Paint and Upholstery: L20E Signal Orange (5132) / Leatherette Black (40).
Technical Data: 1300cc typ.113 badged “VW_1300”.
Factory Fitted Optional Equipment: Dual-circuit brake warning lamp, Leatherette upholstery instead of normal series Cloth, rubber bumper trims, heated rear window, wheel trim rings, padded dashboard.
Context: We have recently found photographs of an Austrian Signal Orange Spring Edition 1970 taken in 1971 and 1973. These period photographs lead us to believe that the Signal Orange 1970 Spring Edition identical to those imported into The Netherlands and Belgium was also imported into Austria. While the Pop colours were promoted explicitly in Austria, Signal Orange was not – in contrast to Switzerland.
It might be connected to a sales campaign advertised in June 1970, when VW offered 1000 cars with a price reduction of 1000 Austrian Schilling to celebrate 20 years in Austria. After one week 341 were sold. Following a newspaper article of the same week, any model could be ordered, with exception of the Type 2, and orders for the new model year 1971. An advertisement states – ‘the monitoring of 1000 cars takes place via the central type registration office so that a stop is ordered once that number sold is met’. It remains unknown if the campaign intended to stimulate demand in the face of the new model year or to clear stocks at the end of the old model year.
In Switzerland, VW celebrated 19 years of leadership on the Swiss car market by offering the Extra-Käfer without an additional price for the extra features. The value of the parts and options varied from country to country depending on exchange rates. A reduction of 1000 ATS might have been approximately equivalent to the extras of the Signal Orange. In Belgium, VW presented the buyers with 5200 Franc, in the Netherlands with 340 Gulden. In the Netherlands 622 Meikever were offered. Could 1000 Juni-Käfer be sold in Austria? All Signal Orange Beetles were built in April 1970, the campaigns started at different dates: 24th April in the Netherlands, 25th May in Switzerland (both at the same time with the Pop colours) and in June 1970 in the UK (assumingly without a Pop pendant). A start of sales in Austria as late as 17th June 1970 in Austria is within the bounds of possibility.
Almost 50 years after VW released the first sales campaign it is very complicated to draw logically consistent conclusions from the similarities and differences of the campaigns in different countries. In anticipation of more evidence to emerge this is a hypothesis based on the provided material.
Information and AMAG press ad courtesy Jan Walter.