Volkswagen: 2012 Beetle was designed to appeal to men

Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen is aiming for a whole new market appeal with the all new 2012 Beetle. Sales regions and demographics are expected to change, and VW is anticipating moving more units than with the previous generation’s body style.

A tougher looking exterior and a 20-hp gain in engine power are aimed at gaining the attention of male buyers. Previously, women purchased over 65% of the last New Beetle model. Given the VW’s makeover, they expect that percentage to drop to 50%.

Age is another market expected to change with the release of the latest Volkswagen Beetle. Currently, buyers age averages at about 58, a number that should hit 36.

Geographical sales will likely open up overseas, as well. The new styling is predicted to do well in other regions, and take the U.S. make up of sales from 72% to 50%. Volkswagen of America’s VP of product marketing and strategy says “The new style tested well in North America as well as Europe, and China is a growing market.”

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Other improvements the Beetle should bring include heavier showroom traffic, better overall sales, and new competition. VW has yet to release new sales goals, but numbers should see an improvement over last years 16,537 units sold.

The Volkswagen Beetle will share the Jetta sedan’s engines, underpinnings and platform, and will be made in Puebla, Mexico. First available will be in the U.S. and will feature two different engine options. A 2.5-liter, 170-hp inline five-cylinder base model starts at $19,765, and the turbocharged four-cylinder will put out 200-hp and start at $24,165. Turbodisel and convertible versions will be available starting next spring.

Refresher: The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is offered with three powertrain choices including a 2.5L gasoline 5-cylinder, 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel and a 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline unit.  While a 6-speed manual is standard on the 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TSI, Volkswagen’s DSG 6-speed dual-clutch automatic is available. A 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic is available on the 2.5L models. The 2012 Volkswagen Beetle 2.4L 5-cylinder model produces 170-hp / 177 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a 5-speed manual, fuel-economy comes in at 22/31 mpg (city/highway) and 22/29 mpg when mated to a 6-speed automatic. The Beetle 2.0 TSI is the sportiest Beetle and is powered by a 2.0 4-cylinder turbo making 200-hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel, is know as the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever. Power comes from a 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel engine making 140-hp / 236 lb-ft of torque. Estimated fuel-economy comes in at 22/40 mpg or 33 mpg combined. Prices start at $19,765.

– By: Alexandra Koken

Source: AutoWeek