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New 2012 Volkswagen Beetle makes hip MTV debut with Black Eyed Peas

Once upon a time, new car debuts were held at auto shows media days previews in front of auto writers and news reporters. Not now, not with the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle--or as VW is calling it, the 21st Century Beetle--which will begin with a linkup to MTV in a global series of events on three continents and include live performances by the Black Eyed Peas and 2manydjs, with the New York event streamed live on the internet on April 18th.

The reveal of the new Volkswagen Beetle--note the absence of "New" in the name--will begin in Shanghai, in the People's Republic of China, with an MTV Sound System event hosted by MTV VJ's.

In Berlin at an MTV World Stage event, the Volkswagen Beetle will be headlined by the Belgian duo 2manydjs who will perform a DJ set at the city's E-Werk space.
The third site will be in New York with a performance by the Black Eyed Peas and will be streamed live on (except in the UK). MTV networks around the world will rebroadcast highlights of the event later, making it the biggest Work Stage event ever. Highlights of the New York and Berlin events will also be available online.

The relaunch of the Volkswagen New Beetle as the Volkswagen Beetle comes just in time. The original New Beetle has continued unchanged, other than facelifts and powertrain updates, since its 1998 model year debut. In the interim it has garnered a reputation as a "chick car" and as uncool. The uber-hip unveiling of its successor is intended to reverse that image.

"The Beetle is an icon of the automotive world, just like MTV is an icon of the music world. In the context of this marketing alliance, we are taking the new Volkswagen directly to customers and fans of the Volkswagen brand--and we are doing it globally," VW director of marketing Luca de Meo said in an announcement by Volkswagen. "We are certain that the car's one-of-a-kind styling combined with the latest technology will be very well received by customers."

The timing of the new Volkswagen Beetle reignites an old rivalry between Fiat and Volkswagen as the European "people's cars"--the Fiat 500 versus the Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle--of the 1950s and 1960s and comes as Fiat reintroduces the brand to the United States with the retro-styled 2012 Fiat 500. The new Volkswagen Beetle will update the obsessively rounded contours of the New Beetle with a lower, wider and sportier looking shape.

Volkswagen is hoping the MTV/2manydjs/Black Eyed Peas hoopla too hip for anyone over 30 will start the new Volkswagen Beetle with a new attitude for Generation X and Generation Y, at least a lot more so than showing it to a bunch of news reporters and auto writers.