Denny’s Daily Zinger: Marketing a 200 M.P.G. Automobile

It should be a cake-walk.

The market: Consumers who are having our pockets picked by the greedy oil companies charging $4.00 for a gallon of gas. In Europe, it’s more like $11.00 a gallon.

The product: A two-seat Volkswagen 2014 XL 1 with its 22nd century design. It features gull-wing doors, a top speed of 99 m.p.h. and can go 200 miles on a gallon of gas.

This is not a dream. It’s in production in Europe right now.

Marketing this thing should be (to coin a phrase) like taking candy from a baby. An agency, P.R. person, copywriter and TV spot producer would go into orbit if offered the opportunity to work on this baby.

Just three problems:

1. The Department of Transportation has deemed it unsafe and would require too many modifications. As a result, it can only be sold in Europe.

Given problem No. 1 above, the other two problems are moot.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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  • PRP

    It’s also about $145,000 USD. Is that one of the other problems?

  • http://PaulRagas Paul Ragas

    OKAY. I agree. Problem #1 is insurmountable . . . but I really wanted to know the other two problems as well.

  • Meg Nugent

    @Paul: I’m sure we get an eyeful of it in a future episode of Top Gear (UK version of course). Maybe they’ll let Cap’n Slow give it a whirl.