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Germany

VW Won't Build "Popemobile"

Volkswagen, Europe's leading carmaker, said Tuesday it has decided not to build a new "Popemobile," a car specially designed and built for the pope. The project was "no longer on agenda," a VW spokesman said, explaining that the decision was made in compliance with the pope's own wishes. VW had said in April that it would be interested in building a car for Pope Benedict XVI when he attends the World Youth Day celebrations in August in Cologne. VW would be one of the sponsors for the event, making available at least 100 vehicles. But the pope had indicated he would use the existing vehicles made for his predecessor, the late John Paul II, and asked VW to make more cars available for charitable purposes, the spokesman said. Mercedes-Benz, part of rival carmaker DaimlerChrysler, built the bullet-proof "Popemobile" for Pope John Paul II.

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