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2012 LA Auto Show Volkswagen Press Conference +VIDEO

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HERNDON, VA - November 28, 2012: Volkswagen R GmbH is responsible not only for the sportiest R models in the Volkswagen lineup, but also for the R-Line and “Exclusive” lines. R-Line vehicles have the aggressive styling of the Volkswagen R models, but not the performance hardware. With Exclusive vehicles, the focus is on unique and more luxurious styling and trim.

The Beetle Convertible Exclusive is based on the European-market "Design" and "Sport" trim lines. The exterior is marked out by polished black 18-inch “Twister” aluminium-alloy wheels. As an option, 19-inch “Tornado” aluminium-alloy wheels are also available in white and black. Inside, there are three different colors for the Nappa leather seating surfaces—Pepper Beige, Amber Brown, and Black—which are stitched in a unique diamond pattern.

In addition, the following features are standard with the new Exclusive equipment line:

• Dashboard trim in "Black Uni" finish
• Stainless-steel kickplates with "Volkswagen Exclusive" lettering
• Leather three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearshift knob, handbrake lever, and center armrest, with colored stitching that matches the seats
• Front sport seats
• Front and rear textile floormats with colored edging
• "Leather look" door trim

The pricing for the vehicles, which won’t be available in the U.S., is:
Beetle Convertible Exclusive Design from € 26,775 (1.2-liter TSI®, 103 hp)
Beetle Convertible Exclusive Sport from € 30,500 (1.4-liter TSI, 158 hp)

The Beetle Convertible R-Line shares its trim enhancements with the R-Line coupe. On European models, this includes: more aggressive front and rear bumper designs; R-Line logos beneath the A-pillars; 18-inch “Twister” aluminum-alloy wheels with the option of 19-inch “Tornado” wheels; sport seats with “Kyalami” cloth seating surfaces; front head restraints with R-Line badges; leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, gearshift knob, and handbrake lever with “Art Grey” decorative seams; and “Dark Vanadium” dashboard trim. As an option, the seats may be ordered in black “Vienna” leather.

Although there are no immediate plans to sell the Convertible R-Line in the U.S., the Los Angeles Auto Show provides an opportunity to gauge consumer feedback for a future offering.

Watch the complete VW Press Conference from the Los Angeles Auto Show

Press Conference Transcript

2012 L.A. Auto Show Press Conference Speech

Peter Thul, Jon Browning and Klaus Bischoff
Remarks for LA Auto Show
November 28, 2012 @ 10:30 am


Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

It's a pleasure to join you here in Los Angeles and to update you on Volkswagen's global progress.

As you probably discovered, there is a method to our madness in having you wear sunglasses indoors … beyond just looking cool.

By wearing them, you get the full picture!

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Volkswagen Group has now 99 plants in 27 countries, our worldwide market share rose to 12.6 percent - every eighth car sold globally is a Volkswagen.

We also view these results as a responsibility.

As part of our commitment to long-term sustainability, we developed what we call our Think Blue philosophy.

Think Blue is an expression of Volkswagen's corporate commitment to personal mobility while preserving the environment through clean, fuel-efficient vehicles, sustainable production and advanced technologies.

We recently launched an event called the "Think Blue World Championship."

The object is to use the least amount of fuel consumed during a vehicle test drive with participants competing from a number of countries.

We had participants from 18 countries...

...the top 18 are now our final contenders.

The contenders drove the new Jetta Turbo Hybrid from San Francisco to Santa Monica Pier arriving yesterday afternoon.

I am pleased to announce the winner of our 2012 Think Blue World Championship is Frank Zauft, together with his daughter Ramona from Germany... who managed to achieve an average of 49.9 miles per gallon over 401.9 mile journey.

Moving beyond our global initiatives to Volkswagen's activities taking place here in the States, I would like to introduce

Jonathan Browning, our President and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America, to tell us more about Volkswagen's performance and plans for the US market.


Thank you Peter, and good morning ladies and gentlemen.

Today we are going to show you some exciting new additions to the Volkswagen product line, including the global launch of a modern interpretation of a true automotive icon.

Before that, I'd like to talk for a moment about our progress and plans here in the U.S.

Despite the fragile economic recovery, the Volkswagen brand has more than doubled sales over the past three years.

We are closing out our third consecutive year of significant, double-digit sales increases - 20 percent in 2010, 26 percent in 2011 and over 35 percent so far this year.

This trend continued in October, as we reported our best October since 1972.

In just 10 months of sales this year, we have outsold our best total calendar year since 1973.

Our top sellers, the Jetta and the Passat - both developed specifically for the U.S. market - have lived up to our high expectations.

Last year, here in LA, the Passat was named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

And it's good to see that the Passat remains a leader of the pack.

With Motor Trend recently proclaiming it still the best midsize sedan in the segment.

Looking ahead, we expect to continue to grow and to again outperform the market in 2013.

At the same time, we will be putting even more focus on improving the customer experience.

We have seen measurable progress in that area, and we intend to see more.

But let me be clear, we are not complacent and we are not yet satisfied with our results.

We will continue to offer U.S. customers what we believe is the best product line-up ever.

We have cars to meet the full range of consumer needs and desires, and will deliver the quality, value, style and German engineering that customers expect from Volkswagen.

We are making German engineering more accessible in cars that help raise the standards in their segments today and
on into the future.

Speaking of the future, we are moving ahead our with plans to bring the next generation Golf and GTI to the United States in 2014.

But, more of that another time…

Let's get back to today.

The cars that you see on the Volkswagen stand will be available much sooner.

Let's start with the R-Line version of the CC, which will be in dealer showrooms at the end of this year.

The R-Line is sportiest and most stylish version of the CC, with a 200-horsepower, 2.0 liter, turbo charged TSI engine and the choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual clutch automatic.

The new Jetta Turbo Hybrid will also be arriving in dealer showrooms at the end of this year.

It is a great example of Volkswagen class-leading technology and the choices we give customers.

This is truly a no-compromises hybrid that delivers an estimated combined 45 mpg and class-leading performance.

In a segment of uninspiring hybrids, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid is a welcome, dynamic addition that lifts the whole segment.

Moving on to our most emotive vehicle the Beetle, the Coupe continues its success, reinforcing its important role in the Volkswagen line up.

We recently introduced the Beetle Fender Edition, which was designed to bring out the best in two strong brands.

It features the award-winning, 400 watt, Fender Premium Audio system and unique interior and exterior design elements.

This limited edition is available in Turbo and 2.5-liter form, and just went on sale earlier this month, starting under $25K.

Another model that is shown here for the first time in US spec, is the R-Line Beetle Coupe.

The R-Line version offers Bi Xenon headlamps, sporty front bumpers, a black diffuser at the rear and 19-inch alloy wheels.

The R-Line Beetle Coupe, goes on sale this Spring with a starting price under $30k.


The real star here today is an all-new version of one of the most beloved cars in automotive history - the Beetle convertible.

The iconic Volkswagen Beetle is a cherished part of American cultural fabric.

It is a symbol of youth, independence, simplicity and fun.

And nothing captures the spirit of a Beetle like a Beetle convertible.

Before I show you what I'm talking about, let me remind you to keep your sunglasses on...and now we will try to give you a sense of the magic of an exhilarating drive in the new Beetle Convertible…

- J. Browning -exits into house


Now I would like to turn it back over to Jon for some final remarks.

Thank you.
(Mr. Bischoff exits the stage)


Thank you Klaus...

The new 2013 Beetle Convertible is sleeker... safer... more sophisticated... more fuel efficient... and more fun to drive than ever before.

As Klaus noted, the fresh styling is more aggressive and masculine... but true to its roots.

The car also offers the same advanced technology features of the Beetle Coupe, including Bluetooth connectivity, navigation and the Fender Premium Audio System.

Customers can choose three different engines; 2.5 liter naturally aspirated... 2.0 turbo charged... or a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel.

This is the first and only TDI in the segment, with class-leading EPA estimated fuel economy of 41 mpg on the highway.

The Beetle convertible will go on sale in December with a starting price of $24,995.

Now, I'd like to invite you to join me and Klaus Bischoff on stage to take a closer look at the various Beetle convertible models on display.

Thank you for joining us and enjoy the rest of your day.

“R-Line”, “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.