Posted by Dale Buss on June 13, 2011 12:00 PM
The long road to launch for the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle continues with the company’s announcement today of an online pre-ordering program for the car using Amazon’s e-commerce platform. The move is just one more step in an effectively extended tease of new-Beetle enthusiasts that began with the unveiling of the product’s exterior outlines on an Oprah show in November and continued with a nifty TV spot during the Super Bowl telecast in February.
There’s nothing more iconic in the automotive world than the Bug, and Volkswagen is bringing 21st-century marketing savvy to bear to ensure a stratospheric launch of the vehicle that will join the Jetta and the new Passat this fall as the staples of a U.S. lineup that is expected to achieve big sales gains for the ambitious German automaker.
Through the 2012 Beetle pre-order program, customers pay a $495 reservation fee that goes toward the final purchase of a Black Turbo launch edition model, which is outfitted with a turbocharged engine putting out 200 horsepower – quite a kick for a little vehicle like the Beetle.
While starting prices for the new Beetle line will be under $19,000, the MSRP for the Black Turbo edition will start at $24,950.
Consumers select a dealer for retail delivery, enter and confirm billing information and receive notice that a “welcome kit” is on its way. Then they begin the wait for the next step to see if they want to become one of the owners of the limited run of 600 Black Turbo models that will be available. Volkswagen promises a “no-hassle” withdrawal policy if hand-raisers change their minds somewhere along the way.
VW has lots of challenges with the new Beetle. Among them is making the Beetle more appealing to American males after the most recent manifestation of the car, the New Beetle several years ago, mainly was aimed at women – with features such as a flower vase attached to the dashboard. Toward the goal of intriguing more men as buyers, for example, the upcoming Beetle will be 3.3 inches wider, six inches longer and a half-inch lower, giving the car “a more muscular appearance that has broad appeal,” as VW puts it.
If VW succeeds in intriguing male consumers as well as it has in building early overall buzz for the car’s introduction, the Beetle should fly off showroom floors.