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VW Will Export Beetles to China

Fiat also planning to export 500 from Mexico to China.

by on Aug.26, 2011

The latest-generation Beetle will soon be going on sale in China.

In an unusual turn, Volkswagen plans to export the new 2012 Beetle from Mexico to China.

Only the third generation of the iconic VW small car, the 2012 Beetle will go on sale in the U.S. in October, then follow in markets around the world. VW officials don’t expect the latest version of the “Bug” to come close to the sales levels of the ‘60s and ‘70s but hope it will serve as a halo vehicle to build demand for the rest of the line-up.

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That could prove especially important in China, where Volkswagen is locked into a fierce battle for market dominance with arch-rival General Motors.  VW has a large production base in China but has decided to rely on Mexico as its central source for the new Beetle rather than duplicate tooling.


First Drive: 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Forward into the past.

by on Jul.15, 2011

The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle may be a very modern car but its heritage design is unmistakable.

Less flower, more power.  That’s the message Volkswagen hopes to get out as it prepares for the upcoming launch of the third-generation Volkswagen Beetle.

As unlikely as it might seem, that’s not a typo.  Since the original “people’s car,” or Volkswagen, was introduced in the dark days before the Second World War, it has gone through any number of refinements, but only two complete updates.  And the last time VW revealed a redesign it wound up with the New Beetle, an insufferably sweet “chick car” that largely alienated the male half of the automotive buying public.

Not so this time, as VW emphasized during a global launch, last April, and at this week’s first drive in Berlin.  Along with the flower vase, the maker has abandoned the semi-circular shape of the New Beetle, the “21st Century Beetle” adopting what designers like to call a heritage design.

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Sitting side-by-side in the German capital’s Potsdamer Platz, it’s easy to see the influence of the original Beetle, the longest-lived and best-selling car in global automotive history.  The new model regains the classic silhouette, with its long, rounded snout and a lower, more aggressive roof-line.  Aggressive is the active word, for VW, which believes the new edition can appeal to both men and women with its more sporty look.


Barbie Gets a Beetle

VW celebrates a real doll’s 50th birthday

by on Mar.10, 2009

Supermodel Heidi Klum stands in for Barbie doll to take delivery of a customized Barbie Dream Car New Beetle.

Supermodel Heidi Klum takes delivery of a pink, customized Barbie Dream Car New Beetle.

She looks surprisingly good for her age.  Of course, it helps to have supermodel Heidi Klum standing in for the doll that seemingly every American girl has grown up with. To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Barbie doll, Volkswagen has come up with a life-size, pink Malibu Barbie New Beetle Convertible.

The customized Beetle features a white leather interior and top. The mirrors are surrounded with rhinestones. And there’s a motorized vanity in the trunk.  Even the dipstick has been painted a matching shade of pink.

Barbie-cum-Klum was presented with her ride during a special party at a real-life Malibu Dream House, a 3,500 square foot home decorated by celebrity designer Jonathan Adler.

“We are extremely proud to partner with Mattel and create a customized New Beetle convertible to celebrate Barbie’s landmark birthday,” said Laura Soave, General Manager of Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Like the New Beetle, Barbie has made a remarkable impact on pop culture history, and still remains a cultural icon today.”