2012 Volkswagen BeetleEnlarge Photo
Last November, 275 people present at a taping of the Oprah Winfrey Show got a very nice door prize: in cooperation with Volkswagen, Oprah gave each audience member a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle. Not only were those present getting the cars, but all taxes and fees associated with winning the prize were taken care of as well.
This Thursday, Volkswagen of America president and CEO Jonathan Browning will be at a VW dealership in Orland Park, IL, where he'll personally hand over the keys to the first 25 lucky winners. Since delivering 275 cars at the same time would be a logistical nightmare, the remainder of the awarded 2012 VW Beetles will be delivered in the coming weeks, probably by multiple dealerships.
The cars were given away as part of an “Ultimate Favorite Things” show, where Oprah Winfrey and Volkswagen teased the newly redesigned Beetle in silhouette before announcing the giveaway. This wasn’t the first time that the queen of daytime-talk-show-TV gave out cars to her audience; in 2004, Oprah handed out 276 Pontiac G6 sedans to those in attendance.
The PR coup soon soured, as audience members learned they’d be responsible for taxes and fees on the Pontiacs, totaling up to $7,000 depending upon the winner’s tax bracket. With the 2012 VW Beetle giveaway, however, free really does mean free.