VW’s Clean Factory Message

Gary S. Vasilash

One of the seemingly dirty little secrets of the auto industry is that cars and trucks are—gasp!—built in factories.

Once upon a time, the factories were more than somewhat Dickensian in nature. That hasn’t been the case for a long, long time.

VW Factory ad

Still, with few exceptions (e.g., Saturn back in the day, Subaru’s zero-landfill in Indiana), car companies tend not to emphasize their production operations in consumer-facing ads.

So credit is due to Volkswagen, which is calling attention to its goal to reduce production-related emissions by 25% in advertisements created for it by agency BlackBoard Berlin. The campaign is called “Think Blue. Book.” The manufacturing-specific spot is “Think Blue. Factory.”

“Think Blue” is VW’s total environmental message, ranging from alternative powertrains to car sharing to, yes, factories.

While some might argue that car companies ought to emphasize the cars they want to sell rather than things like addressing things like volatile organic compounds or whatnot from their factories, there are undoubtedly a growing number of people who are as interested in where their cars are coming from, perhaps a greater number than those who are concerned about how well a car can carve the corners at the Nurburgring.

Incidentally, the spots are not, according to a VW spokesperson in Germany, planned for the U.S.

It should be noted, however, that the VW manufacturing complex in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the only car factory in the world that has LEED Platinum certification for its environmental approach. What’s more, it is certified to ISO 14001 for its environmental management system.

VW is seriously green (Blue?) in the U.S. It ought to tout that because it has earned the right to.