Volkswagen Sweden Gets Punked

By Brittany Walters-Bearden May 17, 2012

Punking isn’t something that Americans see in the corporate world very often, but for European carmakers, it seems that getting punked is all part of a day’s work. It appears that Fiat has played what is being called an “epic prank” on their rival, Volkswagen, placing a Fiat 500 outside of the entrance of Volkswagen Sweden just before Google Maps showed up to take a picture, meaning that Volkswagen will inadvertently become an advertiser of Fiat for the next year, as Google Maps pictures are typically updated annually.

Whether or not it was intentional has not been officially confirmed, but all signs indicate that it was, in fact, an intentional prank. The Fiat Headquarters are about a 45 minute drive from where the Volkswagen headquarters are located, making it a relatively easy prank to pull. There are also photographs that indicate that the Fiat in question was tailing the Google Street View vehicle that was taking pictures, ensuring that they would be at the Volkswagen headquarters in time for their close up. Fiat’s public relations team has not denied the claims, offering the media “no comment.”

People have speculated about whether or not it was possible to know that the Google Street View team was in the area. Many argue that it was simply a coincidence and that many cars are parked outside of Volkswagen Sweden each day.

If it wasa prank, the Fiat/ Volkwagen debacle proves that the carmakers either have good senses of humor or like to play very dirty. News of the incident has traveled around the world, giving people all over a good laugh. 

Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, it has gotten both the Fiat name and the Volkswagen name in the headlines, making it a great PR move for both corporations.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

TechZone360 Contributor

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