Years in the past, a great good friend was out there for a automobile, and regardless of making an attempt my greatest to promote her on a Honda Match, she was smitten with one specific Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen, which she’d finally purchase and identify Gretta. As a lot as I attempted to sway her to the little Honda (It’s nice within the metropolis! Unbelievable gasoline economic system! Honda reliability!), I used to be at all times greeted with the identical reply, spoken in her greatest German accent: “However Matt… Das Auto!”
For many years, Volkswagen has carried a particular little one thing in its again pocket—a je ne sais quoi constructed round the concept that anybody with the will may drive somewhat piece of European fashion and class. A little bit of German craftsmanship in your driveway. Das Auto.
After which, not fairly two years in the past, Volkswagen suffered one of many worst public-relations nightmares in automotive historical past. Recognized to most as “Dieselgate,” VW’s emissions scandal modified the corporate’s picture from clear and complicated to soiled and pretentious. Diesel automobiles have been purchased again from prospects, gross sales dropped, and “Das Auto” was terminated.
You received’t hear any phrases defending Volkswagen’s dishonest diesels from me, however what has been misplaced amid the corporate’s troubles is that VW nonetheless has nice merchandise. Though a Jetta TDI may not be a sensible funding, anybody in search of an thrilling hatchback can nonetheless default comfortably to the GTI—what Chris Wardlaw described as “akin to attending the College of Torque.” Rising households can look ahead to the all-new Atlas crossover, and anybody dwelling north of the 40th parallel can depend on the Golf Alltrack.
Due to good dealing with and a powerful inside, the Alltrack was awarded the New England Motor Press Affiliation’s Winter Automobile Award for the Compact All-Wheel-Drive Sedan/Wagon class. In accepting the award for Volkswagen, Product Communications Senior Specialist William Gock remarked that he “liked this automobile from the minute we took the covers off of it… and it’s good to know I’m not simply ingesting the Kool-Help.”
Inner dialogue can lead even probably the most goal product consultants to hyperbole, and that is not often as obvious as it’s within the auto enterprise. Each automobile firm is prone to have just a few duds (which the general public relations group remains to be answerable for representing positively), however in instances the place the product is definitely nearly as good because the advertising group declares, it may be a reduction to know you haven’t merely been ingesting the corporate’s Kool-Help.
Volkswagen nonetheless has an uphill battle to earn again the general public’s belief and assist after its emissions scandal, however automobiles just like the GTI, Atlas, and Golf Alltrack show that the corporate answerable for “the individuals’s automobile” should still have one thing for everybody. In any case, Gretta remains to be holding robust.
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