HERNDON, VA: Volkswagen Group of America and parent company Volkswagen have hired strategic consulting and communications agency BPCM as their PR AOR.
The firm was selected this month following an RFP process that started in June. BPCM is set to start work in the U.S. with Volkswagen Group of America and Volkswagen next month.
BPCM is providing strategic counsel and guidance, as well as support for lifestyle communications and general brand positioning. It will work with parent company Volkswagen and subsidiary Volkswagen Group of America, but not the other auto brands under its umbrella.
“We have an ambitious growth strategy for the Volkswagen brand in the U.S. We recently started assembly of the all-electric ID.4 SUV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and with the impending launches of the ID. Buzz and ID. Aero B, there is more brand excitement to come,” said Volkswagen Group of America SVP and chief communications officer Cameron Batten, who joined the company last year, via email. “We are looking forward to working with BPCM to drive cultural relevance for Volkswagen and advance our narrative with U.S. stakeholders.”
Budget information was not disclosed.
“Now as VW leads the automotive industry’s transition to renewable energy and a net-carbon-neutral world, BPCM is in an ideal place to help them achieve their goals,” said BPCM founding partner Vanessa von Bismarck via email. “BPCM’s size, agility and high-touch client service will allow us to deliver strategic advice that creates meaningful connections at scale between VW and its customers.”
Established in 1999, BPCM has 75 staffers across offices in New York, Los Angeles and London.
Edelman, the incumbent on the account, declined to bid for the work, said a Volkswagen spokesperson. An Edelman spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. The firm recently began a strategic review of its workforce, instituting a hiring freeze and limiting travel for non-client activities and firm-sponsored events. The agency reportedly laid off about 130 staffers.
Volkswagen Group of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen. It operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and houses the U.S. operations for brands such as Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit. The company has 6,000 employees in the U.S. and sells its vehicles through a network of 1,000 dealers.