All it took was a lowered roof, a flatter hood, axing the flower vase, and wise marketing. The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is finally starting to find its way home to more male buyers than ever before. The split between male and female buyers isn’t quite 50/50, but it’s close and the bean counters at Volkswagen seem pleased.
The current Beetle reached showrooms last September and men have accounted for 43 percent of its customers, according to Bloomberg. A year prior, males accounted for just 29 percent of sales for the last-gen model. The Beetle is arguably the most recognizable model in Volkswagen’s lineup, and the automaker hopes it maintains a more even balance of male and female customers.
“We want cars that appeal to everyone,” said Tim Mahoney to Bloomberg, VW’s chief product and marketing officer in the U.S. “It’s not so much about saying we don’t want to be a girl’s car, but it’s more about we want to be everybody’s car.”
When the first retro Beetle bowed in 1998, it was immediately called a chick’s car thanks to its curvaceous body, bright and colorful paint palette, and its dash-mounted flower vase. Now, the 2012 Beetle is more of an “everbody’s car” thanks to beefier sheetmetal that includes sharper creases, an elongated and flatter hood, and masculine paint colors such as Platinum Gray Metallic, Denim Blue, and the tried and true flat black. Also available are alloy wheels made to look like blacked-out steel wheels or “steelies.”
The marketing team is also largely responsible for boosting the Beetle’s male cred with a barrage of ads and TV commercials including the “Star Wars”-themed Super Bowl spot that featured an out-of-shape dog who works out in order to effectively chase the new Beetle down the street.
To all the dudes out there we ask: What do you think of the Beetle’s transformation? Would you rock one?