Volkswagen of America has been slumping for nearly a year and is in desperate need of some good news. Now help finally is on the way in the form of the seventh-generation new Golf and sporty Golf GTI subcompacts.
In May, VW’s sales challenges in the US market continued with a 12 percent drop compared with a year earlier—while most of its other American rivals were enjoying double-digit percentage increases amid continuing boom times.
The company switched out US chiefs early this year at the end of a three-year run of annual huge sales gains. Besides troubles with the UAW, a new mid-size SUV built in either Tennessee or Mexico isn’t due until 2016, putting extra pressure on the new Golf.[more]
The new Golf and GTI must generate the bulk of the excitement in the Volkswagen product line, so VW is pulling out all the stops in a new branded content campaign based on the cars’ well-established performance creds. The new GTI debuted in May and a new Golf, in gasoline and diesel-powered versions, is due in August.
To tap into the brand’s expansive performance audience, Volkswagen partnered with video camera brand GoPro and Tanner Foust, a well-known stunt and rally driver and Top Gear host. The team produced an interactive video, “Turbocharge the Everyday,” featuring the factory-tuned five-door 2015 GTI with footage provided by dozens of GoPro cameras attached to the car, according to MarketingDaily. VW is giving away a GoPro Hero3 Black Edition to anyone that buys or leases a new GTI by June 30.
“It was a fantastic bonus that [Foust], who is one of our drivers for the Volkswagen Andretty Rallycross team, was behind the wheel during the shoot,” Vinay Shahani, Volkswagen of America’s marketing chief, told the publication.
The effort also involves a partnership with Motor Trend magazine for a series of videos starring professional drivers and auto influencers, the publication said.
Still, Volkswagen must take its US revival attempt one step at a time. Mark McNabb, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America, said in a press release that the brand is “confident we will broaden the appeal of our product portfolio” as it heads into summer. To get back on the road to long-term success in a US market that has become much more important for Volkswagen globally, the summer will have to be only the beginning of a new hot streak.
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