Formula 1 isn’t the only thing that is saying goodbye to the supporting cast of ladies that have been a fixture at its events over the years. The auto industry looks set to follow the route taken by motorsports – which is ending the use of its “grid girls” from this season on – by moving towards discontinuing the use of female models as display props at motor shows, Bloomberg reports.

According to the business news agency, a number of car companies will not be utilising “booth babes” – usually dressed in titillating fashion – as part of their display operations at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, which takes place next week.

The response taken by establishments and automakers look to be very much dictated by the growing global #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, and looks to be marking a change in perspective in an industry that has long pandered to male customers by using attractive women to sell cars, the report adds.

Korean automaker SsangYong is one of these companies – it said that it will be switching to male and female models dressed in sportswear to promote its vehicles. Lexus, meanwhile, confirmed that it will not be using any models altogether at the Swiss show, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has reportedly canceled contracts with several female models over concerns about being criticised on #MeToo.

Not every company is ditching the gals wholesale, but they will certainly be cutting back on how things are presented – Toyota and Nissan said that that their girls won’t be dressed in flirtations fashion. “Times have changed. It makes more sense to use product specialists because we’re selling cars,” said Nissan spokeswoman Sara Jenkins.

This approach is also being taken by FCA, which stated that its Maserati, Jeep and Alfa Romeo displays will feature both men and women, the latter in less flesh-exposing garb than in previous shows.

The switch away from the norm highlights the ripple effect the #MeToo movement is having on industries well beyond its Hollywood roots. More importantly, the move away from this perceived sexism should go down well with the auto industry’s changing customer base, as more women become car buyers.

According to the report, the percentage of women owning a car in the UK jumped by 66% in the past decade as of 2016, while in Germany, Europe’s biggest car market, women constitute about a third of all new car customers. The figure is slightly higher in France, at 37%.

All this, of course, in Europe and the US. Closer to home, it will be interesting to see if changes will come about in Thailand and Indonesia – if it does, it will mean the end of Danny Tan’s seminal show-ending posts. What do you think of the move to slowly do away with the “booth babes?” Do you think that that not having ladies around will take away from the charm of a motor show?