Inola, Oklahoma, United States
The Volkswagen booth at this year's Chicago Auto Show was filled with various special edition models of the Beetle and GTI. In addition to the GTI Wolfsburg Edition, the Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition helps to wrap up the 2013 model year as VW readies the all-new MkVII Golf next year.
Only 3,000 of the GTI Driver's Edition models will be produced in four-door body style only, and the available color palette will be limited to just Candy White, Carbon Steel Gray and Deep Black. The package will come standard with the GTI's Sunroof and Navigation package, and it will add unique features such as the 18-inch "Laguna" wheels, a golf-ball shift knob, partial leather seats and red-stitching on the carpeted floor mats. Buyers of this package will also get a certificate of authenticity and some GTI swag such as a hat, keychain and parking sign.
Starting price for the 2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition is $29,695 with the six-speed manual and $30,795 if you choose the DSG - both prices exclude destination charges.
There have been many great car commercials over the years, but is it possible to define the best? Well, Ad Week recently took a crack at it by rating the top commercials of the year by looking at their view counts on YouTube, but Auto Express took a more democratic approach by putting the decision to a vote. Just after Thanksgiving, Auto Express came up with a list of the 20 popular commercials, and it tasked its readers with choosing the winner for the best car ad of all time. The winner? Honda's 2003 commercial for its then-new European Accord titled "The Cog."
While the ad never aired in the US, most car people have surely seen the impressive Rube Goldberg-style spot. In fact, the only commercial on this list that we saw on US television was the Volkswagen ad "The Force," but many of the others have become viral videos, including transforming and dancing Citroën C4. Of the 19 other commercials that vied for the title of best ad of all time, only the Ford Puma "Steve McQueen" commercial gave Honda a run for its advertising money.
Scroll down to watch Auto Express' top five commercial in order and to check out a press release, then let us know some of your favorite car commercials in Comments.
Volkswagen owns or has controlling interests in three commercial truck operations: besides its own, VW began buying shares in Sweden's Scania in 2000 and now controls 89.2 percent of its shares and 62.6 percent of its capital, then bought into Germany's Man in 2006 - in order to prevent Man from trying to take over Scania - and now owns 75 percent of it. The car company has managed to work out 200 million euros in savings, but believes it can unlock a total of 650 million euros in savings if it takes outright control of Scania and can spread more common parts among the three divisions.
It has proposed a 6.7-billion-euro ($9.2 billion) buyout, but according to a Bloomberg report, Scania's minority investors don't appear inclined to the deal. Although effectively controlled by VW, Scania is an independently-listed Swedish company, and a profitable one at that: in the January-September 2013 period its operating profit was 9.4 percent compared to Man's 0.4 percent. Some of the other shareholders believe that Scania is better off on its own and will not approve the deal, some have asked an auditor to look into the potential conflict of interest between VW and Man, while some are willing to examine the deal and "make an evaluation based on what a long-term owner finds is good," which might not be just "the stock market price plus a few percent." The buyout will only be official assuming VW can reach the 90-percent share threshold that Swedish law mandates for a squeeze-out.
Many of the arguments against boil down to investors believing that Scania's Swedishness and unique offerings are what keep it profitable, and ownership by the German car company will kill that. (Have we heard that somewhere before?) If Volkswagen can buy that additional 0.8-percent share in Scania, perhaps its buyout wrangling with Man will give it an idea of what it's in for: "dozens" of minority investors in the German truckmaker have filed cases against VW, seeking higher prices for their shares. It is likely only to delay the inevitable, though. If VW is really going to compete with Daimler and Volvo in the truck market, it has to get the size, clout and savings to do so.