COVID-19

Volkswagen hosting Joe Bonamassa livestream fundraiser benefitting out-of-work musicians

A livestream fundraising concert featuring Joe Bonamassa will be sponsored by Volkswagen and Fender.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

COVID-19 pandemicGuitar legend Joe Bonamassa spends months each year on the road touring but lately he's been at home, not playing gigs. He's not the only one. Musicians across the world are seeing their incomes slashed due to shelter in place and stay at home orders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bonamassa's 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Keeping the Blues Alive has begun an emergency initiative aimed at helping musicians struggling to survive in the difficult economy. The Fueling Musicians Program provides financial assistance for essential living expenses along with pre-paid fuel cards to qualified musicians in need.

Volkswagen Fender Joe Bonamassa livestream fundraiser Bonamassa will bring his signature blues rock style to the livestream.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen and Fender have teamed up to support a livestream fundraising concert by Bonamassa benefiting the program.

"We are so excited to be working with Joe on this meaningful and entertaining live stream," said Saad Chehab, Senior Vice President, Volkswagen Brand Marketing. "When given the chance to support individuals in the music industry during this time, it felt like a true Drive Bigger moment that we wanted to be a part of."

Bonamassa began his career as a child prodigy, opening for B.B. King at the age of 12 playing a 1972 Fender Stratocaster he called "Rosie". That lead to even bigger gigs, playing on The Mickey Mouse Club in 1991, just a few years before Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Timberlake made it to the clubhouse.

Over the next 30 years, his fame continued to grow, playing with Greg Allman, Jethro Tull, Eric Clapton, and Warren Haynes among others. The 43-year old has won a Blues Music Award and been nominated for a Grammy all while showcasing his signature blues rock style.

Volkswagen Fender Joe Bonamassa livestream fundraiser Fender audio systems are available throughout the Volkswagen lineup as premium upgrades.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

In addition to being an artist, Bonamassa is a collector, having amassed 1000 guitars and amplifiers according to a 2019 article on GuitarPlayer.com.

"My sincerest thanks and gratitude to both Volkswagen and Fender Premium Audio for their generous support of our Fueling Musicians Program," said Bonamassa. "Musicians have a tough road ahead and this will help them regroup until they can head out on the road again when everyone gets the green light."

To watch the event, visit the VW Facebook page here on Thursday, May 14 at 8 pm EST.

To donate to the Fueling Musicians Program or to complete an application for assistance, visit www.KTBA.org.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Tanner Foust has worn many hats but one of his best-known roles is as a stunt driver in the Jason Bourne movies.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Tanner Foust is more than just a four-time Rallycross Champion, multi-time X Games gold medalist, World Indoor Speed Record holder, and former host of the American version of "Top Gear". He's also Jason Bourne.

While Bourne is traditionally played by a Hollywood superstar during closeups, it is Tanner Foust in the role of the fictitious secret agent in many of the films driving scenes in two of the movies, "The Bourne Ultimatum" and "The Bourne Legacy".

"Some of the stunt guys can light themselves on fire, have a martial arts battle on top of a building and then jump off it," Foust told Top Gear Philippines in 2012 while he was in Malina filming "The Bourne Legacy". "But it's difficult for stunt guys to really develop an auto racing technique. It's's a specialty and it's expensive when you crash a car so I'm lucky enough to get to crash cars all the time."

Tanner Foust Volkswagen racing Foust's other role is as a Volkswagen ambassador.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Foust's skills have also put him behind the wheel as a stunt driver in "Iron Man 2", "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw", and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" among others. For his efforts, Foust has been thrice nominated for trophies at the Taurus World Stunt Awards.

When he's not on movie sets, the 46-year old Foust spends much of his time behind the wheel of Volkswagens. He is the company's R brand ambassador. As part of that role, he is actively involved in the coordination and approval process for new Volkswagen R vehicles.

"Tanner Foust is a man of many talents. Of course, it's his skills behind the wheel that stand out the most. With his positive mindset and infectious passion for sporty cars, he is also a really likeable guy. Tanner is a great fit for us and represents everything that Volkswagen R stands for around the globe—in a charismatic and authentic manner," says Jost Capito, Managing Director at Volkswagen R. "His expertise is also a genuine advantage for the development and optimization of R models."

His latest test car is the eR1, a model designed for a 100-percet electric racing car based on the body of a Volkswagen Golf. "The future of Volkswagen and motorsport is electric," says Foust.

Recently, Volkswagen Group board member Jurgen Stackmann echoed what Foust said, telling Top Gear that, "The future of R needs to be, and will be, electric." "We're still working," he continued, "on what we started two and half years ago – which was obviously not electric, though exciting – but the work going forward is and will be electrified."

The Group has not made it a secret that their push toward electrification and electric vehicles is a top priority for the company. From Bentley to Audi to Volkswagen, the push is on in earnest whether for electrified or fully electric vehicles.

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The Dodge Challenger is one of the models on the list.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Car dealers rely on the first half of each year to get rid of all the models on their lots from the previous year. By now, there were supposed to be few 2019 model year vehicles available. But, with dealerships basically shut down for most of the last two months, there are large amounts of lingering 2019s.

A new study by iSeeCars found that while the average new model has 10.8 percent of its inventory remaining from 2019, some models have more than six times that on dealer lots. Dealerships with high numbers of leftover models may be willing to offer buyers a steep discount to help make the sale.

iSeeCars analyzed its national inventory of over 1 million new cars for sale to determine which models have the most inventory from the 2019 model year available (and it's not good news for FCA).

No. 20 - Nissan Maxima (20.5%)

2019 Nissan Maxima

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 19 - Honda Passport (​21.2%)

2019 Honda Passport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

No. 18 - Dodge Charger (​21.6%)

2019 Dodge Charger

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 17 - Nissan Kicks (​22.5%)

2019 Nissan Kicks

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 16 - Honda Civic Coupe (​22.7%)

2019 Honda Civic Coupe

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Mfg. Inc.

No. 15 - Mitsubishi Outlander (​22.7%)

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

No. 14 - Ford Mustang (​23.1%)

2019 Ford Mustang Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

No. 13 (tie) - Volkswagen Golf GTI (27.1%​)

2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

No. 13 (tie) - Nissan Sentra (​27.1%)

2019 Nissan Sentra

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 11 - Dodge Challenger (30.2%​)

2019 Dodge Challenger

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 10 - Chevrolet Impala (​31.8%)

2019 Chevrolet Impala

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet


No. 9 - Alfa Romeo Giulia (​32.8%)

2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 8 - Volkswagen Atlas (​37.1%)

2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

No.7 - Ram 1500 Classic (​39.4%)

2019 Ram 1500 Classic

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 6 - Audi Q7 (​40.6%)

2019 Audi Q7

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

No. 5 - Ford Ranger (​41.9%)

2019 Ford Ranger Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

No. 4 - Nissan Titan (43.7%​)

2019 Nissan Titan

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

No. 3 - Dodge Journey (​45.8%)

2019 Dodge Journey

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 2 - Chrysler 300 (​50.9%)

2019 Chrysler 300

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

No. 1 - Dodge Grand Caravan (​66.3%)

2019 Dodge Grand Caravan

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

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