Women Ask Subaru to Ship Out of Saudi Arabia

Photo: AFP

We’ve written before about the efforts of Saudi Arabian women to drive — and the Saudi government’s efforts to put the brakes on their campaign.

Today, the activist group Saudi Women for Driving tried another tactic: In a petition posted on U.S.-based social-activism site Change.org, the coalition called on Subaru to pull out of the kingdom until the driving ban is lifted.

In sort of an off-handed compliment, the petition explained that Subaru was the first carmarker targeted directly because the company was “progressive” and “loves selling cars to women.”

And yet. Cash and oil may flow in Saudi Arabia, but women aren’t allowed to drive. “A big company like Subaru pulling out could help change our country forever,” the group said.

However, according to a rep based in Tokyo, Saudi Subaru dealers haven’t “received any information of any campaigns.” Besides, he added, the automaker sells only 300-400 cars annually in the kingdom. Could that possibly make a difference?

In the U.S., Subaru’s wasn’t 100 percent supportive, but did acknowledge the petition’s compliment. In his response Michael McHale, the director of corporate communications at Subaru of America said, “We’re pleased to be recognized as ‘progressive’ by the coalition and we are looking into the issue.”

Just recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came out in favor of the Saudi women protesters.

In support of the petition — and in defiance of the ban — female Saudi motorists hit the road today in Riyadh. Check out the slideshow here.