One of the first jobs Roger Conant had in the auto business was sitting at a dealership lot on Sundays collecting contact information from the tire-kickers for the sales staff to follow up on Monday.
It was the late 1980s, and Conant noticed that most of those car-shopping were women. He finally got up the nerve to ask one why she was there outside the store's normal business hours. "Because they're not here," the woman told Conant, referring to the mostly male dealership staff.
The notion that women were intimidated and turned off by the prospect of dealing with men when buying or servicing a vehicle stayed with Conant. "That got me," the 75-year-old Houston resident says. "That was it for me."