VW announces exclusive audio partnership with Fender

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Lately Volkswagen has been rocking the sales charts, so why not up the ante in the audio department by joining forces with one of the biggest names in rock music, Fender?

"The best seat in the house is now behind the wheel of a Volkswagen," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "Our two iconic companies – one with a passion for driving, one with a passion for music – are joining forces to bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience."

If you're not familiar, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. is one of the world's leading musical instrument companies, primarily in guitars (Stratocaster, Telecaster, Mustang and others) and amplifiers (the Twin Reverb is probably the most widely used) played by such innovative rock legends as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, U2's The Edge, George Harrison and John Lennon of the Beatles, Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple, Jeff Beck from the Yardbirds, Pete Townshend of The Who (who happens to drive a Volkswagen through London when trying to avoid the paparazzi and previously bought a VW Combi bus in Brazil to travel through South America), plus Canada's own Robbie Robertson of The Band, as well as Canadian legend Randy Bachman from The Guess Who and BTO.

VW's U.S. division, Volkswagen of America, Inc., announced during an International Motor Press Association meeting in New York, that it will make the Fender Premium Audio System available in 2012 models, starting with the upcoming Jetta GLI and then followed by the new as yet unnamed mid-size sedan and next-generation 2012 Beetle, due in the fall. VW stated in an accompanying press release that the system would be available in "all other Jettas later," so therefore we can expect its availability throughout the majority of VW's U.S. and Mexican-made lineup.

Fender touts its 64 years of building revered amplifying equipment, which it has combined with its partner Panasonic that has been making mobile audio systems for 68 years, says the press release. As part of the new system, dual voice coil speakers and extended range tweeters, in total nine speakers that boast proprietary Panasonic technology, will deliver "uncompromised clarity," all thanks to "years of research, development and tuning in a new, state-of-the-art sound lab."

Furthermore, the release states that the system benefits by "directional sound from front door speakers that generate imaging beyond the capabilities of traditional speaker designs." The stereo head unit features "lower inter-modulation distortion and smooth mid-range response to eliminate harshness," adds the press release.

"By partnering with Volkswagen on the Fender Premium Audio System, we are creating a unique partnership with a truly innovative company allowing us to deliver a product that is as unique, expressive and dynamic as the customers who use it," said Mark Van Vleet, Senior Vice President, Business Affairs for Fender.

Volkswagen and Fender won't have to look too far for rock superstars willing be spokespeople for their strategic partnership. And who knows? If GM can revive Harvey Earl for a Buick ad, VW can certainly recreate Hendrix playing Crosstown Traffic to sell Jettas. On second thought, maybe Pete Townshend would do a better job of Magic Bus in while cruising in the back of a Routan, or Richie Blackmore could play some riffs from Highway Star, and for the Canadian ad Randy Bachman and Fred Turner could jam it up with "Roll on down the Highway" sitting on the back deck of a New Beetle convertible. The sponsorship possibilities are endless.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Volkswagen, VW, Jetta, Fender Musical Instruments Corp., Fender Premium Audio,

Organizations: Volkswagen, Fender Musical Instruments

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