canter light duty truck (known as "FE" in North America until recently) outfitted with a hybrid engine. The special lady version is known as the "Canna." Fuso claims it was developed "by a project team consisting of 9 women core members," and along with the pink polka-dotted exterior, "the interior incorporates more 'cute' and 'comfort' elements in its inner panel and seat covers targeted at women drivers."

In my experience the "appeal to women by making it pink" marketing strategy is rarely well-received. Indeed, if you look at the market for sedans, wagons, SUVs, and other vehicles commonly owned by women, you find that pink is not an especially popular choice of color regardless of gender, so I'm skeptical that a lack of pink exterior paint jobs really explains the weak appeal of light-duty trucks to women. 

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.