Thanks to the brisk-selling Volkswagen Beetle, the Volkswagen brand managed to post a three-percent year-on-year jump in vehicle sales in March 2013 to 37,704 vehicles. VW logged a 32-percent hike in sales of the Beetle coupe to 2,599 units in March. The carmaker also sold 1,483 Beetle convertibles in March 2013, which is now the best month for the variant since it was launched in late 2012.
VW executives attribute the Beetle’s strong March performance to the carmaker’s advertising, which has featured the Mexican-built model prominently. The Beetle coupe starred in VW’s TV sport during the Super Bowl 47 held in February.
The Beetle convertible, meanwhile, starred in a TV spot that went into heavy rotation during the spring transition. Volkswagen of America chief executive Jonathan Browning remarked that the Beetle is a vehicle line that is “very much at the heart of the Volkswagen brand.” He noted that there tends to be a positive response in terms of showroom traffic and sales when they put marketing effort behind the Beetle.
Frank Trivieri, executive vice president of sales at VW of America, quipped that the brand expects further surge in Beetle sales and it should have ample inventory to meet growing demand.
VW posted a 114-percent gain in first quarter sales of the Beetle coupe and convertible combined in March 2013 to 10,010 units. The Beetle’s performance was enough to offset a six- percent drop in sales of all Golf hatchback variants and a three-percent decline in combined sales of the Jetta sedan and wagon, as well as a 68-percent sales dive of the Routan minivan.
The Coke bottle, the Ray Ban Aviator, the iPhone and the VW Beetle have some of the most distinct and recognizable designs in the world. How do you reinvent a design like that? With the Beetle, you have a clear answer: take into consideration the brand and the product and you have now taken the first step.
Volkswagen Group design chief Walter de Silva and brand design chief Klaus Bischoff understand the product and the brand and both have used this understanding to set a new aim: come up with a new original styling for the Beetle.
The design team first worked with Bischoff who saw the challenge of coming up with a new original design for the Beetle as an inspiration. The designers wanted to take the original Beetle profile and improve on it with dynamic proportions. It is interesting to note that a number of the design team members owned the original Beetle as this is the must-have car among young designers working for VW.
As such, the final design of the new 2011 Beetle is a throwback to the original Beetle but with modern touches. In fact, if you only look at the silhouettes of the 2011 Beetle and the original Beetle, you would see that the rear parts of both cars are closely identical.
However, if you compare the 2011 Beetle with the 1998 New Beetle, you would see that it was completely changed. According to Klaus Bischoff, the 2011 Beetle now has a more confident, clean and sporty characteristics. The 2011 Beetle has a lower profile, plus it has been made wider. The front hood is also longer while the front windshield is now more inclined and set further back.
The 1998 New Beetle is recognizable for its three semi-circles design (domed roof, rear and front wings). However, the new 2011 Beetle does not follow this design philosophy. The roof profile is a throwback of the Ragster concept that we first saw in Detroit in 2005. As such, the Beetle is more dynamic, sportier and more daring.