VW Russia sends football greetings to boost sales

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MOSCOW--Volkswagen Russia will print pre-match greetings in the national press to the national soccer team in a new promotional campaign aimed at boosting its sales in Russia.

Print ads bearing good luck messages will appear in the business daily Kommersant, circulation 117,000; the lifestyle daily Izvestia, circulation 737,000; and the daily Sport-Express, circulation 960,000. The campaign will run until next year's European Soccer Championship.

Volkswagen's deepening involvement with Russia's favorite sport is aimed at raising the profile of the automobile maker. ``In German, Volkswagen means people's car and what game may be closer to people than football,'' said Torsten Bradler, the head of the local VW office.

Volkswagen doubled its car sales in Russia last year, to reach 4,536 units. It sells three models: the Volkswagen Passat, the Golf A4 and Bora.

The German auto marketer is also understood to have plans to open a $500 million plant in central Russia.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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