Volkswagen Branding Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Volkswagen Group, a global automotive leader, has consistently focused on developing effective branding strategies to maintain a competitive edge in the market. As part of their marketing strategy for 2024, Volkswagen aims to leverage digitization and strengthen brand equity. With a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and customer satisfaction, Volkswagen strives to create a thriving future for their brand.

Key Takeaways:

  • Volkswagen achieved a 45% increase in brand consideration through strategic brand positioning efforts.
  • Social engagement for Volkswagen was 417% higher than average for car release announcements, highlighting the brand’s strong connection with its audience.
  • Volkswagen received four Effie awards, recognizing the effectiveness of their branding strategy.
  • Big data analysis played a crucial role in enhancing Volkswagen’s brand positioning, enabling data-driven decision-making.
  • Collaboration with agencies like DDB Tribal contributed significantly to the creative process, ensuring compelling and impactful marketing campaigns.

These key highlights demonstrate the importance of Volkswagen’s branding strategy in driving brand growth and cultivating a positive brand image. By harnessing the power of data, collaborating with talented agencies, and developing engaging campaigns, Volkswagen has successfully positioned itself as an innovative and trustworthy automotive brand.

Rebuilding the Volkswagen Brand Image After World War II

After World War II, Volkswagen faced the daunting task of rebuilding its brand image, as its affiliation with the Nazis had tarnished its reputation. The company understood the importance of addressing this dark chapter in its history and took decisive steps to reshape its brand positioning and regain the trust and loyalty of consumers.

In 1938, Volkswagen made a strategic shift by changing its logo design from the controversial ‘Nazi’ flag to a more universally accepted symbol. This act symbolized the brand’s commitment to distancing itself from its past and embracing a new era.

One of the key milestones in rebuilding the Volkswagen brand was the production capacity showcased in the years following the war. Despite the devastating impact of the conflict, Volkswagen managed to produce over 10,000 vehicles within a year, demonstrating its resilience and potential for post-war recovery.

The brand’s global growth strategy played a vital role in rejuvenating its image. In the 1960s, Volkswagen expanded internationally by establishing manufacturing plants, such as the one in Mexico. This strategic move allowed the brand to tap into new markets, diversify its customer base, and strengthen its position as a global automotive leader.

Furthermore, the staggering sales of the iconic Volkswagen Beetle in the 1960s highlighted the high market demand and the success of the brand’s models. The Beetle became more than just a car; it became a cultural symbol associated with the “peace and love” movement of that era, further integrating Volkswagen into popular culture and increasing brand awareness.

Recognizing the importance of visual identity, Volkswagen underwent logo modifications in 1996 and 2000. These evolutions conveyed the brand’s commitment to staying relevant and adapting to changing times.

The current Volkswagen logo, designed with simplicity in mind, reflects the brand’s pursuit of class, excellence, purity, and reliability. The circle enclosing the letters ‘V’ and ‘W’ in blue and white colors serves as a visual representation of the brand’s values and commitment to quality.

Volkswagen’s relentless focus on delivering top-quality vehicles and its dedication to excellence earned it the top spot in Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies list within the auto industry. This recognition further solidified its reputation and brand positioning.

In contrast to some competitors, such as General Motors, who faced scandals and recalls, Volkswagen demonstrated resilience and genuine commitment to rebuilding its brand image in a responsible and ethical manner.

The brand’s success in overcoming its Nazi-era associations and rebuilding its image can be attributed to its transparency, accountability, and educational initiatives. By acknowledging its dark history and actively informing the public through initiatives like “The Place of Remembrance,” Volkswagen succeeded in reshaping its brand perception and positioning itself as a socially responsible and morally grounded company.

Volkswagen’s Strategy of International Expansion and Acquisitions

Volkswagen, as one of the leading automotive companies in the world, has employed several strategic tactics to expand its market reach and strengthen its brand presence. Through a combination of international expansion and targeted acquisitions, Volkswagen has successfully positioned itself as a global powerhouse in the automotive industry.

One of Volkswagen’s key branding tactics has been its aggressive international expansion. The company operates in an impressive 153 countries, selling vehicles to customers worldwide. This extensive global reach allows Volkswagen to tap into new markets and cater to diverse consumer demands. By strategically expanding into new regions, Volkswagen has been able to increase its market share and solidify its position as a key player in the global automotive market.

In addition to international expansion, Volkswagen has also pursued a strategy of acquisitions. By acquiring renowned brands like Audi, Porsche, SEAT, and Škoda, Volkswagen has not only expanded its brand portfolio but also leveraged the unique strengths and offerings of these acquired companies. These acquisitions have allowed Volkswagen to tap into new customer segments, broaden its product offerings, and enhance its overall market presence.

It is worth noting that Volkswagen’s acquisition strategy is not limited to post-World War II. In fact, the company has a rich history of strategic acquisitions. Some notable acquisitions include Auto Union GmbH in 1965, NSU Motorenwerke AG in 1969, SEAT in 1982, and Škoda automobilová in 1991. These acquisitions have played a pivotal role in Volkswagen’s growth trajectory and have contributed significantly to its market expansion tactics.

Volkswagen’s international expansion and acquisition strategies have undeniably contributed to its success in the global automotive market. By leveraging its extensive global network and acquiring reputable brands, Volkswagen has been able to establish itself as a trusted and recognized automotive brand worldwide.

Streamlining Volkswagen’s Business Operations

Volkswagen is continuously working on streamlining its business operations as part of its VW brand strategy and Volkswagen’s performance program. This program, known as “ACCELERATE FORWARD | Road to 6.5,” aims to achieve a sustainable return on sales of 6.5 percent for the Volkswagen brand by 2026.

To achieve this goal, Volkswagen is focusing on several key areas:

1. Administrative Processes

Volkswagen is streamlining and accelerating its administrative processes to improve efficiency and productivity. By simplifying procedures and ensuring smooth workflows, the company can reduce costs and enhance overall operational performance.

2. Development and Production

The performance program emphasizes boosting efficiency in development and production. Volkswagen aims to optimize its production processes, leverage new technologies, and implement lean principles to enhance productivity and deliver high-quality vehicles.

3. Product Quality

Enhancing product quality is a top priority for Volkswagen. The company is committed to delivering vehicles that meet the highest standards of reliability, safety, and customer satisfaction. Volkswagen’s performance program focuses on implementing rigorous quality control measures and continuously improving product development processes.

4. Product Portfolio Optimization

As part of its brand strategy, Volkswagen plans to concentrate on a small number of core models and discontinue lower-volume models like the VW Arteon. This strategic decision allows Volkswagen to streamline its product portfolio, reduce market positioning overlaps, and increase the value of each Group brand.

To showcase the streamlining efforts, here is a table presenting the main objectives and achievements of Volkswagen’s performance program:

Objective Achievement
Cost Optimization Expected sustainable increase in earnings of around 10 billion euros by 2026
Operational Efficiency Optimization of administrative processes and development workflows
Product Quality Implementation of stringent quality control measures
Portfolio Optimization Focus on core models and reduction of lower-volume models

Volkswagen’s performance program and streamlining efforts not only contribute to its financial success but also align with its commitment to social sustainability. By optimizing business operations, Volkswagen aims to be at the forefront of innovation, delivering high-quality vehicles and sustainable mobility solutions under its brand platform.

Volkswagen’s Focus on Future Technologies and Vehicle Architectures

Volkswagen Group is at the forefront of the automotive industry with its strategic focus on future technologies and innovative vehicle architectures. By realigning its technology platforms towards platform architectures, battery, software, and mobility services, Volkswagen aims to provide leading technological innovations to its customers.

One of the key advancements in Volkswagen’s technology roadmap is the development of the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) platform. This platform enables the production of electric vehicles with various body styles and sizes, providing flexibility and scalability. By leveraging the MEB platform, Volkswagen plans to launch over 70 electric vehicle models by 2030, as it embraces the transition to sustainable mobility.

In addition to electric vehicles, Volkswagen continues to improve and innovate its internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The company recognizes the importance of meeting various market demands and believes that ICE vehicles will continue to play a significant role in the automotive industry for the foreseeable future.

Another critical development in Volkswagen’s vehicle architectures is the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP). This platform aims to offer innovative functions and technologies across all brands within the Volkswagen Group. By utilizing the SSP, Volkswagen can streamline its vehicle development process, improve efficiency, and drive synergies across its brands.

Volkswagen Marketing Approach and VW Branding Techniques

The Volkswagen Group understands the value of effective marketing and branding in driving its success. With a comprehensive approach, Volkswagen aims to strengthen its brand image and connect with customers on a deeper level.

Volkswagen focuses on building brand love by creating emotional connections and emphasizing its brand values, such as quality, innovation, and sustainability. By aligning its marketing efforts with these values, Volkswagen creates a coherent brand identity that resonates with its target audience.

The company also invests in regional strategies tailored to specific markets, such as China and North America. These strategies include expanding market share and strengthening its presence through localized marketing initiatives that consider cultural nuances and customer preferences.

Volkswagen’s branding techniques involve developing a portfolio of brands to cater to different customer segments and market needs. The new grouping, which includes Core, Progressive, Sport Luxury, and Trucks, reflects a strategic realignment within the Volkswagen Group. Each brand within the portfolio has its unique characteristics and positioning, allowing Volkswagen to target a wide range of customers effectively.

Furthermore, Volkswagen places emphasis on sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. By setting targets to reduce CO2 emissions and increase the proportion of electric vehicles in its fleet, Volkswagen demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and addresses the growing demand for eco-friendly transportation solutions.

Volkswagen’s Performance Program and Cost Optimization Measures

Volkswagen, a global automotive powerhouse, has implemented a robust performance program aimed at maximizing efficiency and optimizing costs. With a comprehensive approach, Volkswagen strives to strengthen its position in the market and enhance its financial performance.

As part of their performance program, Volkswagen is streamlining their business operations by reducing development times, optimizing procurement services, and enhancing their after-sales business. These measures enable Volkswagen to operate more efficiently and effectively, ultimately resulting in improved performance across their operations.

By focusing on cost optimization, Volkswagen aims to drive sustainable growth and enhance their financial performance. The company aims to achieve a sustainable effect of more than EUR 10 billion through their performance programs by the end of 2024. These cost-saving measures will not only improve profitability but also enable Volkswagen to invest in future technologies and expansion plans.

One of the key areas of focus for Volkswagen is reducing costs per lead and improving their marketing approach. By implementing personalized strategies, Volkswagen has achieved a 26% reduction in cost per named lead and delivered three times the volume of named leads. Furthermore, the overall cost per lead, including the car configurator and finance calculator, has been reduced by 33% after implementing these strategies. These initiatives showcase Volkswagen’s commitment to enhancing their marketing effectiveness and maximizing returns on their investments.

The Financial Success of Volkswagen Group

In 2023, Volkswagen Group reported impressive financial results, with a 12% increase in deliveries, reaching 9.24 million vehicles. The sales revenue for Volkswagen Group totaled EUR 322.3 billion, and the operating profit reached EUR 22.6 billion. After taxes, Volkswagen Group’s profit reached EUR 17.9 billion.

Volkswagen Group’s Automotive Division demonstrated strong financial performance, with a net cash flow of EUR 10.7 billion and net liquidity of EUR 40.3 billion at the end of 2023. Moreover, the earnings per preferred share increased to EUR 31.98, representing a noteworthy growth of EUR 2.26.

Additionally, Volkswagen Group proposed a dividend of EUR 9.00 per ordinary share and EUR 9.06 per preferred share in 2023, highlighting their commitment to delivering value to their shareholders.

Looking Towards the Future

As an industry leader, Volkswagen is committed to driving innovation and shaping the future of mobility. The company has set ambitious goals for electric vehicle production, aiming to become a leader in the electric car market. By investing EUR 170 billion in the 2025-2029 plan, Volkswagen aims to allocate 11% of their sales revenue to investments by 2027.

To further enhance their financial performance, Volkswagen is actively pursuing differentiation strategies and defining unique value propositions for their mainstream brands. This approach allows them to improve customer appeal and achieve higher profitability.

Furthermore, Volkswagen recognizes the need to streamline processes and eliminate redundancy to enhance productivity within its core brand. In line with this, the company is implementing a comprehensive savings program amounting to €10 billion ($10.9 billion), which includes cost-saving measures and staff reductions. By leveraging the “demographic curve” and exploring agreements on partial or early retirement, Volkswagen aims to achieve significant cost reduction while ensuring the long-term sustainability of their operations.

With its performance program and cost optimization measures, Volkswagen continues to strengthen its position as a leading automotive brand and drive sustainable growth in the highly competitive market. Through a balanced focus on efficiency, profitability, and innovation, Volkswagen remains committed to delivering high-quality vehicles that captivate customers and shape the future of mobility.

Volkswagen’s New Brand Platform: Building Brand Love

Volkswagen is stepping up its brand strategy with the introduction of its new brand platform, “YourWagen.” Designed to build brand love and enhance brand positioning, this initiative aims to connect with customers on a deeper emotional level by showcasing their personal relationships with Volkswagen cars.

Launching globally on May 4, 2024, the YourWagen campaign will feature emotional storytelling, captivating photos, and engaging videos that highlight the unique bond between customers and their Volkswagens. This strategy not only focuses on the vehicles themselves but also celebrates the experiences and memories that owners have created with their cars.

An essential aspect of the campaign is the inclusion of individual customer stories. From the adventurous SurfWagen to the family-friendly MumsWagen and the passionate TeamWagen, Volkswagen aims to showcase the diverse range of personal connections people have with their vehicles. By featuring these stories, Volkswagen strengthens its brand identity and positions itself as a brand that understands and values its customers.

This initiative aligns with Volkswagen’s long-standing tradition of making innovative technologies, high quality, and appealing designs accessible to a broad audience. It highlights the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction and emphasizes the importance of building strong emotional connections with its global customer base of over 100 million individuals.

To further amplify the reach and impact of the YourWagen campaign, Volkswagen has secured a 60-second advertisement slot during the highly popular ITV show, “Britain’s Got Talent.” This strategic placement will allow Volkswagen to engage with a vast audience and solidify its brand presence in the UK market.

As part of its transition to becoming a design-driven company, Volkswagen recognizes the vital role that design plays in shaping brand identity, consistency, and innovation. The YourWagen campaign showcases the brand’s commitment to design excellence, further positioning Volkswagen as a leader in the automotive industry.

Statistic Value
Volkswagen Group’s PowerCo gigafactory expansion to Canada Strategic initiative under Oliver Blume’s leadership
Customers served by Volkswagen Group worldwide Over 100 million
Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept presentation By Andreas Mindt, Chief Designer at Volkswagen Passenger Cars
CUPRA DarkRebel showcar introduction Showcasing unique design approach
Transitioning to become a design-driven company Emphasizing the importance of design in shaping brand identity and innovation
VW’s YourWagen global campaign launch May 4, 2024
Features of the YourWagen initiative Emotional storytelling and customer stories
Volkswagen’s tradition Over 70 years of making innovative technologies, high quality, and appealing designs accessible
Volkswagen’s marketing campaign focus Collaborative storytelling and engaging customers and fans
Advertising during ITV’s “Britain’s Got Talent” 60-second advert slot
Volkswagen Group’s commitment Consumer perspectives on transparency, ethical practices, and sustainability
Volkswagen Group’s sustainability coordination Group-wide approach to address environmental and social responsibilities
Volkswagen Group’s revenue comparison Against competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz

Using Big Data to Improve Volkswagen’s Brand Positioning

In an ever-evolving digital landscape, Volkswagen understands the importance of utilizing big data to enhance its brand positioning. By leveraging data-driven insights, Volkswagen can gain a deeper understanding of consumer preferences and behaviors, allowing them to tailor their marketing strategies more effectively.

Volkswagen’s partnership with a leading company specializing in big data and artificial intelligence has proven to be a game-changer in their brand development journey. Through the use of advanced AI software, Volkswagen has been able to analyze vast amounts of data to identify key trends, consumer sentiment, and patterns of behavior.

One of the significant outcomes of this data analysis has been the identification of brand characters that align with Volkswagen’s core values. By understanding consumer associations and emotions towards these characters, Volkswagen has been able to develop impactful marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

The Power of Personalization

With the help of big data, Volkswagen has been able to create personalized experiences for their customers. By analyzing customer data and preferences, they can deliver customized recommendations, offers, and advertisements that are tailored to individual needs and interests.

This level of personalization allows Volkswagen to establish a stronger connection with their customers, fostering loyalty and advocacy. Moreover, it enables them to deliver relevant and engaging content that cuts through the noise of traditional advertising, leading to increased brand consideration and social engagement.

Improving Customer Experience

Big data analytics has also played a significant role in enhancing the overall customer experience for Volkswagen. By analyzing customer feedback, interactions, and purchase patterns, the brand can identify pain points and areas for improvement.

Insights derived from big data analysis have helped Volkswagen identify opportunities to streamline processes, optimize service delivery, and develop innovative features for their vehicles. This continuous improvement cycle not only enhances customer satisfaction but also helps Volkswagen stay ahead of the competition.

Achieving Competitive Advantage

By harnessing the power of big data, Volkswagen has gained a competitive advantage in the automotive industry. They can make informed decisions based on real-time market insights, consumer trends, and competitor analysis.

With the ability to analyze global sales data, pricing strategies, and market demand, Volkswagen can adjust their product offerings and pricing to stay competitive. This agility allows them to respond quickly to changing market dynamics, ensuring that they remain a top choice among consumers.

Key Statistics

Statistic Value
New Volkswagen Car Price Range $15,000 to $20,000
Volkswagen Market Share in Domestic Passenger Car Market 1.5%
Total Vehicles Sold by Volkswagen Globally per Day ~34,500

Through the strategic use of big data, Volkswagen has been able to navigate the complex landscape of brand positioning successfully. By harnessing the power of data-driven insights, personalized experiences, and continuous improvement, Volkswagen continues to strengthen its brand presence globally.

Lessons Learned for Improving Brand Positioning

Throughout its history, Volkswagen has strategically positioned its brand to cater to various consumer segments and maintain a strong market presence. By analyzing the case study of Volkswagen’s brand positioning, several valuable lessons emerge that can be applied to enhance brand positioning in any industry.

Understanding Consumer Associations

One of the key lessons from Volkswagen’s brand development is the importance of understanding consumer associations. Volkswagen recognized the significance of aligning its brand with innovation, reliability, and environmental consciousness, which resonated strongly with its target audience. By identifying and leveraging the attributes that consumers value, brands can create a strong brand identity and connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Utilizing Big Data Insights

Thanks to advancements in technology, brands now have access to vast amounts of data that can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior. Volkswagen capitalized on the power of big data by gathering information on customer preferences, market trends, and competitor analysis. By utilizing these insights, brands can tailor their marketing strategies to target specific customer segments, create personalized experiences, and deliver relevant campaigns that drive engagement.

Emphasizing Core Brand Values

Volkswagen’s success in brand positioning can be attributed to its emphasis on core brand values. The company positioned itself as a leader in producing fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles, appealing to customers who prioritize sustainability. By staying true to its brand values, Volkswagen built trust and credibility among consumers, establishing a loyal customer base.

Testing Marketing Executions

Continuously testing marketing executions is critical for optimizing brand positioning. Volkswagen’s “Das Auto” campaign, which aimed to showcase the brand’s innovation, reliability, and environmental consciousness, underwent rigorous testing to ensure its effectiveness. Brands should invest in market research, customer feedback, and A/B testing to refine their marketing campaigns and maximize their impact.

Volkswagen’s brand development journey offers valuable insights for enhancing brand positioning. By understanding consumer associations, leveraging big data insights, emphasizing core brand values, and testing marketing executions, brands can create a compelling brand story and build strong connections with their target audience.


Throughout this case study on Volkswagen’s brand strategy and development, it is evident that the company has made strategic decisions and taken significant steps to position itself as a leading player in the global automotive industry. By leveraging academic research on branding strategies and adopting a multi-branding approach, Volkswagen has successfully catered to diverse market segments. The evolution from Skoda and Audi to the Volkswagen brand in the Indian market in 2007 exemplifies the company’s commitment to strategic branding decisions.

Volkswagen’s emphasis on differentiation, as highlighted by Porter’s views on strategy differentiation, has allowed the brand to stand out in the competitive Indian automotive market. The company’s focus on brand value, brand image, and targeting above-average income customers further solidifies Volkswagen’s position as a premium brand.

While facing challenges in establishing long-term consumer loyalty, Volkswagen has managed to maintain a strong brand awareness and perception. The brand’s association with feelings of security, self-respect, and fun resonates with various consumer emotions, contributing to its status as a Lovemark. However, the emission scandal had a significant negative impact on Volkswagen’s brand, with a decrease in consumer willingness to purchase and a sharp decline in the Brand Index score.

As Volkswagen moves forward, it is crucial for the brand to continue rebuilding its image, improving brand equity, and enhancing its competitive position. By implementing Strategy 2025, which includes changes in work culture, brand image enhancement, quality and productivity enhancements, and the development of joint ventures for battery technology, Volkswagen aims to stay at the forefront of the automotive industry and continue its journey of success.


What is Volkswagen’s branding strategy for 2024?

Volkswagen’s branding strategy for 2024 focuses on digitization, brand equity, and innovation. They aim to maintain a competitive edge in the automotive industry by rebuilding their brand image, expanding internationally, streamlining business operations, and focusing on future technologies.

How did Volkswagen rebuild its brand image after World War II?

After World War II, Volkswagen acknowledged their dark history and took a socially responsible approach to rebuild their brand image. They opened a museum called “The Place of Remembrance” to educate people about their past. Through transparency, accountability, and education, Volkswagen successfully reshaped their brand image and positioned themselves as a brand grounded in moral values.

What is Volkswagen’s strategy for international expansion and acquisitions?

Volkswagen has strategically expanded its presence through acquisitions and international expansion. By acquiring brands like Audi and Škoda, they have not only expanded their portfolio but also strengthened their market position. Operating in 153 countries, Volkswagen has established a strong global presence, allowing them to tap into new markets and diversify their product offerings.

How is Volkswagen streamlining its business operations?

Volkswagen has implemented a performance program called “Accelerate Forward/Road to 6.5” to optimize costs and improve overall performance. They are focused on reducing development times, optimizing procurement services, and enhancing their after-sales business. By balancing cost optimization with responsible workforce management, Volkswagen demonstrates its commitment to financial success and social sustainability.

What is Volkswagen’s focus on future technologies and vehicle architectures?

Volkswagen is committed to leading the automotive industry through its focus on future technologies and innovative vehicle architectures. They have developed the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) platform for electric vehicles and the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) for various vehicle types. Their goal is to launch over 70 electric vehicle models by 2030 while continuing to improve their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

What is Volkswagen’s performance program and cost optimization measures?

Volkswagen’s performance program, “Accelerate Forward/Road to 6.5,” focuses on optimizing costs and improving overall performance. They are streamlining their business operations by reducing development times, optimizing procurement services, and enhancing their after-sales business. By implementing these measures, Volkswagen aims to enhance efficiency, reduce expenses, and drive sustainable growth.

What is Volkswagen’s new brand platform?

Volkswagen’s new brand platform, “YourWagen,” aims to drive brand love and position the company for the future. It was created to improve brand likeability and build on the long history of love that Volkswagen fans have for the brand. This platform showcases the brand’s values and helps establish a positive perception in the minds of consumers.

How did Volkswagen use big data to improve its brand positioning?

Volkswagen partnered with a company to improve their brand positioning using big data and artificial intelligence. By using AI software, they identified brand characters that align with their values and developed marketing campaigns based on consumer associations. This approach resulted in increased brand consideration and social engagement for Volkswagen.

What lessons can be learned for improving brand positioning?

The case study of Volkswagen’s brand positioning provides valuable lessons for improving brand positioning. Understanding consumer associations and using big data insights can help create relevant marketing campaigns. By focusing on core brand values and testing the effectiveness of marketing executions, brands can enhance their brand positioning and engage with their target audience more effectively.

What is the conclusion of Volkswagen’s branding strategy?

Volkswagen’s branding strategy for 2024 focuses on digitization, brand equity, and innovation. By rebuilding their brand image, expanding internationally, streamlining business operations, and focusing on future technologies, Volkswagen aims to maintain its competitive edge in the automotive industry. Through their new brand platform and the use of big data insights, Volkswagen is positioning itself for success in the ever-evolving market.
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