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VW Is Only Car Superbowl-Bound

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.--Volkswagen of America Inc. has grabbed the Super Bowl’s exclusive automotive advertising rights during the game.

This will be the first time Volkswagen--the only automaker to be named to the Advertising Hall of Fame --has aired television spots during a Super Bowl broadcast.

The decision comes on the heels of Volkswagen’s best annual sales in the U.S. since 1973. Last year, the German automaker sold 355,479 new cars, up 12.6 percent over the previous year’s figures. Volkswagen remains the top European car brand sold in America.

“Who could have predicted five years ago that in the year 2001 Volkswagen would be the Super Bowl's exclusive car advertiser during the game,” mused Frank Maguire, VW’s U.S. vice president in charge of marketing and sales.

Maguire said Volkswagen will air all-new television commercials during the game, with a 60-second ad in the first quarter and another 60 seconds in the third. The spots remain under wraps thus far. The specific VWs highlighted in the ads could include the Volkswagen GTI, a special-edition Jetta called the Jetta Wolfsburg--and perhaps others.

“Whatever car is featured, Volkswagen guarantees the new spots will continue a tradition of innovative, cutting edge and off-beat advertising that has helped make Volkswagen a leader in the marketing world,” he said.

“Volkswagen is different, original and proud of it,” said Maguire. “You can count on seeing something completely unique from us on Sunday’s broadcast.”

Volkswagen’s ads for the Super Bowl, like all its ads since 1995, were created by Arnold Worldwide, VW’s American ad agency.

“Exclusivity during Super Bowl XXXV allows Volkswagen to continue the brand and sales momentum it has established over the past five years while kicking off 2001 with high-energy, fun messages that speak to people's lifestyles,” said Arnold Worldwide President Francis J. Kelly III.

Since its introduction to the U.S. 52 years ago, Volkswagen has become one of the most recognized brands anywhere and has grown to become the fourth-largest car company in the world with sales exceeding five million cars annually and accounting for some 12 percent of the international market.