August 22, 2005

VW Chairman gives Pope two ambulances

Cologne, Germany – Two specially equipped ambulances were presented to Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne on Friday by the Chairman of the VW brand Board of Management, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard. The special vehicles were handed over at the Archbishop’s Residence in Cologne during the World Youth Day. The first vehicle is to be deployed in Rome as the Vatican’s official ambulance, while the second is to be used at a Catholic mission in Africa.

Wolfgang Bernhard and Pope Benedict XVI
Chairman of the VW brand Board of Management, Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard presents two specially equipped ambulances to Pope Benedict XVI. Click image to enlarge

Volkswagen is supporting the XX World Youth Day with 100 Group vehicles
to transport guests and organizers. In total, some one million visitors are expected in Cologne.

“We are delighted to be supporting an important event such as the World
Youth Day,” said Bernhard. “The young people coming together in Cologne are our future. The message of tolerance, optimism and understanding among nations they are sending all over the world comes from Germany this year, in many ways a valuable sign in itself.”

Given the existing extensive fleet, Pope Benedict XVI abstained from
commissioning further “Papamobil” vehicles. Volkswagen was, however, pleased to act on a request from the Vatican to build two ambulances instead. “It is meaningful to offer assistance where it is needed,” said Bernhard.

The ambulances are LT 35 high roof panel vans manufactured by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and powered by 158 hp, 2.8 litre diesel engines. The vehicles have been equipped to the Vatican’s own specification and include extensive medical apparatus.

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