VW gives customers the axe: electric guitar comes with every vehicle

While many automakers are scrambling to increase the music quotient in their cars via the addition of auxiliary inputs, a.k.a. iPod jacks, Volkswagen has announced the V-dubs Rock promotion today that turns up the wick on in-car entertainment. Beginning today and lasting through December 31st, anyone who purchases or leases any 2007 Volkswagen model or select 2006 models will get a custom First Act GarageMaster electric guitar that can be plugged into their Volkswagen and played through its sound system. The guitar displays the corresponding vehicle's VIN number and features pick guards colored to match the vehicle. Of course, the guitar is plastered with VW logos galore on the knobs, neck and other places, and comes with VW-branded picks and a guitar strap made out of seat belts. Even the blue indicator light on the guitar is the same shade as VW's trademark IP lighting.

The guitar's real trick, however, is its ability to play through the sound system of any VW via the auxiliary input thanks to an on-board preamp. We have to admit, we've never heard of FirstAct before so we can't comment on the quality of the instrument, but neither of us actually play guitar, which begs the question, who exactly is Volkswagen targeting with this promotion? It's a nifty give-away, but seems like an expensive one considering how few customers can even play Stairway to Heaven.

(Check out additional pics of VW's free music gear and the official press release after the jump.)

[Source: Volkswagen]

UPDATE: To clear things up, the First Act guitar is available with all cars except the Touareg, Passat, and Eos. So for 2007 models, it's the Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible; and for 2006 models it's Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible.

Press Release:


AUBURN HILLS, MI – In a move only Volkswagen could conceive, the iconic brand has teamed up with guitar industry innovator First Act Inc. for a first-of-its-kind musical collaboration that will rock potential car buyers and create a whole new segment of players. Beginning October 3 and continuing through December 31, any customer that purchases or leases a designated Volkswagen model from the new 2007 line - including Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible – will receive their own completely customized First Act GarageMaster electric guitar that will play seamlessly through the car's existing audio system. The 2006 Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible will also come with a custom-made First Act GarageMaster guitar. Each electric guitar is a wholly unique, one-of-a-kind instrument and is available exclusively to those who purchase or lease one of these Volkswagen models through a Volkswagen dealer. No other manufacturer offers a musical experience quite like this to its customers.

The program will be supported through an extensive national television campaign, featuring Grammy-winning artist John Mayer, Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash (formerly of Guns N' Roses) and actor Christopher Guest, well known for his portrayal of Nigel Tufnel in This Is Spinal Tap, as well as through print and radio. Customers can log onto www.V-dubsrock.com to learn about the Volkswagen program specifics, First Act GarageMaster electric guitar, take interactive guitar lessons with Dweezil Zappa and more.

The First Act GarageMaster electric guitar is a work of customized pop culture art and will undoubtedly become a coveted piece of Volkswagen's music-rich history. Each electric guitar will display the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of the owner's Volkswagen vehicle and will also have custom colored pick guards complementing the exterior of the car. The guitar will feature the traditional Volkswagen logo and "V Dub" inlay, a guitar strap made of safety belts, VW knobs, a prominent blue indicator light that matches the trademark instrument panel lighting of Volkswagen vehicles, VW logo guitar picks and a carrying case to take the music anywhere. Volkswagen owners can now create a concert in their garage, play for the entire tailgate party or shred in the beach parking lot.
"The partnership with First Act is the next iteration of Volkswagen's longstanding history with music," said Volkswagen's Director of Brand Innovation Kerri Martin. "The Volkswagen brand is culturally known for its celebration of music and all things creative; this exciting collaboration makes a statement that Volkswagen is a brand with innovative ideas and an unparalleled ability to create unique and appealing connections with its consumers."

"We are excited to be working with Volkswagen because of what our two brands can generate together. Like Volkswagen, we value technological innovation and inspired design." said Bernard Chiu, First Act's Chairman of the Board. "Through this partnership, we've created a revolutionary way for players to perform, with a groundbreaking guitar design and an exciting way to play it." added First Act's Vice President of Marketing, Jeff Walker.

Each First Act GarageMaster guitar has a built-in pre-amp that allows the guitar to plug directly into Volkswagen's auxiliary jack. The pre-amp features First Act's proprietary V-Stack Technology, an analog modeling technique that emulates vintage amplifiers. This innovative technology and promotion brings together car lovers and music lovers alike. The car and music culture become one and creates a unique sense of self-expression.

The joint venture between Volkswagen and First Act launches October 3rd and the unique promotion will last through the end of the year until December 31st. This offer is available on all new, unused 2007 and 2006 Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible vehicles - purchased or leased within the promotional period. The First Act GarageMaster electric guitar will plug into the auxiliary jack of the aforementioned 2007 vehicles as well as the 2006 New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible. Information about Volkswagen and First Act's co-promotion can be found online at www.V-dubsrock.com and www.firstact.com.

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