When launching a new car, avoid the 5-inch stilettos

Volkswagen rolled out its 2011 Jetta sedan in New York City's famous Times Square yesterday with a miniconcert and a young, hot rock star.

Stefan Jacoby, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America Inc., presented the new Jetta in an outdoor area outfitted with fake grass, real sand and a massive, cloth clamshell stage. VW called the setting its urban oasis.

Jacoby said the unusual unveiling marked a "new beginning" for VW in the United States. VW expects to sell 800,000 cars in the U.S. market by 2018. Jacoby also noted that the first VW in the United States was sold just blocks away 55 years ago.

Singer Katy Perry then strutted out in a skintight minidress and five-inch pink stilettos to sing to the hundreds of New Yorkers crammed into the small area surrounded by massive billboards and New York glitz.

Toward the end of her performance, Perry jumped onto the hood of the nearby Jetta to finish a newly released song. I gasped -- not the result of Perry's performance but because images flashed through my mind of her spikes sinking into the hood. Thankfully, Perry was barefoot.

A VW executive confided later that he had had the same reaction.

"I can't imagine what those things would have done to the hood."