Volkswagen & New York

As Volkswagen ramps up production of the Passat in its new plant in Chattanooga, it is also making moves to position itself as more of a part of the texture of the U.S. culture.

As Volkswagen ramps up production of the Passat in its new plant in Chattanooga, it is also making moves to position itself as more of a part of the texture of the U.S. culture.

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Just listen to Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft, speaking on the occasion of a multi-year agreement to work with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York: "Artists give us food for thought and let us look at the world from new angles. MoMA is one of the world's leading institutions in the field of contemporary art. With its persuasive expertise and its educational mission, it is our partner of choice. This partnership expresses our corporate commitment to take responsibility for the environment and for society.”

VW is providing support in a variety of ways to the museum. Which is laudable. But in a city where there seems to be more yellow taxis than privately owned cars?

Ah, but the city that makes markets. That’s the thing.

One could argue that if we roll back the clock to the early 1960s, the smart sophistication of the ads created for the VW Beetle by Mad Men-era Doyle Dane Bernbach helped make the vehicle as popular as it became.

So maybe they’re hoping that lighting will strike twice in Manhattan.