German automotive giant Volkswagen has passed a major production anniversary – its 150 millionth vehicle has left the main plant at Wolfsburg.
Perhaps it’s appropriate that the landmark car was a plug-in hybrid VW Golf GTE – a sign of the future for the company.
Series production of the Volkswagen brand began on December 27, 1945 with the Type 1, or Beetle as it became known. The British Army, which had rescued the Wolfsburg plant at the end of the war, restarted production and placed an order for 20,000 Beetles.
In the post-war era, it was the Beetle that dominated sales. All in all, 21.5 million of this much-loved small car were built before production finally came to an end in Mexico in 2003.
The Volkswagen Golf then topped the Beetle’s record. The 25 millionth Volkswagen Golf left the assembly line in Wolfsburg in 2007, and by 2013 the number had risen to 30 million.
Today, the bestselling Golf is in its seventh generation and 34 million have been manufactured worldwide.
The Volkswagen brand’s product portfolio currently includes more than 60 models worldwide, produced at 50 plants in 14 countries.
Apart from the Beetle and the Golf, more than 20 million Passat, some 19.5 million Jetta and almost 17 million Polo have been produced.
“150 million vehicles – that means we have made the dream of owning a car come true 150 million times for customers all over the world,” said Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand.
“My colleagues on the Board of Management join me in thanking all Volkswagen employees – at all our sites. This anniversary would not have been possible without your commitment.”