Volkswagen’s New Beetle and Apple’s iPod Unite Share Comments Adhering to the philosophy that one good thing deserves another, two icons of American popular culture Volkswagen and Apple Computers are joining forces to provide 2003 New Beetle sedan buyers with a complimentary Apple iPod, the world’s top-selling digital music player. Volkswagen of America, Inc. and Apple Computers have dubbed the new initiative: “Pods Unite.” The pairing begins today and will be featured prominently in a TV, local radio and newspaper, nationwide print, broadcast media and e-commerce campaign, through the end of September. Sleek iPod displays will also adorn Volkswagen dealer showrooms. Fans of the New Beetle’s unique combination of innovative design and engineering will similarly find themselves enticed by the iPod’s impressive ultra-portability and elegant design. Apple’s wildly popular and powerful iPod digital music player possesses a 15-gigabyte hard drive with storage space for more than 3,700 songs, which will allow New Beetle drivers to go mobile with an entire music collection that fits in the palm of their hand and neatly in the car. Volkswagen’s iPod connectivity kit completes the pairing, with the ability to create and remotely access a road-ready digital music library. Together, the estimated retail value of the iPod and VW connectivity kit is about $600. The iPod lets users scroll through their entire music collection to quickly and easily find a particular song, artist or play list. Each New Beetle iPod is custom-engraved with Volkswagen’s “Drivers Wanted” logo and comes with a coupon for $100 off a purchase of $999 or more, from apple.com, Volkswagen’s exclusive Street Mix CD collection, a free e-book from audible.com, a VW Music-zine, and a “Pods Unite” window sticker. “The union of the iPod and the Beetle — two design triumphs — truly represents one of the most stylish ways to take your entire music collection with you on the road,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of hardware product marketing. “With room for over 3,700 songs on their iPod, New Beetle drivers can enjoy three cross-country road trips without hearing a single song repeated.” “Apple’s audience is a lot like our audience,” said Karen Marderosian, Volkswagen Marketing Director. “A group that embraces something different, simple and unconventional. We think this initiative represents a natural alliance of two like-minded brands.” The New Beetle iPod initiative also features additional value incentives to current Volkswagen and Apple computer owners. Up to 25,000 Volkswagen owners will be offered a $50 gift certificate at Amazon.com if they test drive the New Beetle with the iPod system. A like number of current Apple owners who take a test drive will qualify for a $50 gift certificate at apple.com. The New Beetle iPod is available for Mac or Windows platforms; it features touch sensitive controls, a back lit LCD screen, illuminated buttons and an eight-hour rechargeable lithium ion battery. Firewire and USB 2.0 connections allow for super fast music transfers and access to contacts, calendars, to-do lists and text note. The 2003 Volkswagen New Beetle comes in several trim levels and offers drivers the highly fuel-efficient, 90-hp GL 1.9 TDI (Turbo Direct Injection) diesel, a value-leading 2.0 liter gas engine and the sporty 1.8 T with 150 hp. All New Beetle models offer a standard five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic, while the Turbo S features a high-performance six-speed manual transmission. The 2003 New Beetle sedan also features an uncanny array of fun exterior color choices appealing to young-at-heart drivers who enjoy standing out from the crowd. Even the lowest priced New Beetle GL offers a long list of standard items. Among them: CFC-free air conditioning with an integrated pollen filter; a central remote locking system; an anti-theft alarm system; four-wheel disc brakes with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); a tilt/telescoping steering column; clear-lens halogen projector headlamps; heated, power exterior mirrors; cruise control; and power windows. The iPod promotion is available to United States customers only and is not available in New Beetle convertible models. Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s largest automakers. As America’s top-selling European brand, Volkswagen markets a full line of vehicles through a network of 600 dealers in the United States. For more discussion on this story, click on the link to our discussion forums at the left.