Volkswagen's innovations have always had people talking. Launched in early 2011, Volkswagen's 'Think Blue. Drive Blue' campaign put forward the company's eco-friendly concerns with its 'BlueMotion Technologies'-enabled sedan Passat. BlueMotion Technologies aims at innovations for improved fuel-efficiency and reduced emissions. Equipped with this technology, the Passat boasts of features such as Auto Start-Stop System which switches off the engine when the car is stalled in traffic, and starts automatically on pressing the accelerator, Brake Energy Recuperation to recharge the battery every time the car brakes, a TDI engine to ensure fuel economy, and a gear shift indicator to recommend the right gear for maximum fuel efficiency.
The January issue of BBC Top Gear had a unique offering for readers. While an ad detailed Volkswagen's BlueMotion Technologies, the readers also found actual seeds to plant. The idea was to take the seeds, plant them following the directions given under the seed pouch, watch the plant bloom and do one's bit to add to the greenery.
While Volkswagen is including technology to ensure an eco-friendly environment, with this joint initiative, we at BBC Top Gear want to involve people further. It is symbolic, of course. We will plant a sapling today, but this initiative is more than just that. It encourages people to explore what more they can do to make a difference to their surroundings and others around them," says Girish Karkera, editor, BBC Top Gear Magazine, in conversation with afaqs!.
A contest has also been launched, wherein readers who plant the seeds are being encouraged to send their stories on how innovatively they plant their seeds, and their other eco-friendly activities.
The seeds being used for the activity are of a plant variety which will bloom in a month. The contest, too, will be spread over a month and the entries will be judged by a jury comprising the editorial team of BBC Top Gear and people from Volkswagen.
Visitors at the Auto Expo 2012 in New Delhi also experienced the initiative on January 7, when Volkswagen and BBC Top Gear encouraged them to support a greener environment by distributing seeds.
Volkswagen also initiated a cleaning-up activity through the seven days of the Auto Expo, similar to an earlier one in Mumbai.
Lutz Kothe, head, marketing and public relations, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, says in a press statement, "Our initiatives under the 'Think Blue. Drive Blue' campaign is to persistently put a conscious effort towards a cleaner and a more sustainable environment, not only for ourselves, but for our future generations as well. Our Auto Expo initiative is just a small step towards this effort."