June, AKA Pride Month, is a time for everyone to come together and accept who we are. It’s incredible that something that used to be illegal is now being celebrated in masses of bright colour. Of course, we still have a long way to go. But we are definitely moving in the right direction.
Here at All Car Leasing, we pride ourselves on treating our customers fairly and equally, and that’s not just a meaningless, robotic phrase we say. We genuinely mean it! Take a look at our TrustPilot reviews to see for yourself!
The automotive industry is somewhat of a grey area when it comes to promoting equality and LGBTQ+ pride. In the past, it was common for people to see it as something only heterosexual males would be interested in, and in many ways, that’s unfortunately still the case. Homophobia, as well as sexism, are still large issues that need to be tackled. However, we are beginning to see some positive changes. In this blog, we take a look at some notable names who are driving us in the right direction to a more colourful future.
Car Brands Celebrating Pride
There are a bunch of car brands that go above and beyond to change the face of the automotive industry for good. The following are a few examples of how big businesses like car manufacturers can impact the world when they do the right thing, and support the LGBTQ+ community.
Nowadays, a company has to do much more than throw a same-sex couple into their TV advert to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, and rightfully so. Subaru, a Japanese car brand, did so much more. They realised that every car has a personality that matches its driver. Some being for adventurous families, like the Nissan Qashqai, and others being for fashionable students, like the Fiat 500. For Subaru, this was an LGBTQ+ audience.
The campaign, led by Marketing Director Tim Bennett, was launched over 25 years ago when Subaru began to notice that their cars were generally popular amongst lesbians following customer surveys and focus groups. What makes Subaru a hero in the industry is they didn’t take advantage of their target market in an unfair way that some have done in the past. Subaru treated their LGBTQ+ audience as people. Why is this such a big deal? Because this was 25 years ago, and back then a business with lesbians as their vital audience could have been harmful to the company. But Subaru took it in their stride. Creating campaigns that showed us that they were proud to be who they were. Using the tagline, “It’s the way we’re built”.
When we see an LGBTQ+ marketing campaign from a large company, it’s common for us to roll our eyes and say “it’s just to keep up with trends.” If not done right, this is true. I have seen no end of cringey adverts that are desperately trying to show off their up-to-date stance on society. Fiat, on the other hand, took the perfect opportunity to show the world their bright colours. Instead of going to the audience and saying “look at us, we like gay people.”, they let their audience do the talking. Ledorga, a European gay cars enthusiast community, awarded Fiat Group ‘Gay Car Of The Year’ four years in a row from 2007 to 2010, with the Alfa Romeo MiTo being the first, and the Fiat 500 convertible being the latest to be crowned. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty big indication that the LGBTQ+ community is more than happy with this brand, and Fiat was more than happy to roll with it! Following their awards, the Fiat 500 showed up at multiple Pride events, with the Detroit Motor City Pride Parade in 2013 turning the most heads after FCA sponsored the festival, with their cars customised with a rainbow theme as well as the hashtag #FiatPride.
It doesn’t stop there! Fiat has done a handful of memorable campaigns to further show their support, such as the ‘Live in Colour’ campaign for London Pride 2017, and the ‘#WeLovePink’ campaign for Amsterdam Pride 2014, which featured an incredible pink, amphibious Fiat 500 which raced down the canal. Lastly, Fiat revealed a set of fun yet powerful images during their launch in Madrid. The images ranged from a ‘Drag Queen’ Fiat 500 to a ‘Bear’ Fiat 500. Not only showing their inclusiveness of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole but also accepting their wide range of personalities that make them who they really are.
Supporting minority groups such as the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t mean just including them within your audience. It also means actively supporting them by making their lives more liveable. In North America, Toyota realised the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the LGBTQ+ community, especially youths. By collaborating with multiple non-profit organisations and charities, Toyota was able to help charities such as AIDS/LifeCycle’s beneficiaries and the Los Angeles LGBT Center by donating around $25,000, and over $250,000 being reallocated to support critical needs, according to Toyota Newsroom. Furthermore, Toyota has partnered with no end of organisations to support their causes, such as the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and the Trevor Project.
Toyota has always been pro LGBTQ+, with their first advert targeting the colourful community being in 1990, and they have never looked back.
LGBTQ+ Motoring Heroes
Car brands can only do so much to improve the automotive industry’s perception of the LGBTQ+ community. It is also up to us, the people, to work together to make the world a more colourful place to live, and drive. After doing a bit of research, we’ve come across a healthy handful of communities, organisations, and people who we are thrilled to see are sharing their voice and their pride.
Over the last few years, we have started seeing more and more diversity in sports. Mike Beuttler was a British Formula 1 driver from 1971 to 1973, having achieved an impressive five top 10 placements in his 28 races. Beuttler was, and is, the only known gay Formula One driver to date. Sadly, he lost his life to complications resulting from AIDS at only 48 years old. But we still remember him for opening the doors for the LGBTQ+ community in car racing. Times were very different in the 70s, and it must have been tough for Beuttler to accept himself when working in such a macho environment. But we thank him for his courage.
Related Article: How to Become a Racing Driver
Abbie Eaton is a racing driver from Yorkshire and is known for being a test driver in The Grand Tour. Eaton has been a racing fanatic since the age of 10. During her successful British GT career, she has won 25 races and had almost 40 podium places. Abbie is a Driving Ambassador for Racing Pride, being openly gay herself. She actively contributes to promoting inclusivity in the car racing and automotive industry. A very strong and inspirational influencer, a much-needed asset to making the future more colourful.
The LGBTQ+ community is huge and spreads across countless industries, including motoring. Racing Pride is an LGBTQ+ charity that was set up in 2019 to positively promote inclusivity within the sport, and unite everyone to change car racing for the better.
UK Police Force
LGBTQ+ hate crimes are unfortunately still common. To make positive change requires a group effort from the community, and police across the UK joined forces recently to support LGBTQ+ people with bright colours, and we don’t mean their sirens! Police cars across the country have been upgraded with the addition of a rainbow and ‘Police with Pride’ in their design. Although at a first glance this may seem pointless, the police showing their unity with the community is one step closer to a happier, equal nation.
We are well on our way to tackling homophobia all over the world, one day at a time. Accepting our differences is all it takes. We are so happy to see so many people, brands, and organisations doing their part to add a drop of colour to the automotive industry.
What have you done to celebrate Pride Month this year? We'd love to hear from you!
Happy Pride Month! 🏳🌈