Entries in Volkswagen (6)


Controversial Volkswagen Super Bowl Ad Gets Viewer Approval

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) -- One of the most discussed ads going into the Super Bowl was a Volkswagen spot that had drawn charges of being culturally insensitive or even racist, but viewers appeared to disagree with those claims Sunday night.

Critics made much ado about the commercial that featured a white American from Minnesota speaking Jamaican patois in a broad accent.  The American, an office worker who owns a new Volkswagen Beetle, tries to cheer up his colleagues by uttering happy phrases.

The worker then takes his colleagues for a ride in his new VW.  Their demeanors improve dramatically.

The spot, titled “Get Happy,” is set to Jamaican singer Jimmy Cliff’s rendition of  “C’mon, Get Happy,” the theme song from the TV series The Partridge Family.

Some billed the ad as racist, but many on Twitter apparently did not agree.  A few Twitter users questioned the tone of the commercial, but most who saw it during Sunday night’s Super Bowl were appreciative.

@NicaSalas tweeted, “I need a #VW…. So I can have Jamaican accent,” while @missjenn_03 added, “Hahahaha! #VW commercial is awesome.”

“I don’t see how that was racist #vw #SBcommercials,” noted @NicoleWitherell.  

@mesgreene wrote that she loved the commercial: “In no way do I feel it’s racist, stupid media. Always a negative dig on a positive idea. #Goodvibes”

And Jamaicans apparently agree.  In fact, the island’s government is behind the spot.

“I think this is a very creative commercial which truly taps into the tremendous appeal that brand Jamaica and its hospitable people have globally,” Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill has said in a statement.

Volkswagen has stood by the commercial.  Since it was posted to YouTube on Jan. 27, the commercial has been viewed more than seven million times.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Edible Product You Never Knew Volkswagen Made

ABC News (BERLIN) -- Jettas, Beetles, Passats and…hot dogs? Since the 1970s, Volkswagen has been producing currywurst at its Wolfsburg plant butchery in Germany.

Currywurst is a type of pork sausage that is popular in Germany as a fast food item. It's served with a sauce made from ketchup or tomato paste and curry powder.

VW buys the meat for its currywurst from German farmers and uses it in its secret recipe.

In 2011, 4.8 million VW currywursts were sold.

Originally the product was only available to employees and visitors of the VW theme park in Germany, Autostadt. Now, the company has made the hot dogs available at a museum dedicated to currywurst -- the Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin.

In the late 1990s, VW worked with a specialist from Kraft to create a ketchup line. The demand for the ketchup grew and the company went from producing 20,000 bottles to 425,000 bottles per year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Super Bowl Commercial Star to Have Open Heart Surgery

Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Max Page was the star of the most popular Super Bowl commercial of 2011, even though no one ever saw his face. As little Darth Vader in an ad for Volkswagen, Page used the force to start his dad's car and skyrocket to stardom.

Now, the 7-year-old actor, who appears on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, is mustering all the courage he has to undergo open heart surgery on Thursday.

Page was born with a congenital heart defect and has already undergone eight surgeries, according to Thursday's surgery will repair a hole in his heart and replace his pulmonary valve.

Page is not just a patient, but also a Junior Ambassador for the hospital he has been coming to for treatment since he was an infant.

"If you use your force and dream big, you can achieve anything. We may be small but we are mighty," Page tells other patients, according to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Max is expected to be in the hospital for five days following the surgery.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Auto Industry Revving to Life

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From Volkswagen in Tennessee, Honda in Indiana, to GM in Detroit, new car factories are employing thousands of workers.

Two years after the end of the recession, the auto industry is seeing new life, hiring faster than the rest of the economy.

As a result of greater demand, the auto industry employment has increased by 12 percent since June 2010 and continues to grow. General Motors is hiring 2,500 employees in Detroit and Honda is looking for 1,000 in Indiana.

Analysts say the boom is significant as it indicates a rise in consumer confidence.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GM Sales Down 1.2% in May; Volkswagen Up 27.9%

Joe Raedle / Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Volkswagen reports sales up 27.9 percent from a year ago. Such a jump wasn't replicated by General Motors. GM says it sold 1.2 percent fewer cars in May than it did in 2010.

The two companies are the first automakers to report May tallies.

GM, the largest U.S. car company, credits the decline to a decision to cut sales to rental car companies.

According to analysts, other car company sales may also be off pace, adducing that the tsunami and earthquake in Japan may have affected numbers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Volkswagen Opens New Plant in Tennessee

Altrendo Images/Getty Images(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) -- Volkswagen AG will open a new auto plant near Chattanooga, Tennessee on Tuesday, giving the German automaker an edge over its American and Japanese counterparts who manufacture cars in the U.S.

The new Southern plant will help Volkswagen save significantly in labor costs.  Citing industry analysts, The Wall Street Journal reports that workers there will earn about $27 an hour to start compared to the estimated $52 an hour workers in Detroit get when they begin their employment.

The plant will also give Volkswagen protection from currency fluctuations.

"The dollar is very weak compared to the Euro.  If they are selling vehicles that are made in Europe, using European parts and European labor, it's very easy for that to become a money-losing proposition, here in the States," says AutoPacific Industry Analysis Director Ed Kim.

Kim adds that the American South has become a new automotive-manufacturing center in America for import automakers, like Volkswagen, because there's "a lot of very favorable tax incentives from the local governments there."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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