Oprah may have made a big whoopdeedoo about the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at the taping of her "Favorite Things" show in November of last year, but now that the updated signature model has been fully unveiled, word is that VW isn't really all that interested in courting female drivers. In fact, the car manufacturer is being rather boisterous about how they aren't looking for women's seal of approval on what used to be known as a "hippie" or "chick car." This time around, they're targeting the guys.
Gone is the "cute," curvy style of the Beetle most of us know and love. No more flower vase on the dashboard. That's too girly. Instead, the 2012 model has a flatter roof, a less "bulbous shape," narrowed windows, and a sharp crease along the side. It's supposed to remind you of a Porsche.
VW's Beetle project manager for the U.S., Andres Valbuena, also said that the car will have "a navigation system, a significantly larger trunk, more luxurious materials, and ambient lighting." He elaborates:
It ties in more with our other products. It's more upscale.
Okay, fine, I get that mentality -- it's a tough economy, and so VW thinks people want to drive a car that looks "fancy" instead of "cute." Sure. But why do I still feel like it's sort of an insult to claim that this model is 'masculine'? And for VW to be acting all hot and bothered over appealing to men? Really! That's exactly what Soh Weiming, VW's China sales chief, told Bloomberg today in an interview in Shanghai ...
[The updated Beetle] will be so much more masculine. It will open up a new customer group for us. The model we have right now is a little bit more feminine but the new car is exactly the opposite.
It's almost as if VW is embarrassed that they had such a loyal female customer base before now. Like they used to be some shlocky Target brand for dumpy, middle-class women, but now they're aspiring to be the next Brooks Brothers or something. Gimme a break.
The car goes on sale this fall, but VW won't share how much you'll have to shell out for the "new and improved," guy-inspired wheels.
I wouldn't care if they wanted to make the car a bit less feminine and, therefore, more appealing to both genders, but why do they have to call it out like this? Personally, such an isolating roll-out campaign makes me feel like steering clear of the 2012 model.
Here's a video of the new Beetle being "unveiled."
What do you think about VW trying to appeal to men this time around? Do you like the 2012 model?
Image via YouTube