Volkswagen is having some success in attracting more males to buy the VW Beetle. Since 1998 when the Beetle was brought back to showrooms, the automaker has had a difficult time of having a more balanced consumer base. The Beetle had been designed for the common man but inadvertently, this model placed doubts on the driver’s masculinity.
This is why VW redesigned the new version of the two-door last year to have a more angular, sporty look to attract more male buyers. In the new TV ads, a guy driving a Beetle gets a high-five from a gorgeous woman as well as a fist-bump from a dude on a motorcycle.
Volkswagen is aiming for its sales to double by 2018 and it won’t be a good idea for it to alienate half of the population for its halo model. Jessica Caldwell, an industry analyst with Edmunds.com, said that girls don’t mind driving masculine cars but not vice-versa. She said that many guys aren’t comfortable in driving a car that’s regarded as a “chick’s car.”
Since the new version started selling last September, males made up 43% of buyers in the U.S., about 29% higher than the previous year. Among the marketing efforts of VW for the redesigned model are a tie-in with Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video-game console and an emphasis on the Beetle’s optional turbo power.
Tim Mahoney, VW's chief product and marketing officer in the U.S., said that VW aims to “potentially attract a more-balanced buyer group." Edmunds said that in December, about 50% of Beetle buyers were males, 36% higher than the prior year.