The message from Volkswagen is clear, the 2012 release of the VW Beetle is not just meant for girls. In an effort to balance gender interest, Volkswagen would like you to think more along the lines of a 2011 Audi TT then a pink convertible beetle for sale.
The new VW Bug ads are sportier and edgier, comparisons to the Beetles new lines and profiles are hinted to be more in line with a Porsche 911, or at least 2011 Audi TT. But are men sold enough on the new look to fill Volkswagen dealers in Rochester NY with request?
Running a Superbowl ad may not be enough to get men forget the "I'm a Barbie Girl" pink models, or the flower vase holders sold with the cars, or "lady bug" decorations. Women will still likely flock to their Volkswagen dealer locator given the past sales but even if the car looks less girly, can it shake off history.
That's the million dollar question. The other money question is how the nearly $20k starting price affects the Beetles ability to compete with not just the male demographic, but other best new car deals. How will Volkswagen Rochester NY compete against Hyundai Rochester NY?
And how will it fare with the manlier but still rounded and proven VW Golf GTI? The standard Golf brings a hatchback, with the GTI brings one of the best new car deals in performance for a five door. There will eventually be a convertible Beetle for sale, but not right away VW says.
There are plans to add more Volkswagen cars with diesel engines with a diesel Beetle to compliment the Golf TDI and others, but it's hard to get past the "Love Bugs" niche as an attraction to female drivers. Just as there is likely to be a niche of folks who like the challenge of turning their diesel engine Volkswagen Beetle and turning it into an unlikely race car.
So don't get the wrong idea, the Beetle will always hold a spot as a loveable novelty in style and will undoubtedly bring many admires to find their way to Volkswagen dealers via the online locator. But is there enough "racing bug" enthusiast out there to balance sales figures is a question we'll have to wait to find out.