For the international premiere of the golf 7, europe’s biggest carmaker didn’t miss the opportunity to rent out the entire new national gallery in berlin. Within sight of potsdamer platz, the people of wolfsburg love a rough golf show from the pile, hardly inferior to many a pop concert.
Group CEO martin winterkorn did not hold back with celebratory statements: "the entire automotive world is watching here in berlin this evening."Just outside the museum, a few dozen greenpeace activists did not want to be put in a celebratory mood at all: they protested with transparencies against what they considered to be the poor consumption values of the successful model.
But the powerful VW group is not about to let the "icon" of its core brand (head of technology ulrich hackenberg) be talked down to. In the opinion of the management, the flatter and wider, but also lighter and more economical golf sets standards in terms of economy and emissions, especially in the diesel versions. This fits in well with the times of rising fuel prices and alternative drive systems – and with the sales calculations of the sales strategists, who have sold more than 29 million models of the previous six golf series since 1974.
As a reminiscence of the history of series one to six, the company presented a light and video show in the gallery with great pomp: the 700 or so guests were taken on a time travel through almost four decades of automotive and social history. Images matching the respective year block were shown to bassy electro beats. Old models drove into the hall through fog and a flurry of flashing lights. And on the big screens it became clear: just like michael jackson, nelson mandela and harry potter, the opponents and advocates of the nato posture were also witnesses of the gulf.
All this may seem too emotional to some people. VW patriarch ferdinand piech and his wife and co-supervisory board member ursula were just as fascinated by the car show as berlin’s mayor, klaus wowereit (SPD), for whom the show was a welcome change in the ongoing dispute over the new capital city airport. As the dramaturgy – watched by numerous security personnel – was reaching its climax, after almost an hour the new golf 7 finally rolled into the building, with winterkorn standing tall behind the wheel: "i admit: i have been looking forward to this moment for months."
The top boss wants the model, which according to VW figures consumes 14 percent less on average in the fleet, to be seen as a "spearhead". For him, the golf 7 is by no means the end of a long series. It should mature into an evergreen according to the kafer model. Will there also be a golf 10 one day?? "A successful model will never be exhausted. We were crazy if we didn’t keep going," he told the deutsche presse-agentur.
Even hackenberg admits that the rivals from the far east, for example, have caught up in the meantime. However, despite criticism from environmentalists and the ongoing european sales crisis, the development director is certain: "the golf 7 will continue to keep the competition at a distance."