Volkswagen Beetle Relaunch Strategy: Appeal to Men

Erik Hayden
Volkswagen Beetle Relaunch Strategy: Appeal to Men

Remember that iconic Volkswagen with the mini flower vase positioned next to the steering wheel? Well, it's about to return--without the "girly" accoutrements. Unveiled today, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle has been deemed by its designers "so much more masculine" that the automaker is seemingly daring you to call it a chick car.

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Auto journalists, for their part, readily agree with just how macho the new Beetle seems to be. "The auto business believes that, at least in America, you can sell girls a boys car, but you can't sell boys a girls car," figured USA Today about the automakers strategy. "It actually hearkens back the Beetle rally cars of the '60s and '70s," noted Newsday's auto blogger. "Masculine, masculine, masculine," repeated the New York Times.

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If Volkswagen does lure more more men into purchasing a car deemed most likely to be driven by a female, it seems like it will be due to a triumph of marketing. For comparison's sake, here's what the "girly" version of the VW beetle looked like in 2008:

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...and the new, 2012 masculine version, whose lines seem perhaps a little leaner and less curvy:

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The 2012 version, naturally, ditched the mini flower vase and instead revs its engines on a dusty off-road course: