11,120 $m
The “people’s car” continues to establish clear value for the customer: affordability, reliability, and German engineering. Long before fuel economy was a big selling point, Volkswagen encouraged drivers to “Think Small.” As a result of its successful and long-running (yet ever-refreshed) communications campaign, the brand has carved a unique niche and won the loyalty of millions. Even with a wide model range, Volkswagen has always been able to express its values through its products. The brand consistently integrates its “Think Blue” sustainability platform into nearly every product line, most recently exemplified by the XL1, an uber-efficient plug-in diesel hybrid—a milestone for its green technology commitment. Going from strength to strength, Volkswagen’s most successful product line, the Golf subcompact, won World Car of the Year 2013. Also a big winner at the 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, its 20 awards included two Gold Lions, one for a print campaign in Brazil and another for “The People’s Car Project” in China. Ramping up its efforts to engage enthusiasts on social media and mobile, Volkswagen proves that it’s once again “thinking small”—on the one-to-one, human level. Certainly, the continued evolution of the brand has contributed to its success in the lower- and mid-size segments. But with the extension of its product portfolio in upper segments, Volkswagen will have to prove its expertise in building cars that can compete with the most established luxury auto brands.