• Models posing beside cars will no longer be seen at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.

Models posing beside cars will no longer be seen at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. (Photo : Reuters)

Physically attractive young women would no longer model around cars at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in April, according to its event organizers on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

"Companies should focus on product quality and technology. Auto shows are supposed to give audiences an enjoyment of art. We hope exhibitors promote their products in a healthy and classy way. Activities with low taste and those that violate social morality are prohibited," the announcement from the organizers said.

Like Us on Facebook

The event organizers stated that the decision was finalized after they sought opinions from exhibitors.

A lot of car manufacturers showcase scantily clad models in their shows to catch consumer attention, especially among young adults. The sensational media covering of barely dressed Gan Lulu and Li Yingzhi created controversies in the past years. In 2012, Beijing's Capital Ethics Development Office reported on its official website that revealing clothes of some models at the 2012 Beijing auto show had a "negative social impact."

Yang Xuelian, the head of the public relations department of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said in his microblog that "auto shows in other cities should also stop using models. It's also better to cancel the performances of celebrities." The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group is one of the country's major automobile manufacturers.

"Give a pure automobile show back to customers," Yang stated.

When word came out that the event is considering stopping the use of any models, it received bad feedback from people.

An auto show scheduled for March in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, is insisting that they open the show that would feature models, even if many car and trade shows would follow Shanghai's lead.

Shenyang in Liaoning Province and other cities have set up rules that will avoid using barely clothed models instead of stopping the use of models altogether.

Dang Jiani, a 25-year-old veteran model from Beijing, said: "The models who wear revealing costumes make up only a small proportion of all models. The models don't decide which costumes they're going to wear for the shows. If automakers provide dresses that are too scanty, we make minor changes to make them not so revealing."

She also mentioned that world-class carmakers design high-class costumes with good taste that would go together with their vehicles' design concepts.

"Models wearing inappropriate dresses would ruin the product's image. Automakers wouldn't want to see that. Models have become an integral part of auto fairs in recent years. They are a part of the automobile culture." Dang said.

The Shanghai auto show, which started in 1985, is the oldest Chinese automobile exhibition.