Synopses & Reviews
For almost three decades, Volkswagens ride has been on a wild track of many ups and downs. In between the heyday of the Beetles popularity in the 1960s and the unveiling of the New Beetle in the 1990s, the beloved automaker lost its focus and suffered more than its share of near misses and total catastrophes. Poor decisions and banal advertising campaigns seemed to have stalled Volkswagens growth for good. And yet this remarkable company has found its way back to the top, with the Beetle now a reborn icon in the United States and the sales of Volkswagen vehicles roaring toward levels not seen for thirty years.
Getting the Bugs Out is an engaging and informative story of how marketing savvy and advertising brilliancecombined with nostalgia and a fun-loving spiritagain won over the hearts (and wallets) of American consumers. Auto industry expert and journalist David Kiley traces Volkswagens phenomenal turnaround, revealing all the intriguing details surrounding the birth and rise of the company as well as its downward spiral. He presents a treasure trove of VW history, going back to the design of the original Beetle by Ferdinand Porsche and examining the launch in America, which attracted both curiosity seekers and auto enthusiasts with VWs great value and solid performance.
Youll be there to see how the Volkswagen magic and "flower power" charmed the nation, along with the tongue-in-cheek and truthful ads that were so popular customers frequently framed and hung them in their homes. And youll see how VW eventually began to fall behind in the ranks, with a falling dollar and lack of credible new products in the 70s chipping away at the companys previously unmarrable exterior.
Drawing upon his unique access to company insiders, Kiley gives you a fresh look into:
- The devastating management blunders that led to the failure of cars such as the Rabbit, Thing, Dasher, and Quantum
- How serious design flaws, quality issues, and encroaching Japanese competition resulted in the loss of billions of dollars
- Why trying to impart the Beetle mystique onto its other vehicles turned consumers away
- The notorious series of "Fahrvergnugen" ads
Kiley captures every suspenseful moment of the struggles behind the scenes to salvage the brandand how the birth of fresh, off-beat advertising finally transformed the company. He chronicles the genius behind Volkswagens remarkable comeback, examining the combination of visionary management, advanced technology, cutting-edge product development, and, of course, the ads that brought out buyers in droves and cemented VWs position as both a leader in marketing strategy and Americas top European brand.
A compelling and enlightening account, Getting the Bugs Out has everything for the enthusiastic VW fan or the manager on the hunt for branding insights, wrapped in an innovative and inspiring tale you can take on the road.
involved, both in the U.S. and abroad."
Myron Kandel, CNN Financial Editor
" Good storytelling about one of the great stories in the auto industry."
" Kiley ... deftly reports on the mystique and the reality of one of the auto world s enduring legends."
"Well researched . . . both a history lesson in brand development and a walk down memory lane."
Sole Winner of the 2001 International Motor Press Association Ken Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism
"A fascinating read for anyone connected to the automotive industry. And for those of us in advertising who owe VW a debt of gratitude for raising the bar, Kiley's insights into the historic Beetle ad campaign of the late '50s alone are worth the price of the book."
--Larry Postaer, cofounder and Director of Creative Services, Rubin Postaer & Associates
"David Kiley has painted a vivid and insightful picture of the genesis of Volkswagen . . . an intimate view of the personalities and business intrigue in the unfolding Volkswagen drama."
--Dr. David Cole, Director, The Center for Automotive Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"David Kiley has captured what made the company and the brand so special. . . . It is a valuable read for anyone in business . . . a fun and important story about a fun and important brand."
--Donny Deutsch, Chairman, Deutsch, Inc.
"If you're a fan of modern Volkswagens, you'll find this book fascinating reading . . . one of the more remarkable comeback stories of the past few decades . . . essential reading for students of marketing."
--European Car magazine
"Getting the Bugs Out is not only a fast-paced business story, but it also provides valuable insights into the major successes and blunders in marketing and manufacturing. . . . Kiley skillfully weaves the VW saga around the personalities involved, both in the U.S. and abroad."
--Myron Kandel, CNN Financial Editor
"Good storytelling about one of the great stories in the auto industry."
"Kiley . . . deftly reports on the mystique and the reality of one of the auto world's enduring legends."
This is the story of the rise, fall, and re-birth of Volkswagen - both the company and the car. It explains how VW lost its focus for decades and then regained it through a better understanding of its core market, savvy marketing, advertising, and solid manufacturing and design.
The fascinating story of Volkswagen's raging success and near collapse in America
After a wild ride of ups and downs for almost three decades, Volkswagen has regained its stature as one of America's most beloved auto makers. In Getting the Bugs Out, journalist and auto industry expert David Kiley tells the complete story of the rise, fall, and comeback of Volkswagen. Kiley traces the company's rise from Ferdinand Porsche's original design for the Beetle, through the Nazi era, and up to the Beetle's ascendancy during the flower-power 1960s. He explores the reasons for VW's downward spiral through the 1970s and 1980s, including the devastating management blunders that led to such failed efforts as the Rabbit, Dasher, Thing, and Scirocco, and equally catastrophic marketing initiatives, culminating in the notorious "Fahrfegnugen" series of ads. Finally, drawing upon his unique access to company insiders, Kiley tells the story of how Volkswagen achieved its phenomenal comeback beginning in the late 1990s through a combination of visionary management, cutting-edge product development, and brilliant marketing and advertising strategies.
David Kiley (Anne Arbor, MI), the Detroit Bureau Chief at USA Today, is a journalist with fifteen years of experience, ten of which have been devoted to covering the auto industry. He has written extensively for Adweek and Brandweek magazines.
About the Author
DAVID KILEY, the Detroit Bureau Chief at USA Today, is a journalist with fifteen years of experience covering the auto industry. Kiley has written extensively for Adweek and Brandweek magazines and has been featured as an automotive and advertising analyst on Nightline, CNBC, CNN, the Today show, and other TV news programs.
Table of Contents
1. The Unveiling.
2. Sins of the Fathers.
3. The Rise.
4. The Magic.
5. The Wall.
6. The German Patient.
7. The Pitch.
8. The Recovery.
9. The Prince.
10. Curves Ahead.