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VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO HELP RESTORE CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

 VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO HELP RESTORE CONSUMER CONFIDENCE
 AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen United States announced today that it will launch an unprecedented payment- protection program designed to directly address consumers' fears about the U.S. economy. With this program, the company becomes the first automaker to pick up its new-car buyers' loan payments or leases for up to 12 months if they lose their jobs because of the recession.
 "It's simple," said Bill Young, president and CEO, Volkswagen of America. "If you buy a new Volkswagen during this program and suffer a job layoff because of the economy during the first three years of your retail installment contract or lease, we will cover your car payments and insurance for up to one full year."
 Called Payment Protection Plus, the two-month program offers this unemployment protection during the first 36 months of their customer's loan or lease agreement. The program also pays up to a maximum of $500 per month combined car insurance and loan or lease payments. No additional fee is charged to the Volkswagen customer for this coverage.
 Volkswagen United States Marketing Director Dave Schembri said the Volkswagen Payment Protection Plus program is designed to restore confidence in consumers who are hesitant about shopping for a new car in the face of daily news reports citing pending layoffs and stagnant economic growth. He said it is also one more way the company is reaffirming for its customers the value inherent in the Volkswagen product line.
 "Payment Protection Plus is a program of real value and substance to the average American consumer who must address these economic realities. It is coverage that we pay for completely, and it is proof that Volkswagen is as committed to building consumer confidence as it is to building outstanding German-engineered cars," Schembri said.
 Schembri added that to his knowledge, Volkswagen's Payment Protection Plus is the first such national program ever offered to car buyers by an automaker.
 "Last year, approximately 25 million people were out of work and last week it was reported that during 1991, one out of every five Americans found themselves jobless at one time or another. In this kind of difficult economic climate, we think consumers are looking for new ways to help them weather the storm. Payment Protection Plus is just that," Schembri said.
 The program will also make it easier for customers to buy a 1992 Volkswagen through a no-down-payment offer for qualified retail buyers who finance their new Volkswagen through VW Credit Inc. The payment protection is automatic whether customers finance or lease their new Volkswagens through VW Credit Inc. or other lending institutions during the program period.
 Customers who finance or lease new VWs before March 31, 1992, will receive a payment-protection information kit which details the program. Schembri said the protection can be used incrementally if needed, meaning Volkswagen customers who are unemployed for three months will still qualify for nine months of protection during the remaining three years of the protection.
 Under the program's guidelines, Volkswagen customers will be covered only if they lose their jobs involuntarily and due solely to economic conditions. Monthly payments made to customers jointly financed or leased will vary, based on the co-applicant's income.
 Volkswagen officials said the program's public launch was timed to coincide with the President's State of the Union address -- which is expected to focus on the economy -- and will be advertised nationally through an extensive television and print advertising campaign. Volkswagen is planning a television advertising campaign that will focus on national news programs such as "Nightline" and "Meet the Press." People seeking more details on the program are asked to see a local dealer or call 1-800-DRIVE VW.
 Volkswagen said it will offer Payment Protection Plus for the next 60 days beginning today (Tuesday, Jan. 28).
 -0- 1/28/92
 /NOTE: Photos and videotapes are available. CONTACT: Larry Nutson, 313-340-5054, or Tony Fouladpour, 313-340-5064, both of Volkswagen/ CO: Volkswagen United States ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


DH -- DE001 -- 4052 01/28/92 08:46 EST
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Date:Jan 28, 1992
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