VW in agency talks for new model launches

LONDON - Europe's largest car maker Volkswagen is understood to have held meetings with a number of agencies as it looks to secure consumer PR support for vehicle launches next year.

Industry sources indicated this week that the brief is likely to centre on the launch of a luxury car line, code-named Project D1, in 2002.



The vehicles will be publicly unveiled for the first time

at the Geneva Motor Show in spring next year, with the cars going on sale in the UK towards the end of the year.



At least three agencies

are understood to have held discussions with VW, but due to confidentiality clauses, all refused to discuss the matter with PRWeek.



A spokesperson for the car manufacturer's comms team refused to confirm details of the pitch, adding: 'You cannot expect us to comment on anything we may or may not be doing'.



However, sources within the industry indicate that pitches will take place in

the next month.



It is understood there will be two different vehicle

types in the range, which are targeted at the prestigious large vehicle market.



While no details about

the account have been released, it is likely to be worth

a sizeable six-figure sum and run for an initial one-year period from January next year.



News of the pitch follows last week's announcement that the Volkswagen Group is to shake up its brands into two distinct groups.



The plan will see 'sporty' marques - Audi, Seat and Lamborghini - form one group, while another 'classic' group will comprise the VW, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti brands.



The company estimates that the process will cost £19.3bn, and will commence next year to conclude by 2006.



The move is aimed at eliminating model overlap between brands within the VW Group.



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