Volkswagen Goes Cashmere

Forget logoed key chains and baseball caps. For its new Eos convertible, VW is launching a line of high-end lifestyle products

Think of traditional car merchandise and chances are you'll picture a baseball cap, a mug, or perhaps a logo-bedecked key fob. Well, now Volkswagen (VLKAY) is aiming to offer something a little different—like, say, a cashmere wrap or a pair of slip-on driving shoes—for women. That's right. Despite earlier concerns that the VW brand was becoming too feminized (see BusinessWeek.com, 5/22/06, "The Craziest Ad Guys in America") and in the wake of Nissan's announcement that it's set to increase its marketing budget by 20% this year to focus on female consumers, manufacturers increasingly are focusing on women in their dialogue.

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