Volkswagen hopes a little divine help will give it a boost in the US where its sales and profits are plummeting.
Volkswagen of America launched an ad campaign emphasizing the competitive pricing of its Golf hatchback. The "non-papal" version, that is.
The "papal" version - a 1999 metallic grey Golf once owned by Pope Benedict XVI - was sold through online auction specialist eBay for $244,800 (about E189,000) in April.
Last month VW ran a full-page ad for the Golf in the USA Today newspaper. The ad tells consumers they can "save $228,970 on the non-papal edition."
VW also is running related banner ads on the Web sites theonion.com and thesmokinggun.com. It is sending posters of the newspaper ad to its US dealerships.
Golden Palace casino, an online gambling site in Austin, Texas, bought the $244,800 Golf from 21-year-old Benjamin Halbe, from the western German town of Olpe. Halbe bought the car for E10,000 euros in January, when the new Pope was still a cardinal. The Casino plans to take the Golf on a tour to provide the "experience of sitting in the divine car."