July 19, 2011

Passat W8 Marketing Materials

On my previous post I shared a marketing brochure for the 2002 Passat W8 that was gifted to me by the dealer who sold me the car years ago. Well, that brochure was part of VW's marketing kit that appears to have been distributed to dealers back in 2001 to communicate the marketing plan for the then new model.

According to the letter that came with the package (see below), the marketing campaign would include:
  • A dealer taggable television commercial.
  • Two dealer taggable newspaper adds.
  • One dealer taggable TV spot.
  • Two dealer taggable radio spots.
  • One poster for in-dealership display.
  • One point of purchase display.

Click on the images to enlarge

Included in the box was:
  • A copy of the W8 brochure.
  • One VHS video tape of the "Mano a Mano" television commercial.
  • A cassette tape of the radio spot.
  • Samples of the two newspaper adds
  • And samples of the two magazine adds.
Not withstanding this, the W8 was a definitive marketing flop. The price seemed to high for a VW back in 2002. The engine is probably too sophisticated for the demographic that was going to buy a Passat and could have used a bit more development especially on the VVTI system. But most of all, it looked like any other Passat and because it's flat-plane crank it did not make the V8 sounds Americans are used to.

With a couple of European cars clocked at over 170 MPH (with speed limiter disabled), the W8 is a remarkable autobahn cruiser that can keep up with anything on the road today. Who knows, with such limited numbers sold it may even become a classic someday (??). That is, if there are enough spare parts to keep those W8 engines working the way they should ;-)

Interesting to note that although the car in the sketch has a W8 badge it shows standard headlamps instead of the GDL units that are on all production cars and it does not have fog lamps.

The box flaps open to reveal the tapes included in the package.

The "Mano a Mano" TV spot didn't really reflect the character of the W8.

The pre-Phaeton experiment - Yes. Sales however didn't turn out as "right" as they were hoping for.

Most photos always show the more desirable "Sport" option. I like these two adds however because they resemble my humble "standard" Silverstone Grey car. I wish the wheels on mine still look that nice :-)

Well, there you have it. That is as much as I know about the marketing of the W8 in the U.S.


  1. Love this car! Mine is a 2002 W8 with the "standard" Silverstone Grey color.

  2. Great to hear. It is a great sleeper (Q-car)...