Perhaps not surprisingly, the Damsels' history begins with a man. Harley J. Earl was the vice president of GM's Styling Section (now known as GM Design), where he ushered in a number of new design strategies for the automaker, including concept cars, planned obsolescence and the notion of stoking consumer demand with annual model updates. He also introduced female designers to his department in the '40s and '50s, believing they could help make automobiles that appealed to female consumers. As he put it in a 1958 press release, "The skilled feminine hands helping to shape our cars of tomorrow are worthy representatives of American women, who today cast the final vote in the purchase of three out of four automobiles."
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