A car for women? At Honda, yes

A version of Honda's popular Fit subcompact targets young women in Japan with pink stitching and other stereotypical cues.

What does a car for women look like, exactly?

Does it look differently than a car for a man? What, pray tell, is a gender-specific car?

I don't know the answers to those questions but apparently Honda does. The Japanese automaker is offering a Honda Fit subcompact designed specifically for women -- it's badged "She's" -- that's pink on the outside (though it can also be had in "eyeliner brown," black or white), pink on the inside (yes, even the stitching) and in many ways a throwback to the 1950s.

Except it's not. The vehicle is being marketed directly to young women in Japan, a country that specializes in all things "cute." (This is, after all, land from which Hello Kitty hails.) Whether it's encouraging stereotypes or reflecting them, you tell me. (The folks at NBC's Today show seem to like it, despite the girly frills.)

Would it be well-received in the U.S. or Europe? I wager not.

A highly visible play for a specific demographic? Absolutely.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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