Étienne Schneider, the deputy prime minister and economy minister, has given Luxembourg’s nation branding campaign a colossal boost with the promise to send one of his priceless cars into space.
The aim of the publicity stunt is to raise awareness for Luxembourg’s asteroid mining scheme.
The government started its Spaceresources.lu campaign in 2016 and is currently searching for investors looking to pour cash into Luxembourg-based projects. Thus the heightened need for international visibility, Schneider told the press on 1 April.
Compared to larger countries, Luxembourg has a limited marketing budget and less name recognition, according to experts. Schneider has previously said that he is often asked “what the fuck is Luxembourg?” by those whom he is trying to lobby abroad.
Schneider said he was taking a page from Elon Musk, who sent his personal Tesla Roadster to orbit Mars aboard a SpaceX rocket in February 2018.
Schneider has a well-known passion for cars, with a soft spot for British brands. Among his collection are a Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible, a 1974 MGB GT V8 and a Jaguar MK2, although he also has a 1968 Porsche 911.
The deputy PM has selected a beige Bentley Continental GT for the space ride. “I needed to get rid of it anyway,” Schneider stated.