Let’s take a trip back to November 2010 when talk-show host Oprah Winfrey announced that everyone in her audience would be receiving a redesigned 2012 Volkswagen Beetle, though the design was kept under wraps at the time. It seemed an obvious choice for Volkswagen to call on the Beetle’s trusty female base to drive excitement about its iconic “chick car.”
Months later, when the 2012 Beetle emerged from under wraps in an advertisement announcing, “It’s a boy,” people were talking about the car’s masculine look. A streamlined, flattened body and removal of the previous model’s bubbly, cute features (ahem, flower vase) sparked talk about VW abandoning the Volkswagen Beetle’s female-centric look to drive sales and appeal to more buyers.
“The current-generation VW Beetle was designed to be a modern reinterpretation of the original model,” Darryll Harrison Jr., Volkswagen’s public relations manager, said in an email. “The Volkswagen Beetle’s current design is also bolder than the outgoing model … successfully bringing more customers into the VW family.”
At water coolers and online, men cheered Volkswagen’s move, but did they buy it? With a couple years of sales under its belt, we took a look at the Beetle’s numbers to see if the Volkswagen Beetle’s newfound masculinity paid off.