Volkswagen Das Auto Show 2012

Volkswagen has been throwing everything it has on marketing its cars these past few years. The Das Auto Show being one of it’s marketing strategies is by far the best marketing method I have seen in Malaysia, although Proton has previously tried to engage it’s customers the way VW with it’s open factory day back in 2008, but I doubt it has successfully made Proton a desirable brand like VW.

Learning from past experience, VW has change the format, so to speak, of it’s event. While last year visitors had to queue for hours at Bukit Jalil to watch the show, this year VW has gone online with this years event at KL Convention Centre . Visitors have to register online to attend one of its 8 sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Overall I think this is one of the most flawless events I have been to in Malaysia and if you ask me, VW has used IT to its fullest advantage by integrating these registration details and integrated it to the self operated ticket printing machines at KL Convention Centre making registration smooth as silk. And the fact that they already know how many people  will be at each session makes it even more easy to manage the crowd. Very smart event management. A farcry from being roasted under the sun for hours in last years event.

Wristband ticket

Anyway, the highlight of the event was the launching of the new Beetle. I’m not really a fan of the Beetle, I think it’s too feminine even though in this new edition, the designers tried their best to make it more masculine. But it did get a lot of attention from previous owners. It is the VW icon, after all.

The event kicked off with a video presentation staring familiar faces of Malaysian personalities followed by a quite creative dance session and topped up by the unveiling of the new Beetle in it’s different colours accompanied by much fanfare. The presentation lasted about 20 minutes where I missed the last part of it due to insufficient memory of my camera. I  forgot to empty it before coming. Anyway, here is the video:

After the stage performance, we were ushered to the exhibition hall where the latest (and current) VW models were on display. Other than the new Beetle, there are a few other models that grabbed attention at the show.

Main exhibition hall

 

The Usual Suspects. Polo Sedan, Passat and others

VWs 1.2TSI engine used in the Polo

The 7-speed DSG Gearbox used in most of the top end VW models

“The Icon”

At over RM140K, the new Beetle comes with a 1.2TSI engine. Looks pretty neat

Like I said, I’m not really a fan of The Beetle.

The Taureg Hybrid was on display but no idea on when it will go on sale in Malaysia

The Cross Polo looks really cool.

What do you think? Do you prefer the Polo, Polo GTI or the Cross Polo?

The Phaeton made its round in the stage performance in the exhibition hall

Oh, did I mention that we were given a passport where we had to collect stamps from each segment in order to get our freebies

VWs mid sized MPV The Sharan. Kindda sounds like your secretary name doesn’t it?

The Multivan. My friend In Germany had the older version of this van and often took road trips to France with complete strangers. Its as big as a Naza Ria if not bigger.

The cousin of the Touran, the Cross Touran.

Could you have ever guessed that VW would come up with its own pickup truck? Introducing the Amarok. WHat a strange name indeed.

I thought I was queuing for the freebies but turned out that I was in the shopping queue. To cover up my embarrassing mistake, I bought VW badges that I can stick to my phone. RM4.

 

Overall, I believe the Das Auto Show event remains the best marketing strategy VW has in its arsenal. With its growing interest among Malaysians, models such as the Polo and Golf models has quickly become very desirable cars among Malaysias young executives. Although half of the models on display was not yet on sale, this show only helps strengthen the VW brand in Malaysia which was a nobody (in Malaysia) one generation ago. The event which was well managed, almost no glitches and well thought out will just get better in time. For those who missed it, look out for next years event Hmm, now if only I had the pitis (cash) to buy one VW, that would complete me.

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