Last year, Greenpeace used the Star Wars-themed ad for the Volkswagen Passat to form its own "Dark Side" campaign. The one criticized Europe's biggest automaker for not doing enough to cut automobile greenhouse gas emissions, and Greenpeace was at it again this week.
Members of the environmental group picketed the premiere of Volkswagen's seventh-generation Golf at Berlin's New National Gallery earlier this week, according to Reuters. About 50 protestors were present and Greenpeace's Wolfgang Lohbeck said VW was aiming low with a fuel economy rating of about 48 miles per gallon (on the more lenient European driving cycle). Lohbeck says VW has the technology to shoot for more like 75 mpg, and called the Golf's fuel economy results "lame."
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn referred to the protesters as a "small band" and defended the car's fuel economy and performance. VW says the new Golf incarnation is about 220 pounds lighter because of more use of high-strength steel but will have the same $21,300 base price in Europe as the outgoing version.
Greenpeace first used Star Wars stormtroopers to attack VW for what it said were insufficient efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and updated its attack last month on the Greenpeace blog.