VW Goes All Out on PR for Their New Diesel

By Brendan Moore

09.30.2008

Volkswagen is very proud of their new 50-state compliant diesel powerplant and is doing everything they can to talk the new engine up among consumers.

VW is urging fans of the new diesel Jetta TDI to tell other people about the car, they are doing traditional marketing and advertising and they are also doing other PR whenever possible. In addition, they have supplied the 2009 VW Jetta TDI that a couple recently used to set a new Guinness world record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States, averaging 58.82 miles to the gallon.

VW has developed a diesel section of their U.S. website where over 25,000 people have signed up to receive more information about Volkswagen diesels, and the company is also diligently monitoring independent websites that are discussing diesel engines. Volkswagen employees are participating in those online discussions and offering information about the new Jetta if asked.

The world record? John and Helen Taylor finished up their trip on September 25, taking 20 days to travel through every state.

The official press release from VWOA:
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HERNDON, Va., Sept 29, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The world’s most fuel efficient couple, John and Helen Taylor, have broken the current world record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States averaging 58.82 miles to the gallon. They ended their 20 day trip in West Virginia on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. To help them break the world record, they drove the all-new, 50-state-compliant clean diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI, fueled by Shell Ultra Low Sulfur diesel fuel under real world driving conditions, simply applying easy to use fuel saving tips and the latest efficient engine technology available for good clean diesel fun.

“We are very excited and grateful to have broken the current Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption across the 48 contiguous United States,” said Helen Taylor. “We would like to thank Volkswagen for providing us their new clean diesel Jetta that helped us get another World Record and to Shell for supplying the diesel fuel.”

The previous Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption on a nationwide drive was 51.58 miles per gallon and the Taylors broke it by setting a new record of 58.82 miles per gallon, a whopping 14 percent improvement. In 20 days, driving across 48 states the Taylors drove 9,419 miles, exceeding 60 mpg on several legs of the record-setting run, spending only 6.9 cents per mile (total was $653).

“The terrain was very diverse, the weather less than ideal, and the traffic heavy at rush hour and the VW Jetta TDI handled it all beautifully, showing its fuel efficiency and its fun-to-drive dynamic capability, just two of this vehicle’s many attributes,” said John Taylor. “The car efficiently helped us to drive to a fuel economy world record.”

People were encouraged to e-mail the Taylors along the way at: fuelacademy@gmail.com with any questions they may have about the tour, the vehicle or about fuel economy tips and join their “Fan” page on Facebook.com.

As of the end of the trip, more than 2,000 people have e-mailed the Taylors.

Approximately 12 official check-in and refueling stops across the country were included throughout the duration of the drive. The couple drove on a counter-clockwise route passing through: Washington D.C.; New York City, Rutland, Vermont; Toledo, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; Spearfish, S.D.; Missoula, Mont.; Winnemucca, Nev.; Santa Monica, Calif.; Durango, Colo.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Mount Vernon, Ill.; Ponchatoula, La.; and, Beckley, W.V. Some of the fuel saving tips the Taylors advocate include: avoiding idling and higher speeds, minimizing vehicle drag and performing regular vehicle maintenance.

The Taylors have made a 26-year career out of driving economically and conducting workshops globally on fuel-efficient driving techniques. They have collected 82 world fuel economy and vehicle-related records from drives around the globe in Australia, Asia, South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Via their Web site, the Taylors will be sharing their personal experiences on the road. For more information and regular reports from the road, visit www.fuelacademy.com and www.media.vw.com. For a complete list of fuel-saving driving tips, visit http://www.shell.com/us/fuelstretch.

Volkswagen of America, Inc.

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The 2009 VW Jetta TDI comes in both a sedan and a sport wagon model.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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