The women, aged between 21 and 38, began a new training course in Montpellier, southern France, this month learning the jobs that will be necessary when they set up their own dealership.
Seven are studying to become mechanics, two to be bodywork specialists, two to handle spare parts, two to act as saleswomen and two to take care of the accountancy and paperwork.
After a 22-month course they will form a team that will take over a local garage.
‘There are a lot of women who are interested in this profession,’ said Hervé Malige, director of the Base 34 Training Centre in Montpellier, which is running the course.
“But they tend to become discouraged because it’s a very macho environment. We want to create a shockwave that changes that mentality.” He said that 120 women had applied for the course and 15 were chosen based on an interview, a test on a broken-down vehicle and their ability to work together.
The group also includes a nurse, a secretary, a bus driver and a wine-maker. Several of the women are university graduates.
Women buy a third of the cars sold in France and represent just under half of all drivers.
Malige believes that the garage is likely to be a success. “I think a lot of people might instinctively trust a woman more. And perhaps female customers will feel more at ease with someone who doesn’t treat them like a dumb blonde who doesn’t understand anything,” he said.
(Source: The Times)