1992 to 2015 – Globalisation of the Mobility Group

Chronicle 2008: March 4

The Volkswagen Group initiated a strategic change of direction during the severe global recession of 1992/93. While the 1980s was a time of internationalisation and volume policy, Volkswagen now concentrated more on product diversity as well as on improving productivity and earning power. The Group’s modernisation was linked to a globalisation process aimed at establishing highly efficient production facilities and effectively reshaping the functional division of labour within the global production alliance. The Wolfsburg-based car-maker was responding to structural problems specific to the industry and the company itself which became more pronounced during the recession as sales plummeted. Price competition, particularly from Japan and the emerging Korean automotive industry, increased the pressure on the global player to streamline and cut costs, while market saturation in Western Europe dampened growth expectations as the economic upturn triggered by German reunification petered out.

To manage the crisis, the Volkswagen Group began to reorganise its production system along the lines of lean production characterised by flat hierarchies, team working, less manufacturing depth and logistical networking with suppliers. Proactive support from the Works Councils was vital to the success of this medium-term project. The same was true with regard to the transition to a socially sustainable, market-oriented employment policy, based on rapid adaptation to customers’ wishes and fluctuations in demand rather than merely on steady utilisation of capacity. This difficult synthesis was achieved for a time by the four-day week introduced with effect from January 1, 1994. The flexible model based on cutting weekly working time at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft from 36 to 28.8 hours a week was an innovative instrument aimed at reducing the excess manpower resources estimated as 30,000 posts. At the same time, Volkswagen moved ahead with the introduction of lean production and globalisation in order to bring about a sustained improvement in cost structures.

The factories built in the early 1990s were models of lean production. The Mosel plant in eastern Germany and the Seat plant at Martorell were organised along the lines of Japanese transplants. Production processes at the existing plants were systematically improved, mainly as new models were launched. The platform strategy made a substantial contribution to establishing efficient plant structures. By interlinking the Group’s 16 platforms, and gradually reducing their number, Volkswagen cut back development and manufacturing depth while simultaneously raising product quality and offering customers a more differentiated product range. The platform strategy went hand in hand with a new procurement policy named Global Sourcing. The object of procuring from all over the world was to establish long-term networking between development, production and logistics operations on the one hand and low-cost, high-performing system suppliers on the other for the “just in time” supply of complex components and modules. The Volkswagen Argentina plant opened in 1995, for example, operates on the modular assembly principle, whereby suppliers autonomously install their pre-assembled components on-site. In the 1990s, Volkswagen resorted more extensively to external suppliers for production in Germany too, putting pressure on the Group’s in-house suppliers to cut costs and establish systems expertise.

The introduction of decentralised production management anchored the principle of lean production in work organisation. Volkswagen began pushing ahead with the introduction of team working accompanied by flatter hierarchies in 1992. In 1993, the elimination of entire management levels shifted decision-making competencies to the operating units, so promoting independent responsibility and enhancing employee motivation. In parallel, Volkswagen implemented the continuous improvement process perfected by the Japanese. Employees were encouraged to participate in optimising their own workplace to raise the quality and productivity of all production processes. The transition in 1993 from sequential vehicle development to Simultaneous Engineering, which shortened project lead times and facilitated a faster, more customer-oriented response to market changes, pursued the same goal.

The restructured production system began to achieve measurable success after a few years. Between 1994 and 1996, productivity in the Volkswagen Group rose by almost 30 percent, while production costs fell as a result of shorter production times. By 1997, the core production time for the Polo had gone down from 24 hours to 15, and for the Passat from 31 to 22. The advantages of lean production became clear to all in the fourth generation of the Golf, which went into production at four plants in 1997. It impressed with high quality standards and environmentally friendly technology. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft systematically enhanced its in-production and product-integrated environmental protection over the following years based on the advancement of direct fuel injection and light-weight construction techniques and the creation of a product life-cycle management system.

Growth driven by new products, increasing both sales and earnings, lent impetus to the expansion of the multi-brand strategy. In 1998, Volkswagen brought the legendary Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti brands into the Group with a view to expanding the product offering in the luxury segment. The Volkswagen brand added its own luxury saloon, the Phaeton, to that segment offering in late 2001, and successfully moved into two new market segments the following year with the launch of the Touareg luxury SUV and the Touran compact MPV. At the organisational level, restructuring of the business lines was flanked by ongoing efforts to cut costs by increasing flexibility and standardising the complex production structure of the Volkswagen Group.

Ferdinand Piëch, appointed Chairman of the Board of Management in 1993, strengthened the international competitiveness of the Volkswagen Group by setting up a flexible global production network. Under his leadership, globalisation of the Group progressed further. Various models destined for the world market were produced exclusively at international sites: the New Beetle and the Jetta in Mexico, the Touareg in Slovakia, the Sharan in Portugal, the Caddy in Poland and the Fox in Brazil. Piëch’s successor Bernd Pischetsrieder continued to develop Volkswagen as a powerful multi-brand group from 2002 onwards. The priority task was to cut costs along the value chain, and a performance enhancement programme was therefore launched in 2004. The 2004 and 2006 collective agreements between the unions and management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft marked further steps towards improving earning power.

In 2007, new Chairman of the Board of Management Martin Winterkorn formulated an unambiguous growth strategy, with the aim of making the Volkswagen Group the biggest-selling and most sustainable car-maker and turning Volkswagen into the world’s most innovative volume brand by 2018. In order to achieve those ambitious goals, the multi-brand Group intends to win new customers with intelligent product innovations and harness the expansion potential offered by emerging markets. By building production plants in Russia and India, the Volkswagen Group has established a very promising competitive position to exploit the enormous growth potential of those emerging automotive markets. In the People’s Republic of China, Volkswagen faces the challenge of maintaining the leading market position it has enjoyed almost uninterruptedly since 1985 in the face of competition from US and Japanese car-makers, who significantly expanded their manufacturing capacity once China joined the World Trade Organization in 2004. Despite intensified competition, China has become by far the largest single market for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand. By 2012, Group sales had soared to 2.815 million vehicles.

With its record sales and earnings achieved once again in 2012, the Volkswagen Group is well placed to combine volume growth with a rise in productivity. To make sure the company continues on the right track, Volkswagen is intent on optimising workflows and process organisation. Furthermore, the growing number of cross-brand vehicle modules will help to cut development and production costs and accelerate product innovations. The increased complexity demands new solutions for long-term management of processes. The Volkswagen Group is also fulfilling its responsibility to humanity and the environment in pursuit of its goal of being recognised as the world’s most sustainable car-maker. The need to generate profits while consistently innovating and acting in keeping with corporate social responsibility underscores the challenge which the robust, multi-brand Group is mastering. 


January 19

Chronicle 1992: January 19
The new Vento four-door notchback saloon is presented to German and international media at an event in Wiesbaden lasting until January 31st. Taking its name from the Italian for wind, the successor to the Jetta is hailed as a “tourer par excellence”, offering spacious comfort allied to functionality. The 676 litre capacity boot is generous for touring needs, and can even be enlarged to 1,053 litres by folding down the rear seat bench. Featuring four petrol engines with power outputs between 55 kW/75 hp and 128 kW/174 hp and two diesel engines developing 47 kW/74 hp and 55 kW/75 hp respectively, the Vento is faster than a gust of wind yet as gentle and economical as a breeze. The Vento’s VR6 engine achieves a top speed of 225 km/h, while the turbo-diesel consumes just 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres at a steady 90 km/h. The Vento is built in Mexico and South Africa, and prices start from DM 25,960.

Volkswagen in China

Chronicle 1992: Volkswagen in China
The 100,000th Volkswagen Santana leaves the assembly line at the Anting plant of Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co. Ltd. (SVW), the largest German-Chinese joint venture. Trial assembly commenced in 1982 and the joint venture was set up in 1985; now, ten years later, the production anniversary underscores the position of SVW as a leading car maker on the Chinese market.

Volkswagen in Japan

Chronicle 1992: Volkswagen in Japan
As the Japanese market opens and plans to expand export volumes progress, the sales strategy of Volkswagen AG targets higher unit sales. Volkswagen Audi Nippon K.K. handles Volkswagen imports alongside the Japanese company Yanase on a temporary basis until it officially assumes responsibility as the national importer on January 1, 1993. The Volkswagen and Audi dealer network comprises 70 outlets at this stage. A little later, the sales company purchases the majority stake in the former Renault importer “JAX Co. Ltd.” to strengthen the dealer network in the Tokyo region.

Chemnitz engine plant under construction

Chronicle 1992: Chemnitz engine plant under construction
The stone-laying ceremony for a new engine plant in Chemnitz marks the expansion of Volkswagen’s commitment in Saxony. The 30,000 square meter plant belonging to Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH now manufactures crankcases, cylinder heads, camshafts, crankshafts and connecting rods.

Polo “Genesis”

Chronicle 1992: Polo “Genesis”
Volkswagen lands a European PR coup by sponsoring the Genesis tour. This spectacular partnership reaches more than 1.5 million people at 27 concerts given by the British pop trio in eleven countries. Coinciding with the tour, Volkswagen launches the “Genesis” limited edition special model in the Polo Coupé and Golf Cabriolet ranges featuring plenty of additional equipment and an integrated sound package. Volkswagen successfully continues this innovative marketing strategy over the coming years with music legends Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and Bon Jovi.


Chronicle 1992: FAW-Volkswagen
FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Company Ltd. In Changchun, China, has made good progress since it was founded the previous year. Until its completion in 1994 the production plant assembles CKD Jetta and Audi 100 models. The CKD kits are supplied from Germany and Volkswagen of South Africa. Together with Shanghai-Volkswagen, the second pillar in China, Volkswagen AG is very well positioned on this important future market in the Asia-Pacific region.

August 13

Chronicle 1992: August 13
Volkswagen runs an advertising campaign promoting the safety benefits of its airbag system. The driver and front passenger airbags available for the Golf, Vento and Passat help save lives. The passive safety system also includes in-door side impact bars, reinforced door sills and cross-members. Volkswagen is democratising automotive technology: “We believe safety should no longer be the privilege of the luxury class; airbags are for everyone.”

Volkswagen Motorsport

Chronicle 1992: Volkswagen Motorsport
Once again, Volkswagen celebrates impressive victories in this year’s German Formula 3 championship. The Golf engine modified to deliver 126 kW is yet again the most successful engine. Volkswagen importers are also increasingly using motorsport as an effective marketing instrument: importers in Portugal, the UK and Switzerland organize their own national competitions based on the Polo Cup which was launched in Germany in 1988, and attract considerable public attention.

7 million Transporters

Chronicle 1992: 7 million Transporters
The 7 millionth Transporter, a fourth-generation Multivan, leaves the assembly line at the Hanover plant on October 30.

November 23

Chronicle 1992: November 23
Short-time working at the Emden and Kassel plants combined with a negotiated redundancy scheme mark the end of a flourishing decade for the automotive industry and a period of expansion for the Volkswagen Group. The sudden end of the boom caused by German reunification and stagnation in the international automobile industry characterise the crisis that began during the second half of the year and which, in 1993, leads to the worst global recession since the end of World War II. The Volkswagen Group suffers severe losses on domestic and Western European volume markets. Average workforce numbers drop by 7.4 percent.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1992: Golf ad
“Tradition verpflichtet.” (“Bound by tradition.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Vento ad

Chronicle 1992: Vento ad
“Im Vento VR 6. Die neue Fahrkultur von Volkswagen.” (“Vento VR 6. Volkswagen's new culture of driving.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1992: Statistics of the Year


January 1

Chronicle 1993: January 1
Ferdinand Piëch becomes Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

February 5

Chronicle 1993: February 5
Through its subsidiary Volkswagen Group Holdings UK Ltd., Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft takes over British importer V.A.G (United Kingdom) Ltd. from London-based Lonrho Plc. Backdated to January 1, 1993, the acquisition marks the full implementation of the sales strategy to take management control of the wholesaling of group products on all key European markets. On November 3, 1995 the company is renamed Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Ltd. and – like its counterpart Groupe Volkswagen France S. A. – is assigned responsibility for selling all the Group’s brands.

May 19

Chronicle 1993: May 19
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and state-owned Polish corporation FSR Polmo establish the joint venture Volkswagen Poznań Sp.z.o.o., in which Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft initially holds a 25.4 percent share. After the initial set-up phase, the facility assembles 20 Transporters a day starting in early 1994. The Volkswagen Group exploits the transformation of the former state-controlled economy to open up Eastern European markets and establish a lost-cost production base for light commercial vehicles. On January 10,1996, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft increases its holding in the company to 59.2 percent. The Polish facility becomes the second centre of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles operations in Europe.

July 19

The Volkswagen Group establishes Volkswagen Asia-Pacific Ltd., based in Hong Kong, to consolidate the management of its holding and of ongoing projects in the region. The venture is operated under the auspices of the Group Management Board’s Asia-Pacific function, established on January 13, 1993 with responsibility for the concept design, development and production of Group vehicles in Asia and sales on Asia-Pacific markets. The Volkswagen Group’s strategic focus on China, Japan and Singapore aims to cut costs based on more flexible production in the region, as well as to open up emerging Asian markets such as Thailand, South Korea and India, where the Group has to date enjoyed little market share. Following the model of the Japanese vendors who dominate Asian markets, a regional supply and service network is to be established in order to minimise import restrictions, such as foreign exchange problems, in the Asia-Pacific region and to produce for regional markets as well as for export within the Volkswagen Group.

Reorganization of the North America Region

Chronicle 1993: Reorganization of the North America Region
Comprehensive redevelopment and reorganization reduce the effects of downward trends on the North American market. As a result of the worldwide recession, increased competition on the American and Mexican market as well as a costly sales organization, losses reached a critical level after sales in the United States dropped to a historical low the year before. In accordance with the principle “quality before volume”, Volkswagen AG turns the Puebla plant into an efficient factory with lean production and a high local content. This enables Volkswagen to provide the North American market with enough high quality vehicles and to increase deliveries to the South American export market. Along with cost reductions to tighten the dealership network, service and customer care is intensified and regional marketing is strengthened. By consolidating Volkswagen of America and Volkswagen Canada, which legally remain independent companies, the North American sales system can be made to run more efficiently and economically in 1994. Helped by an improving economy in the United States, the measures taken to put the company back on its feet start to bear fruit. In 1995 Volkswagen of America’s sales rise about 20 percent to 139,000 vehicles, and in the following year the economic indicators and the sales figures in Canada and Mexico are also on the rise.

“Fusca” in Brazil

Chronicle 1993: “Fusca” in Brazil
On August 23, seven years after the last Brazilian Beetle left the assembly line, Volkswagen begins producing the legendary “Fusca” again in São Bernardo. This model, tailored to the needs of the Brazilian market, is built by Autolatina, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, with one hundred units leaving the line each day. Volkswagen exclusively produced the Beetle at its Mexican plant in Puebla from 1986 to 1993.


Chronicle 1993: Caravelle
Volkswagen claims a double victory in a survey by the “auto, motor und sport” trade journal. The Golf wins in the “lower mid-class” category and the Caravelle is the victor in the new “van” category. Readers vote the Golf as a trendsetter, with a classless image and harmonious design. What they like most about the Caravelle is its space for passengers and luggage, its comfort and its high passive safety.

September 24

Chronicle 1993: September 24
There is a new addition to the Golf family. The launch of the new Cabriolet based on the third-generation Golf updates Volkswagen’s convertible model range. The “Dream in Golf” is built by Karmann in Osnabrück. It meets all the latest crash test requirements and, thanks to its tried and proven roll bar, also passes the roll-over test to US standards. Like the hatchback, standard equipment includes a comprehensive safety system made up of driver and front passenger airbags, ABS, safety belts with shoulder height adjustments, in-door side impact bars and effective crumple zones. The engine range for the Golf Cabriolet comprises a 1.8 litre unit developing 55 kW/75 hp or 66 kW/90 hp as well as a 2 litre unit developing 85 kW/115 hp. Prices start from DM 37,490.

September 24

Chronicle 1993: September 24
For the first time, the Golf comes with a “happy end”. The Golf Variant, meeting the growing demand for compact estates, is 32 centimetres longer than the hatchback at 4.34 metres in total, and has a 466 litre luggage capacity. With its rear seats folded forward, it provides a 164 cm long, largely flat load space, increasing capacity to 1,425 litres. Prices start from DM 24,960. The engine range starts with the entry-level 44 kW/60 hp petrol engine, as for the Golf hatchback, and also includes a 2 litre 85 kW/115 hp unit. From the beginning of 1994, the two 1.9 litre naturally aspirated diesel engines are joined by a TDI developing 66 kW/90 hp. The Golf Variant fitted with the top-of-the-range engine reaches a speed of 195 km/h. The TDI’s top speed is 176 km/h, yet it achieves average fuel economy of just 5.3 litres per 100 km.

October 29

Chronicle 1993: October 29
The new Passat saloon and the Passat Variant are launched. As roomy, reliable, powerful and economical as ever, the updated model has a new face and a dynamic appeal. The comprehensive package of safety features offered as standard includes driver and front passenger airbags, ABS, front seat belt tensioners, sturdy A- and B-pillars, as well as stiffeners in the doors, meaning the Passat even conforms to subsequent US safety standards. The Passat’s range of equipment variants and engines extending up to the 2.8 litre 128 kW/174 hp VR6, along with the four-wheel drive syncro option, means the car can be tailored to all its customers’ needs – whether for added comfort or more sporty driving enjoyment. The new Passat is initially built at the Emden plant, and subsequently also in Bratislava. It is a class leader in environmental terms too: all its plastic parts are recyclable for example. Prices for the saloon start at DM 32,730, and for the Variant at DM 33,830.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1993: Golf ad
“Wie Sie Ihr Geld jetzt ganz klassisch anlegen können.” (“Here's a classic way to invest your money.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Golf ad

Chronicle 1993: Golf ad
“Der Golf VR 6 und seine schärfste Konkurrenz.” (“The Golf VR 6 and its fiercest competitor.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1993: Statistics of the Year


January 1

Chronicle 1994: January 1
The introduction of the four-day week for Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft employees subject to the collective pay agreement marks a new approach by the Board of Management, the Works Council and the IG Metall metalworkers’ union in securing jobs and safeguarding the future of the company’s production centres. To reduce the surplus manpower estimated at 30,000 posts, the working week at plants in Germany is reduced from 36 to 28.8 hours, implementing full flexibility combined with pay cuts. By 1999, the enhanced flexible working time concept has been implemented for almost all Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft employees.

March 2

Chronicle 1994: March 2
Volkswagen Finanz GmbH is transformed into a stock corporation, marking a step towards the internationalisation of financing operations. Volkswagen Financial Services AG is created as an independent company integrating most of the Volkswagen Group’s European financial services subsidiaries and unifying their product portfolios. The new company has access to international money markets, enabling it to tap the most favourable sources of finance worldwide. Net assets at the year-end total DM 21.4 billion. A workforce of 1,435 in Germany and 801 abroad generates a net profit for the year of DM 187 million.

March 15

Chronicle 1994: March 15
Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH puts its new press plant into service at the Mosel plant, which has also been involved in production of the Golf after the completion of its body shop in July 1992. Upgraded to lean production, the factory has capacity to output 250,000 vehicles a year. In 1994, it produces a total of 90,100 Golfs, of which 1,469 are the Golf Ecomatic model variant, built exclusively in Mosel. The factory is supplied by the engine plant in Chemnitz, which from 1994 onwards also supplies engines to the Wolfsburg and Brussels plants. Cylinder heads for Mosel production come from Eisenach. Some 3,200 people are employed at the Mosel, Chemnitz and Eisenach plants in 1994.

Group platform

Chronicle 1994: Group platform
Production start-up of the Audi A4 marks the beginning of the Group B platform for mid-size vehicles. The Volkswagen Group can improve the efficiency of its product and factory structures as well as expanding type diversity by networking platforms. As a result, various models such as the Golf, the Audi A3, the New Beetle, the Škoda Octavia and the Audi TT are built on a common platform.

April 26

Chronicle 1994: April 26
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft takes over Fábricia Navarra de Automóviles, S.A., which builds the Polo in Pamplona. In December 1994 the company is renamed Volkswagen Navarra, S.A., and in the course of the year produces just under 146,000 vehicles.

July 4

Chronicle 1994: July 4
The world’s largest parts centre goes into operation at the Kassel plant, stocking parts for the Volkswagen Group’s international production network.

Environmental protection at Volkswagen

Chronicle 1994: Environmental protection at Volkswagen
The Volkswagen Group signs the Charter of the International Chamber of Commerce, underscoring its commitment to cooperate closely on finding solutions for regional and global environmental problems. In order to reduce emissions and environmental pollution, Volkswagen orients its activities to the goal it has set itself for making products, production and transport systems as environmentally compatible as possible.

August 22

Chronicle 1994: August 22
The third-generation Polo, now offered for the first time in a four-door version, is presented to the media in Paris. The new Polo, 50 mm shorter than its predecessor, offers astonishing interior space and functionality for a hatchback. With a wealth of attractive features including a comfortable, fully lined interior, offering generous amounts of space, a 245 litre boot capacity, superb handling and assured road-holding, as well as a comprehensive package of safety features including airbags, ABS, an electronic brake servo unit, mechanical/pyrotechnic seat belt tensioners and a torsionally rigid body, the Polo has become a highly functional five-seater, taking many of its cues from the Golf. The Polo is initially offered with a range of three petrol engines (33 kW/45 hp, 40 kW/55 hp and 55 kW/75 hp) and one diesel (47 kW/64 hp). The five-speed manual gearbox delivers excellent performance, and in conjunction with the 1.6 litre engine takes the car to a top speed of 172 km/h. The diesel unit consumes just 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres at a steady 90 km/h. The Polo is built at Pamplona in Spain and at Wolfsburg. Targeted at European markets, it is launched on October 7, 1994. Prices start at DM 18,295. On July 18, 1997, the Polo Variant is presented to the media in Bonn.

Volkswagen Bratislava

Chronicle 1994: Volkswagen Bratislava
Having acquired all the shares in Volkswagen Bratislava, spol.s.r.o. at the end of 1994, the company is now a wholly-owned Volkswagen subsidiary. The production program at the Slovakian site is expanded to include not only the Passat, but also various Golf models for the first time. In addition, the plant produces over 47,000 gearbox parts.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1994: Golf ad
“Golf Pink Floyd.” Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Golf ad

Chronicle 1994: Golf ad
“Unseren neuen Motor gibt’s in drei Verpackungen.” (“Our new engine comes in three different packages.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1994: Statistics of the Year


March 9

Chronicle 1995: March 9
The new Volkswagen MPV, the Sharan, celebrates its world premiere in Geneva. Positioned between the Passat Variant and the Caravelle, the Sharan offers lots of space for up to seven people. With its one-box design and smooth bodyline, the Sharan achieves an exemplary drag coefficient of 0.33. Safety features include side stiffeners, seat belt tensioners, twin airbags and a torsionally rigid body. Alongside those high-grade attributes, the Sharan’s top-of-the-range engine, the 128 kW/174 hp VR6, powers it to a top speed of 200 km/h. The 66 kW/90 hp diesel engine consumes just 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres at a steady 90 km/h. Produced as part of a joint venture with Ford at a specially built factory in Palmela, Portugal, the comfortable MPV comes at a price starting from DM 41,950. It is launched onto the market on September 8,1995.

Formation of Volkswagen Coaching

Chronicle 1995: Formation of Volkswagen Coaching
Volkswagen AG combines its many-faceted educational activities in the personnel and management training fields with the formation of “Volkswagen Coaching Gesellschaft mbH”, which is to provide made-to-measure training and qualification programs for the workforce. Aside from educational and management training programs, new tasks include individual coaching, international personnel research and company consultations as well as accompanying and developing job market projects.

July 4

Chronicle 1995: July 4
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft establishes a dedicated “Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles” brand to co-ordinate all its existing commercial vehicle operations. With effect from January 1, 2000, the new brand also takes industrial control of the commercial vehicles division of Volkswagen do Brasil.

September 14

Chronicle 1995: September 14
The second generation of the versatile Caddy small van, built at Martorell in Spain, is premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Available in station wagon and box van versions from mid-December, the Caddy offers room for five people or a 2.1 square metre load space with a 2.9 cubic metre volumetric capacity. The asymmetric split rear door aids loading. With its 550 kg payload capacity, the Caddy is primarily intended as a short-range load carrier for small and medium-sized businesses. It is also marketed as a universally usable leisure vehicle. The necessary power is provided by two petrol engines developing 44 kW/60 hp and 55 kW/75 hp, and two 47 kW/64 hp diesel engines. The entry-level price for the Caddy box van is DM 20,695.

Santana 2000

Chronicle 1995: Santana 2000
Volkswagens have now been leaving the assembly line at Shanghai Automotive Company Ltd. for ten years. The company marks this anniversary with the completion of Car Plant II as the new paintshop goes into operation. By 1997, Shanghai Automotive Company has expanded the annual capacity of its plants to 300,000 vehicles.

October 7

Chronicle 1995: October 7
The launch of the L 80 7.5 tonne truck extends the top end of Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles range in Germany to start with. Originally developed for the South American market, where it has previously sold more than 100,000 units, the truck offers freight carriers a commercially attractive combination of tried and proven design and innovation. The L 80, built at Ipiranga in Brazil, comes in a choice of two wheelbases. Powerful and extremely robust, the 7.5 tonner features a 103 kW 4.3 litre four-cylinder diesel engine which already conforms to the Euro 2 emissions standard. Sales of the truck on European markets are well below expectations however.

November 16

Chronicle 1995: November 16
The General Works Council and the corporate management sign an in-company agreement on environmental protection. It lays down rules for the economical and careful use of raw materials and energy, and for the responsible treatment of waste, emissions, waste water and hazardous materials. The principle underlying the agreement is: avoid rather than reduce; reduce rather than recycle; recycle rather than dump. Research and development activities, which have been carried out in accordance with those environmental principles since the early 1980s, will focus even more closely on the environmental sustainability of vehicles and manufacturing processes. The main areas of concern include optimising petrol and diesel engines, electronic monitoring and control systems, improved aerodynamics, light-weight construction, recyclability and the use of ecologically sustainable materials and components such as CFC-free air-conditioning systems and low-solvent paints. The presentation of Volkswagen’s first Environmental Report on December 20, 1995 highlights the company’s many accomplishments, but also sets out the challenges confronting a modern-day environmental management system. It provides a new channel for the company to intensify its dialogue with environmental bodies and with customers, as well as demonstrating Volkswagen’s role as an innovator in CSR-related communications.

November 17

Chronicle 1995: November 17
Volkswagen Argentina S.A. opens a new car plant with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles in Pacheco near Buenos Aires. The plant, producing the successful Golf model and from 1996 the Polo too, operates according to the module system: Suppliers assemble components such as instrument panels, doors and fuel tanks on-site and then install them in the vehicles under their own responsibility.

Volkswagen do Brasil in São Paulo

Chronicle 1995: Volkswagen do Brasil in São Paulo
The eleven millionth Volkswagen built by Volkswagen do Brasil – a 1.6-liter Gol CLi – leaves the assembly line in São Paulo on November 13. Since 1992, the Volkswagen Group has grown deliveries to customers in the largest country in South America by over 60 percent to 467,700 vehicles, giving the company pole position on the Brazilian passenger car market with a share of 34 percent.

Sharan ad

Chronicle 1995: Sharan ad
„Der neue Sharan. Das Kinderzimmer von Volkswagen.“ (“The new Sharan. The child's room from Volkswagen.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Polo ad

Chronicle 1995: Polo ad
“Der Polo Harlekin. Sie haben es nicht anders gewollt.” (“The Polo Harlekin. Just the way you wanted it.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1995: Statistics of the Year


Volkswagen in Asia-Pacific

Chronicle 1996: Volkswagen in Asia-Pacific
Volkswagen again enjoys high growth rates in the important growth region of Asia-Pacific. China, where the Santana, Jetta and Audi 100 rank among the highest-selling vehicles, remains the Group’s key sales market in the region. In terms of locally-produced vehicles, the Volkswagen and Audi brands together hold a market share of over 60 percent, with the Santana accounting for more than 50 percent of unit sales. Continuous expansion of the sales and service network in Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore is to intensify the presence of the Group brands in this region even further.

Golf with side airbags

Chronicle 1996: Golf with side airbags
As the first vehicle in its class, the Golf is now available with side airbags for driver and front passenger. Combined with the front airbags fitted as standard in all Volkswagen cars, the company thus achieves a major step forward in safety for motorists.

April 22

Chronicle 1996: April 22
The second generation of the Volkswagen LT is presented at the Hanover Industrial Fair. Available in three lengths and with a choice of four diesel engines, the van results from a development partnership with Daimler-Benz. It is identical in design to the Mercedes Sprinter. The Volkswagen LT is built at the Hanover plant, and comes in a wide range of body variants.

30 years of motorsport

Chronicle 1996: 30 years of motorsport
Volkswagen looks back on thirty years of success in motorsport. This year, the Golf GTI takes first place in the diesel categories at the German Touring Car Challenge and the Spa 24-hour race as well as on the Nürburgring, testimony to the excellence of the Volkswagen team. Volkswagen also gives high priority to “customer sport”, with the offering ranging from building complete vehicles to the sale of parts or leasing arrangements for racing cars.

Golf “Bon Jovi”

Chronicle 1996: Golf “Bon Jovi”
Volkswagen presents the Bon Jovi US rock band on its European tour and simultaneously launches the Golf special model of the same name. With its striking design and attractive extra equipment including a stereo radio system, sport seats, nameplate and other features, the “Bon Jovi” models add a lot to any version of the Golf – sedan, Variant or convertible.

Wolfsburg plant

Chronicle 1996: Wolfsburg plant
The reorganization of the production system initiated in the early 1990s and the associated improvements in product quality pay off. Volkswagen reports an 11.3 percent year-on-year rise in sales in 1996. With a market share of 17.2 percent in Europe and 27.3 percent in Germany, the Group consolidates its position as the undisputed leader on West European passenger car markets.

August 27

Chronicle 1996: August 27
The fifth generation of the Passat is presented to the international media at an event in Dresden lasting through to the month-end. Dynamically styled with a curved roof, the mid-class saloon embodies a new dimension of quality and exemplary durability. Its engineering, safety features and comfort make it “excitingly elegant, reassuringly safe”. Available in three equipment lines, the model’s range of five petrol engines deliver power outputs between 74 kW/100 hp and 142 kW/192 hp. Two TDI engines deliver 66 kW/90 hp and 81 kW/110 hp. Prices start at DM 34,950. The model is built at the Emden and Zwickau plants. The Passat Variant and Passat syncro are presented to the media at an event starting in Hamburg on May 20, 1997.

November 1

Chronicle 1996: November 1
Volkswagen do Brasil S.A. opens a truck and bus plant in Resende in the State of Rio de Janeiro with a yearly capacity of 30,000 vehicles. On October 12, the new engine plant in São Carlos in the State of São Paulo starts production. Engines come from Salzgitter and Chemnitz. By building up production facilities in Brazil and Argentina, Volkswagen succeeds in closing a capacity gap on the South America market caused by the end of the co-operation agreement with Ford. By the end of 1997, Volkswagen do Brasil employs some 31,000 people. With total production of 609,000 vehicles in the year, it remains the market leader both in passengers cars (32.6 percent) and light commercial vehicles (25.8 percent).

November 4

Chronicle 1996: November 4
The brand Management Board’s decision to transform the Braunschweig plant into a business unit accelerates its development from component manufacturer to system supplier and strengthens its competitiveness in the international components industry. The first Group location to be assigned responsibility for its own profitability as a largely autonomous business unit, it serves as a model for the transformation of other plants. The Braunschweig business unit uses its newly-won autonomy to strengthen its development expertise, expand process flow responsibilities and introduce leading-edge manufacturing technologies.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1996: Golf ad
“Ich mag den Golf, weil der so einen tollen Preis hat.” (“A prize-winning car at a price that I like.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Golf ad

Chronicle 1996: Golf ad
“Erst 20 und schon eine Legende.” (“Already a legend at 20.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1996: Statistics of the Year


Volkswagen Environmental Award

Chronicle 1997: Volkswagen Environmental Award
The environmental symposium “Priority A. Partners for the Environment” is held in Wolfsburg at the invitation of Volkswagen AG in February. Experts from Volkswagen, other companies and associations discuss key aspects of environmental protection as it relates to the automobile with representatives from over 400 suppliers from Germany, Europe and North America. The objective is to foster and support the systematic intensification of cooperation on this pivotal issue. This year, Volkswagen AG presents the Volkswagen Environmental Award in recognition of environmentally responsible action for the first time: the award goes to six companies from the supplier industry for their exemplary ecological approach.

Brunswick plant

Chronicle 1997: Brunswick plant
Volkswagen expands its production spectrum at the Brunswick plant with the commissioning of a modern, environmentally-friendly paintshop for plastic parts. 55,000 components, mostly dashboard parts, are painted daily. It is now possible to meet customer demands for colors and surface texture thanks to innovative technologies such as soft painting and top coat techniques, as well as flexible programming for the paint robots.

April 15

Chronicle 1997: April 15
Following the abolition of the previously responsible Management Board function, the Volkswagen Group reorganises the Asia-Pacific region into separate units covering China, Japan and Singapore. Regional importer Volkswagen Group Singapore Pte. Ltd. manages Group CKD and FBU activities in the South East Asia and Pacific region, so as to operate closer to the strategically important markets of Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

W12 Roadster study

Chronicle 1997: W12 Roadster study
In Tokyo, Volkswagen presents the W12 sports car study featuring the new 12-cylinder engine. The W shape saves space and two VR-6 engines are configured at an angle of 72 degrees. The engine has a capacity of 5.6 liters, a power output of 309 kW and a very impressive maximum torque of 530 Newton meters. The styling of the 4.40 meter plastic bodywork comes from the house of ItalDesign and translates uncompromising sportiness into timeless design.

New Beetle

Chronicle 1997: New Beetle
Volkswagen de Mexico S.A. de C.V. starts the lean and high quality production of the New Beetle in its Puebla plant. The technology of this high performance model is based on the Golf, but its design recalls the Beetle. After the Volkswagen Group gradually improved its competitiveness in the North American Region, the New Beetle made great leaps forward, especially in the United States, where the retro-model, like its predecessor 40 years earlier, set off a true epidemic of “Beetlemania”. Jetta, Passat and Golf round off the attractive range of products, which receive positive reactions in Mexico, Canada and the United States, and solidify Volkswagen’s future in North America. In spite of stagnating passenger car markets in this region, Volkswagen sales increase by about 55 percent in 1998. One year later, the Volkswagen Group sells 382,328 vehicles in the United States, its best results since 1974.

Beetle and New Beetle

Chronicle 1997: Beetle and New Beetle
Over sixty years separate the start of Beetle production and the ramp-up of its retro successor, the New Beetle. The design language of both cult models has always warmed the heart of Volkswagen customers.

August 1

Chronicle 1997: August 1
The collective pay agreements for Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft signed on July 14th come into effect. They extend employment safeguards to the end of 1999, although the four-day working week fundamentally retained by the new agreements is adapted to the needs of production by the introduction of even more flexible working times. The key element of the collective pay agreements is an early retirement scheme providing for a graduated transition to retirement through part-time working.

August 10

Chronicle 1997: August 10
The fourth-generation Golf is presented to the media in Bonn, and is exhibited at the Frankfurt Motor Show starting on September 12th. The body design featuring a long roof, steeply angled rear end and sweeping C-pillar is reminiscent of the first-generation Golf. Its faultless look, minimal panel gaps, absolute flush-fitting and harmonious jointing set a new quality standard in the compact class named after it. The leap in quality and aesthetic appeal of the new Golf is the result of lean production and the use of state-of-the-art technologies such as laser welding. A further expression of the new Golf’s diverse attributes is the choice of five petrol and three diesel engines, with power outputs between 50 kW/68 hp and 110 kW/150 hp, available to customers right from launch. Improved aerodynamics and state-of-the-art TDI engines cut fuel consumption to 4.9 litres per 100 km. Prices for the Golf models built in Wolfsburg start at DM 25,700.

Production record

Chronicle 1997: Production record
The Volkswagen Group reports a new production record of 4,290,875 vehicles in 1997. 62.3 percent of these vehicles leave the assembly lines at plants run by the global company outside Germany. On average, 17,387 vehicles are produced each working day at 19 production companies in the Volkswagen Group this year.

Passat ad

Chronicle 1997: Passat ad
“Der neue Passat Variant. Für alles, was Ihnen wichtig ist.” (“The new Passat Estate. For everything that's important to you.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Polo ad

Chronicle 1997: Polo ad
“Polo Highline. Tolle Ausstattung. Saugünstig.” (“Polo Highline. Great equipment. Won't break your piggybank.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1997: Statistics of the Year


January 5

Chronicle 1998: January 5
The New Beetle has its world premiere at the Detroit Motor Show. Conceived not as a daughter of the legendary Beetle, but rather as a sister to the new Golf, the New Beetle’s contemporary design embodies the style of an entire generation. In the USA especially, the model triggers absolute “Beetlemania”. The appealingly curvy, bug-eyed design conceals the same state-of-the-art technology which has proved its worth in the fourth-generation Golf. Designed in accordance with the platform strategy, the New Beetle is built at the Puebla plant of Volkswagen de Mexico S.A. de C.V., where lean production assures its high quality. A petrol and a diesel engine are offered on launch, at prices starting on DM 34,950. The New Beetle has great emotional appeal, and provides Volkswagen with a major sales boost in the USA.

30 million engines from Salzgitter

Chronicle 1998: 30 million engines from Salzgitter
Production anniversary at Salzgitter: the three millionth engine, a four-cylinder, 1.9-liter TDI, leaves the production line at the world’s largest diesel engine manufacturing plant.

March 5

Chronicle 1998: March 5
The restyled Golf Cabriolet is exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show. The open-top four-seater, technically based on the third-generation Golf, is styled in keeping with the new fourth-generation model, featuring the same innovative twin headlights and clear lens. The low-slung bonnet and the enlarged Volkswagen logo make the new Golf Cabriolet look even more striking. With an upgraded equipment spec and offering the tried and proven choice of four petrol and two diesel engines, the Golf Cabriolet is targeted at people who enjoy the finer things in life and also appreciate the high levels of safety assured by the sturdy roll bar. The new Golf Cabriolet is built by Karmann in Osnabrück. At prices starting from DM 36,650, it finds 39,126 happy owners in 1998.

May 13

Chronicle 1998: May 13
Volkswagen establishes Motor Polska Sp.z o.o. in Polkowice, Poland. After just under a year under construction, the new engine plant is opened on August 25, 1999. It has annual capacity for 540,000 engines. The Polkowice facility supplies state-of-the-art four-cylinder diesel engines to Volkswagen Group vehicle plants.

May 13

Chronicle 1998: May 13
The Volkswagen Global Group Works Council is constituted for the first time. The contract between employee representatives and the Group’s management is signed on May 20, 1999. Klaus Volkert is elected chairman of the Global Group Works Council.

July 3

Chronicle 1998: July 3
The Volkswagen Group extends its portfolio in the luxury segment by procuring the Bentley brand. Volkswagen Group United Kingdom acquires Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd., which – as Bentley Motors Ltd. – has been manufacturing Bentleys at the Crewe plant since September 2002.

July 10

Chronicle 1998: July 10
The Bugatti International S.A. holding company, which owns the rights to the former car-maker’s brand name, is acquired by Volkswagen Group France S. A. On December 22, 2000, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. is founded with the aim of developing and manufacturing unique luxury sports cars.

July 24

Chronicle 1998: July 24
Audi AG acquires Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., thereby bringing the famously uncompromising sports car make from Sant’ Agata Bolognese into the Volkswagen Group.

Polo GTI

Chronicle 1998: Polo GTI
Volkswagen introduces a new top model, the Polo GTI, to the Polo range. The limited edition special model (3,000 units only) has a 1.6-liter engine with four-valve technology and develops 120 horsepower with a maximum torque of 148 Newton meters at 3,400 rpm.

August 31

Chronicle 1998: August 31
The economical and lovable little Lupo model is presented to the media in Geneva. It represents a new attractive offering from Volkswagen in the growing small car segment. Just 3,527 mm long, the compact offers space for up to five people. The front-end design featuring big round headlights imbues the Lupo with a friendly face. Like all Volkswagens, it is uncompromising in matters of safety. Engine choices are 1 litre and 1.4 litre petrol engines developing 37 kW/50 hp and 55 kW/75 hp respectively, and a 44 kW/60 hp diesel. The diesel engined Lupo consumes an average of just 4.4 litres per 100 km. The model’s name – the Italian for wolf – hints at its Wolfsburg origins. The entry-level price is DM 17,990.

September 11

Chronicle 1998: September 11
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft sets up a humanitarian fund for the forced labourers who worked for the Volkswagen company during World War II. Cash payments are made to more than 2,150 of those personally affected.

September 14

Chronicle 1998: September 14
The media presentation of the Bora, the new notchback saloon technically based on the Golf, takes place at an event in Sardinia lasting until September 18th. Named after the fresh Adriatic wind – though in the USA still marketed under its existing Jetta name – the Bora is the youthfully dynamic embodiment of a notchback saloon, featuring four doors, a sporty design, and high levels of ride comfort. At 4,376 mm in length, and with a 2,513 mm wheelbase, the Bora offers comfortable room for five people. The design conveys a sense of sportiness, strength and dynamism. A choice of four petrol engines developing up to 110 kW/150 hp of power speed the Bora to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds, achieving a top speed of 216 km/h. The two diesel engines deliver average fuel economy of 5 litres per 100 km. A 455 litre capacity boot provides plenty of space for holiday luggage. Prices start from DM 32,500.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1998: Golf ad
“Da braucht man alle 1122 Kilometer eine Tankstelle ...” (“It's time to fill up every 1122 kilometres…”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

New Beetle ad

Chronicle 1998: New Beetle ad
Und plötzlich ist die Welt wieder rund.” (“And suddenly the world is round again.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1998: Statistics of the Year


February 4

Chronicle 1999: February 4
By founding the Volkswagen (China) Investment Company Ltd. in Beijing, the Volkswagen Group bundles its existing and future investments in China in the hands of one holding company, so as to implement new automotive projects more rapidly.

April 1

Chronicle 1999: April 1
Volkswagen Financial Services AG expands its operations by acquiring Wolfsburg-based insurer Volkswagen-Versicherungsdienst GmbH (VVD). The company, founded in 1948 by Heinrich Kurig and later owned by the Holler Foundation, offers Volkswagen customers comprehensive motor insurance services. By 2001, VVD has issued over 1.3 million policies. To consolidate the insurance operations of the Volkswagen Group, VW-Versicherungsvermittlungs-GmbH, a successful provider of insurance and risk management services established in 1976, is transferred to Volkswagen Financial Services AG with effect from January 1, 2005.

April 28

Chronicle 1999: April 28
The two compact estates, the Golf Variant and Bora Variant, are presented to the international media in Berlin. While the 4.41 metre long Bora Variant, with its 460 litre luggage capacity, is targeted at leisure motorists looking for a sporty and luxurious touch, the assured and confident styling of the Golf Variant appeals to anyone looking for a practical, safe, high-quality Volkswagen in the compact estate class. The Bora Variant initially comes in a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, with power outputs up to 110 kW/150 hp. The Golf Variant, which with its rear seat bench down offers as much as 1,470 litres of storage capacity, scores highly with the 66 kW diesel version, for example, offering fuel economy of just 5 litres per 100 km. The Bora Variant is priced starting at DM 34,400; Golf Variant prices start from DM 29,500.

Bora V6 4Motion

Chronicle 1999: Bora V6 4Motion
Volkswagen presents the Golf V6 4Motion and the Bora V6 4Motion, the two new top models in the Golf and Bora series. The exclusive sport sedans have a 2.8 liter V6 engine with four cylinder technology. The 204 PS six cylinder engine has a maximum torque of 270 Newton meters at 3,200 rpm. Standard equipment ESP and electronically controlled “4Motion” all-wheel drive plus an enhanced braking system and the decoupled multilink rear axle ensure a safe drive performance.

July 5

Chronicle 1999: July 5
With the Lupo 3L TDI, presented to the international media in Gothenburg, Sweden, Volkswagen makes a piece of automobile history. The two-door compact, 3.53 metres in length, is the world’s first production car to consume an average of only 3 litres of fuel per 100 km. With its 34 litre tank filled, it has a range of over 1,000 kilometres. This extremely low fuel consumption results from the advanced design of the three-cylinder TDI engine and the model’s light-weight construction. Its doors, wings and bonnet are made of aluminium, while the tailgate is made of magnesium. Similarly light-weight materials are also employed for the axles and suspension. Consequently, the Lupo 3L TDI weighs just 830 kilograms – and its aerodynamic properties are also optimised. Economical in its consumption of energy and raw materials, the “3-litre” Lupo sets new standards in environmental protection.

Passat with pump-jet injection system

Chronicle 1999: Passat with pump-jet injection system
Volkswagen's attempts to improve diesel and gasoline engines and to make its vehicles environmentally friendly are manifested in technical innovations. Volkswagen proves its creativeness in this field by developing a high-pressure pump-jet injection system especially for the 3-liter Lupo which is gradually integrated into the standard production for other Volkswagen Group models. The new direct-injection technology lowers fuel consumption by 15 percent, while improving torque and performance. Starting in summer 2000, FSI technology (Fuel Stratified Injection) is standard in the 1.4-liter engine of the Lupo.

Simultaneous Engineering Center in Wolfsburg

Chronicle 1999: Simultaneous Engineering Center in Wolfsburg
On September 23, representatives from Volkswagen AG, the city of Wolfsburg and Wolfsburg AG get construction of the Simultaneous Engineering (SE) Center in Wolfsburg underway at a ground-breaking ceremony. The development center completed in August 2000 is the first construction project of Wolfsburg AG, a joint venture set up by the Group and the city. The 8,200 square meter complex houses offices, conference and presentation rooms and workshops. With the SE Center, Volkswagen AG intensifies its efforts to attract suppliers to locate in Wolfsburg. For the Group, bringing together technological know-how under one roof optimizes many development processes, as information routes are shortened and work processes can be continuously improved.

100 million vehicles

Chronicle 1999: 100 million vehicles
The Volkswagen Group is the first European automaker to produce 100 million vehicles, and thus writes automotive history. Around the world, 42 plants build some 20,000 vehicles every working day for Europe’s largest automaker. With more than 50 models in its product range, the Group with its nine brands covers almost all vehicle segments on global markets from the small car to the luxury limousine, the family convertible to the high-performance sports car, the small transporter to the mid-size delivery van.

Concept D

Chronicle 1999: Concept D
Volkswagen presents the “Concept D” study, the company’s interpretation of a future top-class sedan, at this year’s IAA in Frankfurt. Equipped with a 5.0 liter, direct-injection V10 diesel engine the vehicle develops 230 kW at 4,000 rpm, and features a modern automatic transmission with Tiptronic. Then design of the 4,995 millimeter long, 1,874 millimeter wide four-door study combines sportiness with elegance and high-quality luxury.

CKD assembly in Thailand

Chronicle 1999: CKD assembly in Thailand
Volkswagen sets up a CKD assembly line for an annual 10,000 vehicles in the “Detroit of the East”. Early the following year, the independent company Y.M.C. Assembly Co., Ltd. in Bangkok begins assembling a top-of-the-range Passat sedan followed later by the Audi A6.

Sales record

Chronicle 1999: Sales record
With worldwide deliveries totaling 4,922,996 vehicles, the Volkswagen Group beats its prior-year unit sales by 6.3 percent and sets a new record. Volkswagen products have a 12 percent share of the global passenger car market. In terms of brand sales, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand leads with 3,055,855 vehicles delivered, followed by Audi with 634,708 and Seat with 481,414 units.

Golf ad

Chronicle 1999: Golf ad
“Stell dir mal vor, den Golf gibt's jetzt schon seit 25 Jahren.” (“Imagine, the Golf has already existed for 25 years. And what did people drive before?”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

New Beetle ad

Chronicle 1999: New Beetle ad
“Think smile.” Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 1999: Statistics of the Year


March 1

Chronicle 2000: March 1
The third car factory built by Shanghai Volkswagen, complete with press plant, body shop, paint shop and assembly line, starts production. The facility builds the extended Chinese version of the Passat saloon, which at 30,000 units a year takes up just one fifth of the available capacity. Some of the Passat production is exported to Bangkok, where Volkswagen AG operates a CKD facility in conjunction with local company Yontrakit producing 10,000 vehicles a year. Passat assembly begins there in early 2000. In 2001 Volkswagen extends its product portfolio further in order to safeguard its market position in China for the long term. The Bora rolls off the production line in Changchun from August onwards, while production of the Polo starts in Shanghai in December. On October 31, 2001 the joint venture Volkswagen Transmission (Shanghai) Company Ltd. is set up to manufacture gearboxes for both models locally. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft has a 60 percent holding, and thus owns a majority share in a German-Chinese production joint venture for the first time. On January 28, 2003, the newly built gearbox factory in Shanghai is opened. In its initial configuration, it has an annual capacity of 180,000 units.

April 14

Chronicle 2000: April 14
Volkswagen expands its position on the international commercial vehicles market by acquiring 18.7 percent of the shares and 34 percent of the voting rights in Swedish manufacturer Scania AB.

50 years of the Transporter

Chronicle 2000: 50 years of the Transporter
Fifty years have passed since Volkswagen presented its Type 2, which evolved into the workhorse of the economic miracle. Thanks to their versatility, reliability and economic efficiency, the following three generations of the Transporter family sold extremely well. More than 8.5 million were bought up to the end of 2000.

June 1

Chronicle 2000: June 1
The Volkswagen Group opens the “Autostadt” in Wolfsburg. The combination of visitor experience, service facility and centre of excellence also for the first time handles deliveries of vehicles to retail customers in person. This new innovative facility provides a channel by which Volkswagen seeks to enhance customer loyalty to the Group’s brands and reach out to new customers.

Lupo: Round the world in 80 days

Chronicle 2000: Lupo: Round the world in 80 days
Round the world in 80 days on 1,000 liters of diesel is the ambitious challenge Volkswagen has set itself, setting out in a three-liter Lupo to travel a total of 34,000 kilometers through Germany, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, USA, Mexico, England, France, Morocco, Italy and Sweden. With this high-profile PR campaign Volkswagen demonstrates the technical reliability of its fuel-saving pump-jet injection system.

20 million Golf

Chronicle 2000: 20 million Golf
The twenty millionth Golf leaves the assembly line in Wolfsburg. In 1974, Volkswagen not only presented a new car with this model, but also established a new vehicle class, the “Golf class”. Some 4,000 vehicles are produced each working day during the year 2000. Apart from Germany, major sales markets for the Golf include Italy, France and the UK. Outside Europe, main export destinations for the bestseller built in Wolfsburg, Mosel, Brussels, Bratislava, Uitenhage and Curritiba are the USA, Japan and South Africa.

Lupo FSI

Chronicle 2000: Lupo FSI
Volkswagen launches the Lupo FSI, the first German direct-injection gasoline engine. Averaging 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers, the Lupo FSI uses up to 30 percent less fuel than other vehicles in its class.

Autostadt CarTowers

Chronicle 2000: Autostadt CarTowers
Despite a weaker domestic economy, Volkswagen AG grows deliveries by 0.6 percent year-on-year to 2,243,567 vehicles during this fiscal year. The Golf again tops the model ranking with 915,383 units followed by the Passat and Polo with 631,852 and 463,163 units.

Golf ad

Chronicle 2000: Golf ad
“Generation Golf” Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Golf ad

Chronicle 2000: Golf ad
“Ich habe keine Vorurteile gegenüber Menschen mit einer anderen Hautfarbe.” (“I'm not prejudiced …”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2000: Statistics of the Year


January 1

Chronicle 2001: January 1
Importer Volkswagen Group Australia Pty. Ltd., founded in Alexandria, starts selling Volkswagens in order to open up the Australian market under its own management. The new headquarters, employing 60 people, opens on March 17th. Volkswagen is now the best-selling European brand in Australia. Volkswagen’s Australian subsidiary aims to compete with the dominant US and Japanese manufacturers by establishing an exemplary dealership and service network. Stocking of parts, in particular, is intended to shorten repair times and so enhance customer satisfaction. The expansion and reorganisation of the sales network is complete by the end of the year.

Microbus concept car

Chronicle 2001: Microbus concept car
Volkswagen unveils the “Microbus” concept car at the 71st Geneva International Motor Show. The study designed at Volkswagen’s California design studio is a homage to the first Transporter generation which became a cult vehicle in the USA in the 1950s. The innovative, avant-garde interaction of styling elements from various Transporter generations and state-of-the-art automotive technology is typical of the Microbus. It is equipped with a 231 hp, 3.2-liter, V6 engine, a five-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.

Volkswagen Marine

Chronicle 2001: Volkswagen Marine
The first production boat engine leaves the assembly line in the Salzgitter plant after a development period of almost four years. The engine program presented at the “Boot 2002” trade fair includes three turbo diesel and two naturally aspirated diesel engines, which have been optimized for use in various kinds of boats. Because of the compactness of these lightweight engines, as well as other technical features, like the oil pan that was developed especially for rough seas, they can, in comparison to conventional yacht engines, be used in new ways. Seventeen domestic dealers represent this new range of products at the start of 2002; Volkswagen Marine has a total of 48 sales partners in the Netherlands, Great Britain, Italy and Denmark.

Passat W8

Chronicle 2001: Passat W8
Volkswagen revolutionizes engine construction with the Passat W8. For the first time, eight cylinders are not arranged in two cylinder banks one in front of the other but are configured in a space-saving W formation. Thanks to this powerful engine, the 4-liter Passat sedan with 4MOTION all-wheel drive develops 275 horsepower. This performance is combined with an elegant interior: nappa leather and root wood as well as electronic air conditioning set their stamp on the exclusive interior.

August 16

Chronicle 2001: August 16
For the manufacture of the Touran compact MPV based on the Golf platform, Volkswagen establishes Auto 5000 GmbH, which builds a factory on the Wolfsburg site. Production starts in December 2002, and is characterised by flat hierarchies, team working and more process competence being delegated to employees. A special collective agreement is reached with the IG Metall union, whereby responsibility for agreed volumes and quality standards is transferred directly to employees. Daily working time is flexible, and oriented to fulfilment of the set programme. The manufacturing concept is linked to a qualification model reliant on the willingness of individual employees to learn under their own responsibility. The standard training course is extended by three hours of tuition per week. After a period of two years, this leads to a Chamber of Industry and Commerce accredited car manufacturing qualification (“Automobilbauer IHK”). Auto 5000 GmbH employs 3,500 people.

Emden press shop

Chronicle 2001: Emden press shop
Volkswagen opens the most modern press shop in Europe at Emden. Two vacuum transfer presses with eight mold tools and designed for a total force of 73,000 kilonewtons now produce up to 26,600 parts per day. A fully-automatic material flow system controls the entire production process, from delivery of the galvanized coils and their processing into tailored blanks through pressing and storage of the pressed parts.

October 29

Chronicle 2001: October 29
The fourth-generation Polo is presented to the international media in Sardinia. Stylistically and technically, it belongs to a class of its own between the Golf and the Lupo. Despite its compact size, though now slightly larger externally, its interior is larger than that of its predecessor. It is a comfortable, ergonomically styled environment, featuring high-quality materials. The chassis, featuring a new twist-beam rear suspension and optimised independent suspension, is as agile as it is safe. The Polo is initially available with a choice of seven different engines, ranging from 40 kW/55 hp to 74 kW/100 hp. Prices start from EUR 11,225.

December 11

Chronicle 2001: December 11
Just under two and a half years after the foundation stone was laid on July 27, 1999, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft opens the “Gläserne Manufaktur” glass-fronted manufacturing showcase in Dresden. The facility, featuring sound-proof glazing all around, is based on a new concept combining industrial car production and high-quality craftsmanship within a transparent architectural setting. The “transparent factory” also breaks new ground as a service facility in which the manufacturing process is showcased as a visitor attraction. For the first time, buyers are provided with a service which enables them to watch their cars being made, live and in person. The object of this is to strengthen the emotional bond between the customer and the Volkswagen brand.


Chronicle 2001: Phaeton
The Phaeton, the top-of-the-line model, goes into production. With the start of Phaeton production, the Volkswagen brand moves into the top car class. The Phaeton is available in a 6- or 12-cylinder model, and from 2003 on, with a 10-cylinder diesel engine.

Golf ad

Chronicle 2001: Golf ad
“In 8,3 s von null auf 100 km/h, 92 KW (125 PS).” (“In 8.3 s from zero to 100 km/h, 92 KW (125 PS).”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Polo ad

Chronicle 2001: Polo ad
“Durch nichts zu beeindrucken. Der Polo.” (Impossible to impress. The new Polo.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2001: Statistics of the Year


January 1

Chronicle 2002: January 1
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft acquires Scania’s half-share in Swedish importer Svenska Volkswagen AB, thereby taking over sole ownership of it. Founded in 1968, the company now handles imports and sales of the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Škoda and Porsche brands.

March 6

Chronicle 2002: March 6
The Phaeton has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. The 5.06 metre long, 1.90 metre wide and 1.45 metre high notchback saloon marks Volkswagen’s first entry into the luxury car class. The Phaeton’s design is expressive and progressive down to the last detail. Its safety features, air suspension, torsionally rigid body, draught-free climate control system, intuitive user-friendliness, high-grade interior fittings and superb craftsmanship underscore the confidence of a model which embodies the upscaling of the Volkswagen brand. At launch, the entry-level engine is a V6 unit; the top-of-the-range engine is the 309 kW/420 hp W12. Prices start from EUR 56,200.

1-liter car

Chronicle 2002: 1-liter car
Volkswagen AG presents the world’s most economical car, the 1-liter car, at the 42nd Annual General Meeting. The prototype with a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour uses an average 0.89 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers on the journey from Wolfsburg to Hamburg. 3.65 meters long, 1.25 meters wide and just over one meter in height, the unpainted technological innovation is entirely made of carbon fiber composites. Powered by a centrally positioned one-cylinder, naturally aspirated direct-injection diesel engine, the 1-liter car generates 8.5 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and has space for two people plus a 6.5-liter tank.

April 16

Chronicle 2002: April 16
The Supervisory Board appoints Bernd Pischetsrieder as Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

April 16

Chronicle 2002: April 16
Ferdinand Piëch becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

June 25

Chronicle 2002: June 25
The Golf overtakes the legendary Beetle, its 21,517,415 units making it the most-built Volkswagen model ever. Almost 40,000 employees at the plants in Wolfsburg, Mosel, Brussels, Bratislava, Uitenhage and Curitiba produce more than 3,600 Golfs every working day.

Golf R32

Chronicle 2002: Golf R32
Volkswagen launches the most powerful Golf of all time, the R32. Equipped with a 3.2-liter, V6 engine with torque of 320 Newton meters, the R32 achieves a top speed of 247 kilometers per hour at 241 horsepower. This powerful engine which is also installed in the Phaeton, brings Volkswagen’s technology for the automotive top-class to other market segments. Standard-equipment all-wheel drive, a lowered chassis, alloy wheel rims and many optical modifications to the front and rear emphasize the dynamic design of this top-of-the-range Golf.

September 26

Chronicle 2002: September 26
The Touareg has its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. Starting on September 30th, motoring journalists from all over the world are invited to test out the new luxury-class sports utility vehicle which has successfully taken the Volkswagen brand into yet another new market segment. The concept underlying the model combines the attributes of a high-quality off-roader with the comfort of a top-class saloon and the dynamics of a sports car. The Touareg sets new standards in its class, particularly with its vertically adjustable pneumatic suspension and its V10 TDI engine – the most powerful passenger car diesel engine in the world, developing 230 kW/313 hp and 750 Nm of torque. In 2003 the Touareg is nominated “Best luxury SUV”, and in 2004 it is voted Sports Utility Vehicle of the Year in the USA. Prices for the Touareg R5 TDI start from EUR 38,400. It is built by Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. in Bratislava.

October 10

Chronicle 2002: October 10
The New Beetle Cabriolet is presented to the world’s media in Miami. Marketed under the slogan “Open your heart”, the convertible embodies emotionality, optimism and joie-de-vivre. The characterful open-top four-seater, built in Puebla, Mexico, also features a roll bar which automatically deploys when needed, maintaining the highest safety standards while remaining true to the car’s avant-garde design. Launched in Germany on March 27, 2004 under the slogan “Hello Sunshine”, customers are able to choose between four petrol engines with power outputs up to 110 kW/150 hp and a 74 kW/100 hp TDI. Top-down fun can be had for as little as EUR 20,075.


Chronicle 2002: Touran
As production of the Touran, the multi-purpose vehicle, begins, the Volkswagen AG comes one step closer to reaching its strategic target of increasing its share in this market segment to 85 percent. The multi-purpose vehicle is ideal for families, leisure activities and business and has several attractions: its intelligent space utilization, high-quality appearances, modern engine and both agile and safe chassis with four-link rear suspension and electro-mechanic power-assisted steering. The Touran is the most sold compact van in Germany and in June 2003 leads the market in its class.

Golf ad

Chronicle 2002: Golf ad
“In 6,6 Sekunden von 0 auf 100 km/h. Der Golf R32” (“In 6.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. The Golf R32.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Phaeton ad

Chronicle 2002: Phaeton ad
“Ist das nur ein Automobil?” (“It's just a car?”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2002: Statistics of the Year


February 17

Chronicle 2003: February 17
Volkswagen’s new compact MPV, the Touran, is presented to the media in Estepona near Malaga, Spain. With a choice of five or an optional seven single seats, variable interior configuration and generous amounts of space including a 1,989 litre luggage compartment capacity, the multi-purpose vehicle based on the Golf platform is highly versatile. The chassis features updated front suspension struts and an innovative four-link rear suspension. In conjunction with ESP, it delivers supreme stability, comfort and agility. The engine range in launch year comprises three petrol and two diesel engines with power outputs between 74 kW/100 hp and 110 kW/150 hp. Prices start from EUR 21,100. The Touran immediately becomes the class leader in Germany, selling more than 101,000 units by the year-end.

February 28

Chronicle 2003: February 28
The establishment of Volkswagen Individual GmbH is in line with the Group-wide policy of fulfilling diverse customer needs and wishes in a comprehensive manner. The new company is positioned as a vendor of exclusive, custom-finished sports models of the Volkswagen brand. In 2010 the business is taken over by Volkswagen R GmbH, and its product range is extended with new customisation packages and equipment lines.

May 9

Chronicle 2003: May 9
The fifth Transporter generation is launched in numerous variants. While the Multivan and the California recreational vehicle target private customers, in its panel van, station wagon or flat-bed variant the Transporter mainly attracts business buyers. Enormous variability is the characteristic shared by all product groups, providing customised and practical solutions for all manner of purposes. Two petrol engines developing 85 kW/115 hp and 173 kW/235 hp respectively, as well as three diesel engines with power outputs between 77 kW/104 hp and 128 kW/174 hp, make the T5 quick and economical. Despite its overall length of 4.98 metres, the chassis set-up ensures car-like handling. McPherson strut front suspension and the upgraded semi-trailing arm rear suspension provide enhanced ride comfort. Prices for the panel van start from EUR 21,947; the Multivan can be had for EUR 36,117.

Volkswagen do Brasil in Resende

Chronicle 2003: Volkswagen do Brasil in Resende
50 years after it was established Volkswagen do Brasil now has a workforce of 27,600 at five plants. The company produces engines as well as the Gol, Kombi, Polo, Polo Sedan, Santana and Saveiro at the Anchieta plant. The Golf 4 and the Saveiro plus the Audi A3 are built in Curitiba. The Taubaté factory manufactures the Gol and Parati. Buses and trucks are built in Resende and São Carlos makes engines. To celebrate this anniversary, Brazil’s largest automaker launches the Gol Total Flex, a vehicle that can run on gasoline or alcohol or any blend of the two fuels.

Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava

Chronicle 2003: Volkswagen Slovakia in Bratislava
Volkswagen Slovakia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since 1994, celebrates production of the one millionth vehicle on May 28. Twelve years since it was founded, the company which builds the Touareg, Golf, Golf R32, Bora 4Motion, Polo and Seat Ibiza as well as gearboxes and components as part of the Group’s production alliance, has a workforce of 9,000. Based on this production program, Volkswagen Slovakia is the country’s largest exporter.

July 30

Chronicle 2003: July 30
The last Beetle leaves the production line at the Puebla plant of Volkswagen de Mexico. Volkswagen has built 21,529,464 of this legendary model in total.

SunDiesel for Volkswagen

Chronicle 2003: SunDiesel for Volkswagen
In Freiberg, Saxony, the first plant for the high-pressure gasification of biomass takes up production of the synthetic fuel SunDiesel. Together with the operators Choren Industries and other carmakers, Volkswagen worked towards the development of this high-performance and environmentally-friendly fuel. SunDiesel is sulfur free and contains no aromatic hydrocarbons, is CO2-neutral and has substantially lower emissions of hydrocarbon, nitrogen monoxide and particles, representing a valuable contribution to the protection of the environment and the climate. Another success in Volkswagen’s fuel strategy involves cooperation with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. The diesel fuel won from synthetic gas and tested in a feasibility study with 25 Golf TDI reduces particle emissions by one quarter.

September 22

Chronicle 2003: September 22
The international media get to know the fifth-generation Golf at an event in Wolfsburg lasting until October 13th. The Golf’s design is strong and dynamic. As the world’s first mass-produced car with a steel body, the Golf 5 has modular doors, meaning that in the event of damage only the outer skin has to be replaced rather than the entire door, so saving time and money. 70 metres of laser welds increase body rigidity. The safety chassis, with its much-refined front struts and a newly developed multi-link suspension, guarantee sportiness allied to improved ride comfort. Volkswagen has enhanced engine economy with a fuel-saving innovation in gearbox technology. The Golf 5 is one of the first models available with a newly developed dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox (DSG), providing the Volkswagen Group with a competitive edge. Extremely short shift times in combination with the subsequently introduced 3.2 litre VR6 engine, for example, deliver exceptional performance and a marked reduction in fuel consumption. The Golf initially rolls off the production lines in Wolfsburg, Zwickau and Brussels.

October 1

Chronicle 2003: October 1
The nine independent German sales companies are merged into Volkswagen Original Teile Logistik GmbH & Co. KG, based in Baunatal, in order to promote sales of original spare parts on the German market. Volkswagen holds 52 percent of the shares, the rest being held by Volkswagen dealers.

October 16

Chronicle 2003: October 16
The new Caddy premieres at the RAI commercial vehicles show held in Amsterdam and lasting until October 25th. It enters production at the Poznań plant. The compact van successfully makes the compromise between a multi-purpose vehicle for both business and private mobility applications and a passenger car. The load space of the panel van version has increased by 300 litres to 3.2 cubic metres. The estate provides seven seats if required – a novelty in the small van sector. The Caddy’s advanced engineering is based on the new Golf and the Touran, and is built on their platform. More than half of its components originate from those models, enabling the Commercial Vehicles division to benefit from the economies of scale of mass production in manufacturing the Caddy. The Caddy is launched in the Spring of 2004, with two petrol and two diesel engines, at prices from EUR 12,230.

December 1

Chronicle 2003: December 1
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the Chinese government sign a declaration of intent to intensify co-operation by manufacturing new products and establishing further joint ventures. The People’s Republic of China has grown into the second biggest single market after Germany for the Volkswagen Group, accounting for some 698,000 vehicle sales in 2003. Of that total, 298,000 units are sold by FAW-Volkswagen, which has expanded its model range to include the Audi A4, the New Audi A6 and the Golf 4. In 2004 FAW-Volkswagen commissions its second car plant into operation.

Golf ad

Chronicle 2003: Golf ad
“Der neue Golf, jetzt auch schnell.” (“The new Golf now fast too: Thanks to the new strong and economical FSI®-Engine.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Touareg ad

Chronicle 2003: Touareg ad
“580 mm Wattiefe ...” (580 mm fording depth...”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2003: Statistics of the Year


Purchasing organization in China

Chronicle 2004: Purchasing organization in China
The Volkswagen Group expands its purchasing operations by opening an office in Beijing to strengthen the integration of local suppliers in both the manufacturing operations of the Chinese joint ventures and global Group production. The development of economical, cost-cutting procurement sources in China as well as Eastern Europe brings a new strategic focus to global sourcing.

July 13

Chronicle 2004: July 13
The Volkswagen Group expands production capacity on the Chinese market in order to exploit its future potential. Following the creation of Volkswagen FAW Platform Company Ltd. in Changchun, which manufactures chassis components for the car-making joint venture companies, the contracts for two engine-building joint ventures are signed on December 6. From 2006, FAW Engine (Dalian) Company Ltd. will focus on building low-emission engines for mid-class vehicles, while Shanghai Volkswagen Powertrain Company Ltd. will manufacture engines for compact cars. Volkswagen thereby meets the capacity shortfall triggered by the boom in demand and simultaneously increases the local content of the models produced in China. Volkswagen (China) Investment Company Ltd. holds 60 percent of the shares in each of the newly established industrial ventures.

Concept T

Chronicle 2004: Concept T
Volkswagen unveils the sporty Concept T crossover study at the North American International Autoshow in Detroit. The car blends the high capabilities of an SUV and sports car with the characteristics of an off-road coupe, opening a new market segment for the Wolfsburg-based automaker. The extravagant wing doors lend the Concept T an avant-garde flair, further underlined by the arrow-shaped flank design. The front design is characterized by its V-shaped radiator grille integrated in the bumper as well as by the eye-like headlights. The two halves of the roof at the front and the rear-roof module constructed as a hard top can be removed for open-air driving. The 241 hp V6 engine combined with 4Motion all-wheel drive and Tiptronic automatic transmission accelerate the Concept T to 100 kilometers per hour in 6.9 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited to 230 kilometers per hour.

Driver assistance systems

Chronicle 2004: Driver assistance systems
Volkswagen AG presents its vision of accident-free driving. Networked driver assistance systems are a key element in optimizing active vehicle safety: these are systems that can actively support the driver’s actions by anticipating the vehicle’s environment. This new generation of driver assistance systems includes ESP, now a standard equipment feature, as well as automatic distance control (ADR), automatic emergency brake assist (ANB), the lane departure warning (LDW) camera system and an attention control system (AMK) that monitors the driver’s eye blinking movements. Medium-term innovations include assisted and automatic parking, traffic sign recognition, an integral driving dynamics controller (IFDR) to ensure coordinated interventions in every driving situation and enhanced night vision, a system using an infrared unit to perceive vehicle environments.

Touran HyMotion

Chronicle 2004: Touran HyMotion
The Volkswagen Touran HyMotion celebrates its world premiere at the California Fuel Cell Partnership Road Rally. An 80 kilowatt electric motor and fuel cell which run without noise or vibration accelerate the MPV to a maximum speed of 140 kilometers per hour. For Volkswagen, the further development and optimization of fuel cell systems is a key element in its multi-facetted drivetrain and fuel strategy aimed at cutting consumption and emissions.

Visualization center

Chronicle 2004: Visualization center
The commissioning of two visualization centers at the Wolfsburg plant cuts the cost and time expenditure for the vehicle development process thanks to a new 3D technology developed at Saarbrücken University which makes its world industrial debut at Volkswagen. Real-time “Ray Tracing” allows the creation of 3D life-sized vehicles on a special projection screen. Engineers can get a realistic and detailed impression of a planned vehicle in the early stages of development, for example, analyzing curves, paintjobs or interiors on these virtual models just the same as on a real vehicle, correcting differences and improving assembly steps. At a later stage in the project it will be possible to go for a virtual drive through the city and the countryside.

Jetta 5

Chronicle 2004: Jetta 5
The Jetta goes into production at Volkswagen de Mexico, with deliveries to the US market commencing in March of the following year and the European launch in August 2005. The vehicle, manufactured exclusively in Puebla, marks a further step in the globalization of Volkswagen. Compared with the Bora, its predecessor, the Jetta is characterized by a new, sporty design; the chrome, V-formed radiator grill represents the characteristic face of the Volkswagen brand. The spacious interior and trunk storage volume make the compact sedan the ideal car for travelling. With the exception of the entry-level engine, all Jetta engines are direct injection, ranging from 1.6 liter, 115 hp FSI engine to the 2.0 T-FSI with 200 hp. The three TDI engines develop 105, 140 and 170 hp. In Europe, the second generation of the Jetta was followed by models named Vento and the Bora; this latest model reverts to the same name for all markets.

Volkswagen Mechatronic

Chronicle 2004: Volkswagen Mechatronic
“Volkswagen Mechantronic GmbH & Co. KG”, the joint venture established in cooperation with VDO in Stollberg, Saxony, begins producing injection components for diesel engines.

Trucks and Buses

Chronicle 2004: Trucks and Buses
The Resende plant in Brazil, which belongs to the Volkswagen Trucks and Buses Division of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, produces 28,999 trucks in 2004, giving Volkswagen pole position on the Brazilian truck market for the first time. Apart from domestic sales, the trucks are exported to over 30 countries in regions such as Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East. This is the basis for the Group to expand its activities in this vehicle segment by opening a truck plant in Puebla, Mexico, and announcing a further facility in Uitenhage, South Africa.

Golf GTI

Chronicle 2004: Golf GTI
Volkswagen presents the new Golf GTI. This fifth generation of the classic sporty compact sedan focuses on dynamics, safety and comfort. The vehicle’s appearance is defined by the aerodynamic body and highly-functional, ergonomic interior. A powerful 200 hp four-cylinder turbo engine which can be combined with a six-speed gearbox or DGS transmission as an optional extra, underscores the traditional claim to sportiness. This is embedded in a modern system of active safety equipment: an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with integrated brake assistant, traction control (ASR) and a sensor-controlled electronic stability program (ESP) including an electronic differential lock (EDS).

December 4

Chronicle 2004: December 4
The Golf Plus premieres at the Bologna Motor Show. At 1.59 metres, the model is almost 10 cm taller than any other in the Golf family. All seat positions in the Golf Plus have been substantially raised, resulting in improved visibility. The model’s rear seat bench can be adjusted by as much as 16 cm forward and back. With the rear seat bench folded down, this then provides a boot capacity of 1,450 litres. The Golf Plus launches with two petrol and two diesel engines, featuring power outputs up to 103 kW/140 hp. The base price is EUR 16,740.

Touran ad

Chronicle 2004: Touran ad
“Sehr leicht herausnehmbare Rücksitze.” (“Seats very easy to take out.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Touareg ad

Chronicle 2004: Touareg ad
“… = Der Touareg.” (“… = The Touareg.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2004: Statistics of the Year


March 3

Chronicle 2005: March 3
The sixth-generation Passat premieres at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle’s athletic silhouette represents a design leap. The front end with its chrome shield radiator and eye-like headlights is typical of the Volkswagen brand’s contemporary look. The new chassis, comfortable interior and further increased boot capacity make the Passat the ideal long-distance tourer. High-tensile, shape-hardened steel panels are used for the saloon and estate version bodies, meeting the toughest crash specifications and offering maximum safety. Apart from the 75 kW/102 hp entry-level unit, the engine range includes three petrol engines with homogeneous direct fuel injection. Three TDI engines ranging from 77 kW/105 hp to 125 kW/170 hp make the Passat both highly dynamic and environmentally friendly. It can also be fitted with a diesel particulate filter. Prices for the Passat start from EUR 22,100.

April 1

Chronicle 2005: April 1
The Fox is launched onto the European market at the Auto Mobil International motor show in Leipzig. The vehicle, built at the Volkswagen sites in Brazil and Argentina, adds a functional entry-level model to the product range. Just 3,828 mm long, the compact Fox offers room for four people. It is powered by a choice of two petrol engines developing 40 kW/55 hp or 55 kW/75 hp, or a 55 kW/70 hp diesel. With the rear seat bench folded down, the luggage compartment has a 1,016 litre capacity. At an entry-level price of EUR 8,950, the Fox is the lowest-cost Volkswagen.

Golf Plus

Chronicle 2005: Golf Plus
Volkswagen introduces the Golf Plus, another line in the vehicle family that is successful all over the world. Designed as a versatile all-rounder, the new model has significantly more space, functionalities and versatility. The back seat, for example, can be adjusted lengthways by 16 centimeters and there are up to 43 integrated storage and mounting features. The four-door Golf Plus is initially available in a choice of two gasoline and two diesel engines with a power range of 75 to 140 hp.

July 6

Chronicle 2005: July 6
Bernd Osterloh takes over as Chairman of the General and Group Works Councils of  Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

September 13

Chronicle 2005: September 13
The Volkswagen Group places its successful co-operation with Allianz AG spanning over 50 years on a new footing. By establishing its own reinsurance company, Volkswagen Reinsurance AG, Volkswagen Financial Services AG gains more influence over the development and pricing of insurance products, so as to tailor its services to suit individual customer needs. With 1.6 million insurance policies and a broad range of financing and leasing packages, the Braunschweig-based group has become Europe’s largest provider of automotive financial services. In 2005 the Volkswagen Group’s Financial Services division, with subsidiaries in 35 countries, accounts for just under half the net assets stated on the balance sheet.

September 15

Chronicle 2005: September 15
The first direct-injection petrol engine with an integrated compressor and turbocharger debuts in the Golf GT at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new generation of Volkswagen engines sets the standards in terms of dynamics and fuel efficiency. The 1.4 litre engine develops a maximum torque of 240 Nm and a power output of 125 kW/170 hp, with average fuel consumption of 7.2 litres per 100 km. The Golf GT is also available with the 125 kW/170 hp TDI engine. Prices start from EUR 22,500.

Golf R32

Chronicle 2005: Golf R32
The new Golf R32 debuts at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. With 250 hp, the latest top model in the compact class has 9 hp more than its fourth-generation predecessor and accelerates to 100 kilometers per hour in 6.5 seconds. The series-produced luxury compact sports car features 4Motion permanent all-wheel drive and either a six-speed manual transmission or a dual clutch transmission. The R32 is the top-of-the range in the Golf family, the “most powerful Golf of all time.”


Chronicle 2005: EcoRacer
Volkswagen presents the prototype of an economical sports car at the Tokyo Motor Show. The EcoRacer is a ground-breaking combination of lightweight design and drivetrain technology. It only weighs 850 kilograms, has a top speed of 230 kilometers per hour and average consumption of 3.4 liters.

September 25

Chronicle 2005: September 25
Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG announces its intention to acquire approximately 20 percent of the voting share capital in Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. At December 31, 2005 the Stuttgart-based company holds 18.5 percent of the voting share capital.

Jetta ad

Chronicle 2005: Jetta ad
“Wer ihn hat, will ihn zeigen. Der neue Jetta.” (“You will want to show it. The new Jetta.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Fox ad

Chronicle 2005: Fox ad
“Es war ein langer Weg. Schön, dass er sich gelohnt hat.” (“It has been a long way. Great that it was worth it.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2005: Statistics of the Year


Cooperation with Chrysler

Chronicle 2006: Cooperation with Chrysler
Volkswagen and Chrysler sign a cooperation agreement to develop and build a minivan for the US market during the Detroit Motor Show. The Routan, an impressive seven-seater measuring over five meters in length, debuts at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2008. The joint product is based on a Chrysler vehicle and a Volkswagen design concept which tailored interior features and external appearance to the wishes of the American public. The Routan is built at Chrysler’s Canadian plant in Windsor/Ontario.

Polo BlueMotion

Chronicle 2006: Polo BlueMotion
Volkswagen presents the Polo BlueMotion, the most economical car in its class in Europe with an average consumption of 3.9 liters per 100 kilometers, at the Geneva International Motor Show. Powered by an 80 hp high-torque three-cylinder TDI engine fitted with a diesel particulate filter, the car weighing only 1,084 kilos accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 12.8 seconds and has a maximum speed of 176 km/h.

April 28

Chronicle 2006: April 28
The Crafter, built in co-operation with Daimler AG, is launched onto its first markets. The successor to the LT continues the light truck series launched in 1975 featuring a striking contemporary design, the familiar V-shaped radiator grille and enhanced standards of technology, safety and efficiency. As the ideal complement to the Transporter, the three base models cover the heavier three, three-and-a-half and five tonnes classes. The new super-high 2.14 metre cargo compartment roof of the panel van – one of several roof options – is just as prominent as the position held by the Crafter in the light truck segment.

May 15

Chronicle 2006: May 15
In order to establish a production facility in Russia, Volkswagen creates a new company, OOO Volkswagen RUS, based in Kaluga, some 160 kilometres south west of Moscow. The new factory, which assembles SKD Volkswagen and Škoda brand models, is commissioned on November 28, 2007 after a construction period of one year. Volkswagen Group Rus OOO is responsible for sales of Group vehicles.

May 19

Chronicle 2006: May 19
The Eos convertible coupe is launched onto the market. The four-seater is the first production car to feature a five-part roof integrating a sliding and tilting sun roof. The coupe becomes a convertible at the touch of a button in just 25 seconds. Alternatively, the glass front section of the roof can be opened completely or tilted up. The Eos thus offers a high degree of everyday utility the whole year round. Built at the Setubal plant in Portugal, and named after the mythical Greek Goddess of the Dawn, the Eos is offered with a choice of four petrol engines developing power outputs of up to 184 kW/250 hp as well as a 103 kW/140 hp TDI engine. The basic version of the new convertible coupe costs EUR 25,950.

gedas sold

Chronicle 2006: gedas sold
As part of the strategy to focus on core business, Volkswagen AG sells its IT subsidiary gedas AG to T-Systems AG, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. (Photo:© Deutsche Telekom AG)

Europcar sold

Chronicle 2006: Europcar sold
Pursuant to the decision of the Supervisory Board taken on March 15, 2006, ownership of Europcar International S.A.S.U. passes to the French investment group Eurazeo. (Photo:© Europcar Autovermietung GmbH)


Chronicle 2006: Recycling
Volkswagen is presented with the European Commission’s “European Business Award for the Environment” for the recycling process to save resources developed in cooperation with partner company Sicon, a process which enhances the level of residue recycling from shredding end-of-life vehicles.

Touareg V10 TDI

Chronicle 2006: Touareg V10 TDI
The Touareg V10 TDI is the first turbo-diesel SUV with particulate filer on the US market.

October 3

Chronicle 2006: October 3
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft acquires a strategic 15.06 percent holding in MAN AG, one of the world’s leading truck and diesel engine manufacturers, thus safeguarding the production and marketing interests of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand with a view to the emerging co-operation between MAN and the Swedish company Scania AB. In 2007, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft raises its stake in MAN to 29.9 percent and its stake in Scania to 37.4 percent of the voting rights.

November 1

Chronicle 2006: November 1
The collective pay agreement negotiated for Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft comes into effect. It defines key elements of a restructuring programme designed to align productivity, labour costs and capacity utilisation with the competition. For the six German plants, the abolition of the four-day week introduced in 1994 is the central provision of the agreement. A rise in standard working time to a maximum of 33 hours a week for production and 34 hours a week for administration posts is linked to production commitments securing capacity utilisation and jobs for the coming years. In return for waiving a pay increase reflecting the increase in working hours, employees receive a lump-sum one-off payment to their company pension scheme. The agreement also introduces a new profit-sharing system.

Eos ad

Chronicle 2006: Eos ad
“Ein Cabrio für alle. Der neue Eos.” (“A cabriolet for everyone. The new Eos.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Crafter ad

Chronicle 2006: Crafter ad
“Der neue Crafter. Crafter. Unheimlich stark.” (“Looks like a van, works like a truck.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2006: Statistics of the Year


February 6

Chronicle 2007: February 6
Volkswagen India Private Limited is founded in Pune, Maharashtra state, creating the basis for building a car plant in one of the fastest-growing emerging markets. This milestone was preceded by an investment agreement with the Indian government concluded on November 19, 2006. The Volkswagen Group is putting up a total of 580 million euros to build a production facility with a press plant, body shop, paint shop and assembly lines. In the intervening period, Volkswagen will use the production capacities at the Škoda factory in Aurangabad built in 2002. Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited, established in Mumbai on March 7, 2007, is responsible for sales of imported and locally built Group vehicles.

March 8

Chronicle 2007: March 8
The Tiguan compact SUV is exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to its variable interior, the compact off-roader based on the Golf has the attributes of an all-rounder and features many technical innovations, including the new 4MOTION four-wheel drive and the electro-mechanical steering system developed in co-operation with the Volkswagen Group’s component plant in Braunschweig. The Tiguan is powered by a choice of three turbocharged or supercharged FSI engines and two Common Rail four-cylinder units forming part of a new generation of noticeably quieter TDI engines and complying with the Euro 5 standard applicable as from 2009. Prices for the Tiguan start at EUR 26,700.

25 million Golf

Chronicle 2007: 25 million Golf
The Golf, the Volkswagen Group’s highest-selling model since 1975, posts a new production record of 25 million vehicles.

April 27

Chronicle 2007: April 27
The Volkswagen Group presents the world’s first seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox at the Vienna International Engine Symposium. It is more efficient than conventional automatic transmissions, and cuts fuel consumption compared to a manual gearbox by as much as 15 percent.

Up! Concept car at the IAA

Chronicle 2007: Up! Concept car at the IAA
Volkswagen creates quite a stir at the Frankfurt International Motor Show with its Up! concept car. Not only the emotional design and the cost-saving rear engine as well as the intelligent use of space and environmentally sound technology revive Volkswagen’s Beetle tradition. In addition, the attractively-priced Up! is ideal for all lifestyles and all markets: for cross-generation mobility in Europe’s big cities and mass motorization in emerging markets. The two-door version is joined by the four-door and extremely variable Space Up! microvan. And the final member of the New Small Family, the Space Up! Blue, debuted at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2007. The concept car has an electric motor and fuel cell and is emission free.

Quality control

Chronicle 2007: Quality control
The Volkswagen Group delivers 6.2 million vehicles – the highest figure ever. The company reported year-on-year increases of up to 32 percent, particularly on the growth markets of China, Brazil and Eastern Europe.

December 3

Chronicle 2007: December 3
Four in-company agreements signed by the Group Board of Management and Group Works Council set out the “Volkswagen Way”, laying the foundations for the future corporate development of the Volkswagen brand. In essence, these agreements aim to raise productivity while simultaneously securing jobs and ensuring profit-sharing, as well as introducing unified standards for team working. With the help of the workforce, there is to be continuous improvement in workflow and process organisation in all areas of the company.

Tiguan ad

Chronicle 2007: Tiguan ad
“Wild, wenn Sie ihn lassen.” (“The Tiguan. Wild if you let it.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Volkswagen ad

Chronicle 2007: Volkswagen ad
“Wer ein Auto fährt, trägt eine große Verantwortung. Wer eines herstellt, erst recht. “ (“When you drive a car you carry a great responsibility. When you manufacture one, even more so.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2007: Statistics of the Year


January 19

Chronicle 2008: January 19
The new Passat CC mid-class premium model, built at the Emden plant, is launched at the North American International Auto Show. Combining the attributes of an elegant saloon and a dynamic coupe, the car is powered by a range of economical yet powerful TSI and TDI engines from 103 kW/140 hp to 220 kW/300 hp, achieving top speeds of 213 and 250 km/h respectively. The diesel TDI developing 103 kW/140 hp achieves average fuel economy of just 5.8 litres per 100 km. The Passat CC also marks Volkswagen’s production launch of innovative technologies including Lane Assist and the adaptive chassis control system DCC. The basic Passat CC costs EUR 30,300.

February 6

Chronicle 2008: February 6
The Routan debuts at the Chicago Auto Show. The substantial minivan designed for the US market is based on a Chrysler model. It is over five metres long and has room for up to seven seats. Up until 2013, the Routan is built at Chrysler’s Canadian plant in Windsor, Ontario.

March 4

Chronicle 2008: March 4
The Volkswagen Scirocco rolls off the production line at the company’s plant in Setubal, Portugal. The legendary two-door sports coupe’s comeback closes a gap in the Volkswagen product range. Now in its third generation, the dynamic Scirocco combines sportiness with everyday utility. It features a strikingly sporty design, embodied in the long coupe roof, athletic silhouette and very broad-shouldered rear-end. The Scirocco can accommodate four adults in comfort. The desired power is provided by a range of engine choices initially extending up to a 147 kW/200 hp turbo – all of them torquey, economical and low-emission – as well as the optional 7-speed DSG dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox. Scirocco prices start at EUR 21,750.

Plant in Chattanooga

Chronicle 2008: Plant in Chattanooga
To minimize exchange rate risks which have impacted significantly on Volkswagen of America’s business in recent years, the Supervisory Board of Volkwagen AG approves the construction of a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 20 years after the Westmoreland factory was closed down, Volkswagen returns to the USA as a car manufacturer. The new plant with its body shop, paint shop and assembly is designed for annual production of 150,000 vehicles. It is planned to build a mid-class sedan tailored to the US market in Chattanooga from 2011.

April 20

Chronicle 2008: April 20
The regionalisation of the model range is progressed further. The New Bora and Lavida models for the Chinese market have their world premieres at the Auto China show in Beijing. Engineered on the basis of the Jetta, the 4.54 metre long New Bora built by FAW-Volkswagen in Changchun is tailored to the needs of Chinese customers; as is the Lavida: made by Shanghai Volkswagen, it offers a choice of three engine lines and features an extensive chrome package.

July 1

Chronicle 2008: July 1
In Brazil, the new-generation Gol is launched. The two engines on offer, with 1.0 and 1.6 litre capacities and developing power outputs of 53 kW/72 hp or 74 kW/100 hp, feature TotalFlex technology which enables them to run on petrol or ethanol, or on a mixture of the two. The compact, of which more than 5.7 million units have already been produced to date, has been the best-selling automobile in South America for 21 years.

July 22

Chronicle 2008: July 22
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft increases the stake it has held in Scania AB since the year 2000 to 68.8 percent. The Swedish truck manufacturer with a workforce of almost 33,000 is integrated in the Volkswagen Group as the ninth brand. Scania, which is highly profitable and extremely innovative, is one of Europe’s leading truck manufacturers. The premium brand is a trailblazer in the development of low-consumption, low-emission engines. The product range includes heavy trucks above 16 tonnes, buses and coaches as well as industrial and marine engines.

Porsche raises its share in Volkswagen

Chronicle 2008: Porsche raises its share in Volkswagen
Porsche Automobil Holding SE raises its share in Volkswagen AG to 35.14 percent of the voting rights and further increases its shareholding to over 50 percent in January 2009.

Study Amarok

Chronicle 2008: Study Amarok
A pick-up study specially developed for emerging automotive markets makes its debut at the IAA Commercial Vehicles. It is planned to start building Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ new model series at Volkswagen Argentina from fall 2009 with sales focusing on South America, South Africa and Australia. Scania presents another highlight at the exhibition, showcasing the first heavy truck powered by a diesel-ethanol engine. Carbon dioxide emissions from the new Scania engine when running on high-quality bioethanol are cut by 90 percent compared with a conventional diesel engine.

September 29

Chronicle 2008: September 29
The media presentation of the sixth-generation Golf takes place in Iceland. In only five years Volkswagen progressed with the evolution of its classic icon and created a perfected Golf – quieter, safer and more environmentally friendly than ever before thanks to 120 sections of noise insulation, seven airbags and an efficient yet powerful engine range. The TSI and Common Rail diesel engines with power outputs from 59 kW/80 hp to 118 kW/160 hp cut fuel consumption by as much as 28 percent. All comply with the Euro 5 emissions standard. The quality and technology of the new Golf completely redefine the standards in its class. Highlights include assistance systems such as Park Assist and adaptive suspension, which ensures that the suspension is constantly adapted to suit the road and driving situation. The base model costs EUR 16,500.

December 15

Chronicle 2008: December 15
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft disposes of it Brazilian commercial vehicles subsidiary Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus Indústria e Comércio de Veículos Comerciais Ltda. Effective January 1, 2009, ownership of the company known under the name of Volkswagen Trucks & Buses is transferred to MAN AG, which thus gains access to the Latin American market via the sales network of Brazil’s largest truck manufacturer and plans to leverage synergy potentials in the production network. As a result of the sale, the Volkswagen Group focuses its commitment in the truck business on Scania, the new Group brand, and its existing 30 percent stake in MAN. In addition, the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand will continue to serve the light commercial vehicles market.

Golf ad

Chronicle 2008: Golf ad
„Wertigkeit neu erleben.“ (“Experience new value.”) Agentur: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Scirocco ad

Chronicle 2008: Scirocco ad
„Dämpft alles, außer den Fahrspaß.“ (“Dampens everything, except the driving fun.”) Agentur: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2008: Statistics of the Year


January 5

Porsche Automobil Holding SE holds 50.76 percent of the ordinary shares in Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

January 18

Chronicle 2009: January 18
Volkswagen, famed for its innovation and reliability, writes motorsport history on the 2009 Rallye Dakar in Argentina and Chile: A Race Touareg powered by a 206 kW/280 hp TDI engine becomes the first diesel vehicle to top the automobile class in the 30-year history of the event. The success of the winning South African-German duo Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz is backed up by their Volkswagen team colleagues Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford who take second place.

March 31

Chronicle 2009: March 31
A new Volkswagen plant is opened in Pune, India, with annual capacity to produce 110,000 vehicles. In May 2009, following a EUR 580 million investment, the plant begins production of the Škoda Fabia compact. A Volkswagen Polo model developed specially for the Indian market follows in late 2009. The facility incorporating the complete production chain – from the press plant, body and paint shops, to final assembly – is a cornerstone in attaining the targeted growth in India.

May 23

Chronicle 2009: May 23
Playing refreshingly open, attacking football, the VfL Wolfsburg club brings the German Bundesliga title to Volkswagen’s home city. 12 years after gaining promotion to Germany’s elite league, the team achieves its greatest success to date, reaping well-deserved reward for its efforts. The victory convoy of Eos models ends with the traditional reception in front of a huge crowd at the town hall, where the victorious team has its opportunity to thank Wolfsburg’s soccer-mad fans.

August 13

Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and Porsche Automobil Holding SE sign an agreement in principle to create an integrated automotive concern incorporating Porsche under the leadership of Volkswagen. With the approval of the two companies’ Supervisory Boards, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft first acquires a stake in Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG and then, in a second step, purchases the distribution business of Porsche Holding Salzburg from the Porsche and Piëch family shareholders. Part of the integration strategy is for the State of Qatar to acquire the share options held by Porsche Automobil Holding SE, and that phase is essentially completed by the end of August 2009. Porsche will retain its independent identity within the framework of the Volkswagen Group’s existing successful multi-brand strategy.

„Home power plant“

Chronicle 2009: „Home power plant“
Volkswagen and Hamburg-based energy company LichtBlick enter into an energy partnership aimed at opening up new markets for high-efficiency natural gas motors. Volkswagen's Salzgitter plant will produce the "EcoBlue" combined heat and power cogeneration units powered by state-of-the-art gas motors from its in-house production. LichtBlick will market the units as "home power plants" which will not only heat the buildings but also generate electricity on demand by interlinking the distributed network of plants into a grid. As the medium-term plan for the home power plants is to run them on renewable biogas, the "swarm power" concept promises to deliver efficient, climate-neutral electricity which will safeguard jobs at Volkswagen.

October 20

Chronicle 2009: October 20
The plant in Kaluga, Russia, with annual capacity for 150,000 vehicles, switches to complete vehicle production, incorporating in-house body and paint shops as well as a final assembly line. The workforce of some 3,000 outputs a total of 95,079 complete units of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Polo saloon models as well as the Škoda Octavia and Octavia Tour in 2010. The Kaluga facility also assembles the Volkswagen Passat, Golf and Touareg, the Caddy Life and the Škoda Fabia on an SKD basis.

Passat New Lingyu

Chronicle 2009: Passat New Lingyu
In order to achieve the company's growth targets on the Chinese market, the supervisory board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft approves capital investment totaling four billion euro for new products and the expansion of production capacities. Production capacity at each of the plants in Nanjing and Chengdu is to be increased to 350,000 units by 2012. The Volkswagen Group launches three new models from its Chinese production in the course of the year: the Volkswagen Golf and Passat New Lingyu, and the Škoda Superb. The production plants in China also make the Volkswagen Polo, Lavida, Santana, Santana Vista, Touran, Golf, New Bora, Jetta, Sagitar and Magotan models, the Škoda Fabia and Superb, and the Audi A4L and A6L. The Group sustains its dynamic growth in 2009, with sales up 32.4 percent to 1.397 million units.

October 29

Chronicle 2009: October 29
At the meeting of the Volkswagen Group’s Global Works Council held at the Zwickau plant, the Group Management Board, the International Metalworkers’ Federation and the Volkswagen employee representation bodies sign a “Labour Relations Charter”. It lays down binding minimum standards for the participation rights of employee representation bodies at works level across the global network of plants in relation to decision-making on personnel matters and social affairs, work organisation, remuneration systems, information and communications, education and training, as well as sustainability. The three levels of participation agreed extend from the right to be notified by the company, through the right to consultation, to a right of comprehensive co-determination. The concrete implementation of the Charter will be regulated at the individual locations by mutual agreement between the plant management and employee representatives.

November 23

Chronicle 2009: November 23
The Pacheco plant in Argentina starts production of the Amarok. The 5.25 metre long mid-size pick-up with a 2.52 square metre load surface, initially on offer as a twin-cab model, closes a gap in the Volkswagen product range. Featuring rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options and engine outputs of 90 kW/122 hp and 120 kW/163 hp respectively, the truck sets new standards in the pick-up segment with average fuel consumption of 7.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. The Amarok incorporating BlueMotion technology uses braking energy recuperation, road resistance-optimised tires and a start-stop system to further save as much as 0.5 litres per 100 km. Prices start from EUR 28,940. The single-cab variant launched in 2011 features a 3.57 square metre load surface which offers plenty of stowage options for hunters, riders, and many other users. The success of the Amarok – with more than 76,965 units produced up to the end of 2011 – results in production also being launched at the Hanover plant in late June 2012. The plan is for its production to serve customers in Europe and Africa, while the Pacheco plant focuses on Latin and South America.

December 7

Chronicle 2009: December 7
Pursuant to the previous agreement in principle, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft pays EUR 3.9 billion to acquire 49.9 percent of the shares in Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.

Golf GTI ad

Chronicle 2009: Golf GTI ad
„Ab 21 Jahren. Nicht für Jungs, sondern für Männer. Der neue Golf GTI.” („Only from 21 years. Not for boys. Just for men. The new Golf GTI.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

Home power plant

Chronicle 2009: Home power plant
Combined heat and power plants built by Volkswagen.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2009: Statistics of the Year


February 26

Chronicle 2010: February 26
The Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue.” image and marketing campaign promotes efficient driving and ecological sustainability. Beginning with print ads, and followed up by TV spots, Web specials and e-games, the campaign emphasises the potential savings to be achieved for everyone and spotlights growing environmental awareness. This represents a consolidation of Volkswagen’s sustainability-related activities in more than 30 markets aimed at becoming the world’s most ecologically sustainable car-maker.

March 4

Chronicle 2010: March 4
The new-generation Sharan has its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. This large-size Volkswagen MPV, 4.85 metres long, with up to seven seats, and offering a maximum load capacity of 2,430 litres, also features sliding doors and as many as nine airbags. Its stand-out strengths are variability, spaciousness, comfort and safety. The MPV is solidly built, and generously specified in all but its fuel consumption: the 103 kW/140 hp TDI Sharan consumes just 5.5 litres per 100 km – the world’s best fuel economy in the MPV class. The other TDI and TSI engines developing up to 125 kW/170 hp of power have also been made as much as 21 percent more economical. And the Sharan is the only MPV in its class to offer a four-wheel drive option. Whether as a leisure utility, a family run-around or a tourer – the Sharan offers plenty of space for any use. The Sharan is built at the Setubal plant in Portugal. Its entry-level price is EUR 28,850.

April 10

Chronicle 2010: April 10
The second generation of the Touran, built at the Wolfsburg plant, premieres at the Auto Mobil International motor show in Leipzig. The first-generation Touran sold 1.13 million units, quickly becoming the most popular MPV in Germany. The redesign further enhances the best-seller’s existing strengths in terms of spaciousness and variability: A load capacity of 1,989 litres and as many as 39 different stowage options underscore the model’s strong appeal to families. The look of the Touran embodies Volkswagen’s design DNA, while the engine range featuring power outputs between 77 kW/105 hp and 125 kW/170 hp is in line with the company’s downsizing policy. The most economical model in the range is the 1.6 TDI incorporating BlueMotion technology and likewise developing 77 kW/105 hp. Its average consumption of 4.6 litres per 100 km is a new best for a seven-seater MPV. The Touran is also available with a twin-turbocharged compressed natural gas (CNG) engine. The top-of-the-range 125 kW/170 hp engine comes with the seven-speed dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox (DSG) as standard. Other innovative features include the assistance systems such as the automatic main beam headlight control and the new Park Assist 2.0, which if required can handle longitudinal and parallel parking almost entirely automatically. The entry-level model costs EUR 22,400.

April 14

Chronicle 2010: April 14
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft achieves the largest publicly placed capital increase in the automotive sector to date, raising a net EUR 4.1 billion. The issue of almost 65 million new preference shares attracts strong interest from institutional investors especially. Volkswagen enjoys high levels of trust and confidence thanks to its record of sustained success, and is able to establish a sound foundation to implement its medium-term strategy of becoming the world’s leading automobile concern according to both economic and ecological measures by 2018.

June 9

Chronicle 2010: June 9
Volkswagen signs contracts with partner FAW-Volkswagen to construct a new plant in Foshan, in the Guangdong region of southern China. With capacity for 300,000 vehicles, and a workforce of some 4,000 people, the plant starts production in 2013. The EUR 520 million investment financed by FAW-Volkswagen’s cash flow forms part of the Group’s long-term growth strategy on the global automotive market.

August 9

Chronicle 2010: August 9
The Volkswagen Group enhances its design competence by acquiring 90.1 percent of the shares in Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. (IDG), Turin, including its name rights and patents. IDG is a design and development company founded in 1968. It has played a key role in shaping the modern face of Volkswagen and Audi models, including the design of the first-generation Golf and the Audi 80 back in the 1970s. Generating annual sales of EUR 100 million and with a staff of some 800 people, IDG has also previously worked on the design of the up! model family. The framework development contract signed in 2008 had already provided the Volkswagen Group with extensive access to the creativity and design strength of the Italian experts.

New plant in China

Chronicle 2010: New plant in China
As part of its long-term growth strategy, Volkswagen agrees with partner Shanghai Volkswagen to construct a plant with annual capacity to produce 300,000 units in Yizheng, eastern China. The facility will incorporate a press plant, body and paint shops and final assembly line, and will create approximately 3,700 direct jobs. Planning approval was received from the Chinese authorities on 28th June, 2011.

September 28

Chronicle 2010: September 28
The Passat is launched: The saloon and Variant are trend-setters in terms of quality and precision at the Paris Motor Show. The design of the seventh generation features straight lines, clearly structured surfaces and dynamic proportions. The stylish Passat is well on the way to maintaining and extending the success represented by its more than 15 million units produced to date. The range of 10 engines, with power outputs extending from 77 kW/105 hp to 220 kW/300 hp, delivers impressive improvements in fuel economy of as much as 19 percent. The 1.6 TDI developing 77 kW/105 hp consumes just 4.2 litres of diesel per 100 km thanks to its BlueMotion technology. With CO2 emission of 114 g/km, Volkswagen has introduced even greater levels of sustainability to the mid-class segment. And in fact, its standards of comfort, equipment spec and electronic driver assistance systems are more in line with the luxury class: Features include fatigue detection, dynamic main beam headlight control, adaptive cruise control and an automatic city-driving emergency braking function as well as bi-xenon headlights with daytime running lights and a power-operated panoramic sun roof. The increased range of up to 1,628 km is ideal for lengthy trips, as is the whisper-quiet interior thanks to improved noise insulation. The Passat remains the benchmark in its class in terms of size, while the Variant’s intelligent load space system makes it even more variable. Prices for the Passat start at EUR 24,425.

September 30

Chronicle 2010: September 30
Production of the new Volkswagen Caddy and the Caddy Maxi starts at the Poznań plant. The Pozna´n facility builds 650 small vans every working day. The fourth-generation Caddy, incorporating a much enhanced package of equipment features and a new front-end design, offers six new TDI and TSI engines delivering fuel savings of as much as 21 percent. Its high levels of functionality and low maintenance costs have already brought the Polish-built Caddy 850,000 new owners.

December 21

Chronicle 2010: December 21
The agreement with local partner DRB-HICOM to carry out vehicle assembly in Malaysia represents a further expansion of Volkswagen’s operations in the ASEAN region. In view of the country’s approximately 570,000 new car sales a year, and its even greater future potential, establishing a stronger presence on the Malaysian market is a key element of the company’s long-term growth strategy.

Passat ad

Chronicle 2010: Passat ad
„Voll blendender Ideen. Und einer, die abblendet. Mehr als eine Idee voraus. Der neue Passat.” („Speed of light-button. Was not installed. It didn’t stand the test of regular traffic. More than one idea ahead. The new Passat.”) Agency: Grabarz & Partner

Sharan ad

Chronicle 2010: Sharan ad
„Öffnet auf Knopfdruck: Heckklappe, Schiebetüren und Kinnladen. Der neue Sharan. Mit elektrischen Schiebetüren.” („Opens at the push of a button: Tailgate, Sliding Doors and Jaws. The new Sharan. With electric sliding doors.”) Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

The new Touran

Chronicle 2010: The new Touran
World premiere of the new family car at the Auto Mobil International (AMI) 2010 in Leipzig.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2010: Statistics of the Year


January 26

Chronicle 2011: January 26
With the world premiere of the XL1 prototype at the Qatar Motor Show, Volkswagen underscores its claims to leadership in the development of sustainable mobility. The near production-ready high-tech light-weight two-seater with a plug-in hybrid drive, comprising a two-cylinder TDI engine developing 35 kW/48 hp, an electric motor developing 20 kW/27 hp, a seven-speed dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox and a lithium-ion battery, consumes just 0.9 litres of fuel per 100 km. The first deliveries to customers are made in 2013.

January 28

Chronicle 2011: January 28
Volkswagen lays the foundation stone for a new engine plant in Silao in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Starting in 2013, the facility supplies North American production sites with up to 330,000 engine units a year. Representing an investment of some 400 million euro in the development of the new engine and the construction of the plant, the project creates more than 700 new jobs.

January 31

Chronicle 2011: January 31
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft consolidates its Governance, Risk and Compliance functions under the new post of the Chief Compliance Officer, reporting directly to the Chairman of the Management Board.

March 1

Chronicle 2011: March 1
Implementing the agreement in principle signed with Porsche in 2009, Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft acquires Porsche Holding Salzburg. With a workforce of 20,900 people, Porsche Holding Salzburg in the previous year sold 565,000 new and used cars in Austria, Western and South Eastern Europe and in China, generating revenues of more than 12 billion euro. The new acquisition continues to operate as an autonomous unit, further boosting the Group’s sales based on its key strengths of high efficiency and enormous earning power.

March 17

Chronicle 2011: March 17
Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH starts production of the new Golf Cabriolet, which had been launched at the Geneva Motor Show. Among the four-seater’s standard features is an electro-hydraulically powered fabric roof which opens in just 9.5 seconds. Like the Golf, the Cabriolet sets new standards in terms of quality and value. Supreme levels of safety are assured by features including the automatically deploying roll bars, front and side head/thorax airbags, a knee airbag on the driver side, and ESP. The range of six direct-injection turbo engines provide power outputs extending from 77 kW/105 hp to 155 kW/210 hp. The Golf GTI Cabriolet variant available from June 2012 provides fresh-air fans with plenty of performance to accompany their cruising fun. BlueMotion technology keeps the fuel consumption of the Golf Cabriolet 1.6 TDI down to 4.4 litres per 100 km. Prices for the open-top delights of the Golf start from EUR 23,625. The Osnabrück plant covers a total area of 426,000 square metres, and has capacity to produce 100,000 vehicles a year. Its focus is on small-volume products such as convertible and roadster models.

May 24

Chronicle 2011: May 24
After around two years under construction, Volkswagen’s new US plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee is opened. The facility with annual capacity for 150,000 vehicles and employing 2,000 people is focused on production of the Passat. Specially designed for the American market, the model is 4.86 metres long and is marketed at a base price of less than 20,000 Dollars. The plant and the mid-class saloon made by Volkswagen in Chattanooga are key factors in the planned US sales drive. On November 17, 2011, the Passat built in Chattanooga is awarded the title “Best Car of the Year”. Thanks to the outstanding popularity of Group models, US sales in 2011 rise by an impressive 23 percent against the previous year to 444,331 units.

June 28

Chronicle 2011: June 28
The key Chinese market, which in 2011 accounted for one in four of all Group vehicles sold, continues to offer major prospects for growth. The Chinese government approves the construction of two new car factories, each with annual capacity for 300,000 units. The facilities are constructed by Volkswagen in conjunction with its joint venture partners Shanghai Volkswagen at Yizheng in eastern China and FAW-Volkswagen at Foshan in the south, and go into production in 2013. On August 29, 2011, the first engine reconditioning line goes into operation at Dalian in north-eastern China, following on from the location’s launch of production of the dual-clutch direct-shift gearbox (DSG) on May 11, 2010. The facility underpins Volkswagen’s leading position as an ecologically sustainable automobile manufacturer in China as elsewhere.

July 15

Chronicle 2011: July 15
The Puebla plant in Mexico starts production of the Beetle, carrying the emotional heritage of the legendary Volkswagen model into the 21st century. This third generation of Volkswagen’s icon, tagged the 21st Century Beetle, echoes the styling of the historic original even more strongly than before. Playful, dynamic and masculine, the characteristic silhouette has been made wider and lower, with completely new proportions. The Beetle exhibits all the styling elements typical of the classic model, embodying the characteristic Volkswagen design DNA as well as offering all practical attributes for everyday use. The engine range consists of five petrol units developing power outputs from 77 kW/105 hp to 147 kW/200 hp and two diesels developing 77 kW/105 hp and 103 kW/140 hp respectively. Top speed is 220 km/h, while the most economical variant of the 21st century Beetle consumes just 4.3 litres of diesel per 100 km. The entry-level price is EUR 16,950.

September 15

Chronicle 2011: September 15
The world premiere of the up! at the Frankfurt Motor Show marks a new milestone in the small car segment. Built at the Bratislava plant, the 3.54 metre long up! offers plenty of space. The new-style city specialist features ESP as standard and optionally comes with a City Emergency Brake function. Two petrol engines developing 44 kW/60 hp and 55 kW/75 hp respectively and an LPG unit delivering 50 kW/68 hp are available. The 44 kW engine incorporating BlueMotion technology consumes 4.2 litres per 100 km. Available in three equipment lines, the base model is priced at EUR 9,850. AutoCredit2 finance makes the offer even more attractive. The up! was awarded the 2011 “Golden Steering Wheel” and was named “World Car of the Year 2012”. Since its German market launch in December 2011, it has topped new car registrations in its class. In May 2012 a four-door version of the up! appears on dealers’ forecourts. This marks the advance of Volkswagen’s new model initiative into the smallest segment, which will offer a wide range of New Small Family variants in future.

November 9

Chronicle 2011: November 9
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft holds 55.90 percent of the voting rights and 53.71 percent of the share capital in MAN SE, providing it with a majority interest. This represents a major step in the company’s strategy of creating a commercial vehicles group comprising MAN, Scania and the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand.

„Déjà VW.”

Chronicle 2011: „Déjà VW.”
„Déjà VW. The 21st Century Beetle.” Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach

„Klein ist groß. Der neue up!“

Chronicle 2011: „Klein ist groß. Der neue up!“
„So klein und schon ein Volkswagen! Klein ist groß. Der neue up!“ („You can’t build a smaller Volkswagen! Small is great. The new up!”) Agency: Grabarz & Partner

From the Beetle to the 21st Century Beetle

Chronicle 2011: From the Beetle to the 21st Century Beetle
A new original.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2011: Statistics of the Year


January 6

The Volkswagen Group China and Chinese partners of Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. sign a contract to build a new plant in Ningbo, southern China, with annual production capacity for 300,000 vehicles. From 2014 onwards, the facility incorporating a press plant, body shop, paint shop and final assembly line will help boost Volkswagen’s production capacities to three million vehicles a year in response to ongoing increases in demand.

March 11

Expanding its operations in the ASEAN region, the Volkswagen Group Malaysia starts SKD production of the Passat at partner DRB-HICOM’s plant in Pekan. The foundation stone is also laid for a new unit at the same location for CKD production of the Volkswagen Jetta and Polo models.

April 9

Start of production of the Audi A3 marks the Volkswagen Group’s launch of the so-called MQB platform for shared modular construction of its transverse-mounted engines. All Group models in segments A0 to B with front transverse-mounted engines will in future be able to utilise a flexible platform combining unified systems, such as configuration of the pedal distance from the centre of the wheel, with co-ordinated variable dimensions. This opens up the possibility to build volume and niche models of top quality, tailored to the needs of a wide variety of markets, at competitive cost. Vehicles with different wheelbases and track widths can be built on the same line, enabling shared production of different brand models. The MQB platform complements Audi’s MLB modular system for longitudinally-mounted engines and Porsche’s MSB modular standard drive train platform, as well as co-ordinating with the Group’s most compact model series designated the New Small Family.

April 23

Chronicle 2012: April 23
The New Lavida A-segment notchback saloon built by Shanghai Volkswagen makes its debut at the Auto China show. Incorporating three engine variants and four equipment lines, the model is closely tailored to the needs of Chinese customers. It features state-of-the-art technology, timeless design, generous amounts of space and high levels of workmanship, and offers outstanding value for money.

June 6

Chronicle 2012: June 6
Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft increases its share of the voting rights in MAN SE to 75.03 percent, advancing its strategy of establishing an integrated commercial vehicles group. MAN becomes a Group brand alongside Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, forming part of the main board Commercial Vehicles portfolio.

July 19

Chronicle 2012: July 19
The acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in Bologna-based Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. by AUDI AG subsidiary Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. brings into the Volkswagen Group an Italian motorcycle name renowned worldwide for its sporty models.

July 26

Chronicle 2012: July 26
Shanghai Volkswagen opens its new plant in Yizheng, eastern China, designed to produce 300,000 vehicles a year with a workforce of 3,700 people. The facility is a leader in environmental sustainability, including a paint shop conforming to the very highest ecological standards and use of geothermal energy to heat and cool the factory areas. Solar plants are also installed to provide resource-friendly power for equipment such as forklifts.

August 1

Chronicle 2012: August 1
The transfer into Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft of the 50.1 percent share in Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG held indirectly by Porsche SE creates an integrated automobile concern combining Volkswagen and Porsche. Through an intermediate holding company, Volkswagen thus owns 100 percent of the shares in Porsche AG, which it is operating as an independent Group brand.

August 28

Chronicle 2012: August 28
The contracts for the construction of an engine plant at Kaluga in Russia are signed in Moscow. Representing an investment of some 250 million euro, the facility is scheduled for completion by 2015. It will have capacity to produce 150,000 units a year of the EA 211 engine generation. The foundation stone for the new plant was laid on December 11, 2012.

August 31

In Tianjin, China, the foundation stone is laid for a gearbox plant with capacity to produce 450,000 units a year. The new plant, in which 230 million euro is being invested, will further expand the Group’s production network in China. Launching production in late 2014, it will create 1,500 new jobs.

September 1

Volkswagen carries out an extensive organisational and personnel restructuring as part of its Strategy 2018. Reflecting the economic significance of the market, a new “China” portfolio is added to the Group Management Board functions. It is headed by Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, formerly responsible for Commercial Vehicles. Leif Östling – until August 31, 2012 CEO of Scania – joins the Group Management Board as Director of the Commercial Vehicles division. His remit is to oversee the expansion of the commercial vehicles business, enhancing synergies between the MAN, Scania and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands and maximising growth potential.

September 4

Chronicle 2012: September 4
The seventh-generation Golf has its world premiere in Berlin. Impressive new features of the class-leading compact include lighter weight, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions allied to even more enhanced levels of comfort and safety. The car was awarded the top five-star rating in NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) crash testing. The new Golf’s engineering is based on the MQB modular platform for transverse-mounted engines. Launched onto the German market on November 7, the new Volkswagen quickly becomes a hit thanks to its wide range of high-end features, including extensive driver assistance systems, state-of-the-art engine technology, incorporating a start-stop system and an energy recuperation mode, as well as its supremely elegant design. Prices start from EUR 16,975.

October 30

Chronicle 2012: October 30
The new Santana built by Shanghai Volkswagen debuts in Wolfsburg, where the first generation of the model was launched 31 years ago. Since being transferred to China in 1982, it has enjoyed massive success, selling almost four million units. The latest version of the notchback saloon features a clearly defined, precise design, intelligent use of space, with plenty of leg room in the rear and a large luggage capacity, high levels of safety and comfort, as well as an exclusive look. It has all the attributes needed to maintain its leading position on the Chinese market.

November 28

Chronicle 2012: November 28
The Los Angeles Auto Show provides the new Beetle Cabriolet with the perfect stage to show off its iconic qualities. Bigger, more powerful, more assured and more economical than its predecessors, featuring a roof which opens in just 9.5 seconds and with engine performance extending up to the top-of-the-range 147 kW/200 hp unit, the Cabriolet embodies the perfect mix of sportiness and style.

November 30

Chronicle 2012: November 30
In Munich, the Group Management Board, the employee representatives of  Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and the international trade union federation IndustriAll Global Union sign the “Temporary Work Charter for the Volkswagen Group”, laying down the basic principles of temporary working and stipulating appropriate employment conditions and pay. It states that temporary work is to be deployed only in moderation as a flexible means of balancing out fluctuations in the economic cycle and to handle specific tasks. At the same time, however, temporary working opens the way for a transition to full employment with Volkswagen. Temporary staff are to be offered training in order to obtain qualifications which will bring them more closely into line with the permanent workforce.

December 6

Following the contract manufacture agreement concluded in June 2011 with Russian carmaker GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod, CKD production of the Škoda Yeti is begun. The facility has already been producing for the Russian market on a SKD basis since late 2011. The Volkswagen Jetta and Škoda Octavia models are also being built at the same location, in order to exploit growth opportunities on the Russian market as part of the Group’s Strategy 2018.

„Der Golf. Das Auto.“

Chronicle 2012: „Der Golf. Das Auto.“
„In einer Woche atmet der Mensch bis zu 87.500 Liter Luft ein. Der Golf. Das Auto. Mit BlueMotion Technology serienmäßig.“ („Each month a human breathes the air volume of 150.000 balloons. Der Golf. Das Auto. With BlueMotion Technology as standard.”) Agency: Grabarz & Partner

The new Golf

Chronicle 2012: The new Golf
The seventh generation takes off.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2012: Statistics of the Year


15 January

The opening of the engine plant at Silao in central Mexico marks the launch of the 100th manufacturing location in the Group's history. Designed for an annual capacity of 330,000 engines and with a workforce of more than 700 people, the facility will supply Volkswagen's North American vehicle plants in Puebla and Chattanooga with state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient TSI engines of the EA 888 series. The investment in the new plant totals 550 million US Dollars.

16 May

Aiming to increase production capacity in China to four million vehicles a year by 2018, Volkswagen signs an agreement with its Chinese joint venture partner FAW to construct a vehicle plant at Changsha in southern China, and the ground is broken at the site. Designed to build 300,000 vehicles a year and scheduled to start production by the end of 2015, the new plant will incorporate all the facilities for complete automobile manufacture, including a press shop, body shop, paint shop, and final assembly line. In line with the "Think Blue. Factory." strategy aimed at cutting emissions and reducing energy and water consumption, the new factory will implement the principles of resource-conserving production.

27 May

Volkswagen and Philippines corporation Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. sign an import agreement for Volkswagen brand cars in Hong Kong. Volkswagen is looking to build on the earlier successes of the Beetle and the Transporter in the Philippines in order to boost its operations in the ASEAN region. Working with the importer – a subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation – Volkswagen brings various models to market and expands its service network.

16 August

Chronicle 2013: 16 August
The new engine plant of FAW Engine (Dalian) Co., Ltd. in Changchun starts production. Covering an area of 94,000 square metres, the plant will manufacture 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines of the EA-888 series. It will initially provide capacity for up to 300,000 units a year, ultimately building to 450,000 with effect from mid-2014. The engines will be fitted in Volkswagen and Audi cars manufactured in China, and are the first on the Chinese market to conform to the Euro 6 standard.

19 August

Chronicle 2013: 19 August
The launch of the Golf Variant extends the company's offering in the Golf class. At a total length of 4.562 metres, the vehicle provides luggage compartment space of between 605 and 1620 litres – "room for everything", as the slogan goes. With its dynamic and sporty design, the compact looks very stylish. The panoramic sun roof allows lots of light to flood into the comfortable interior. The range of five petrol and diesel engines provide power outputs between 63 kW/85 hp and 110 kW/150 hp. Prices start from 18,900 Euro.

29 August

Chronicle 2013: 29 August
The opening of the Urumqi vehicle plant in the Xinjiang region of western China underscores the growth trend on the Chinese market. The plant begins its operations with SKD (Semi-Knocked-Down) assembly of the Santana. After the launch of the paint shop and body shop in 2014, annual production capacity rises to 50,000 vehicles.

12 September

Chronicle 2013: 12 September
The Volkswagen e-Golf and e-up! electrify visitors to the Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA). The e-Golf provides all-electric mobility in the customary high-grade, highly functional Golf environment. The e-up! four-seater city specialist also on show at the event is the most economical Volkswagen, setting new standards of efficiency. A standard feature in the e-up! is a navigation and information system based on dedicated e-specific software. Volkswagen has thus brought zero-emission power train systems to the mass-production market, offering all relevant categories of drive within its vehicle range.

25 September

Chronicle 2013: 25 September
FAW-Volkswagen's new vehicle plant at Foshan in southern china is opened. The first product to roll off its production line is the seventh-generation Golf, serving as a local source for the Chinese market. The plant offers annual production capacity for 300,000 units, and within the first year its workforce rises to 4,500. In 2014 it also starts building the Audi A3 Saloon and the Audi A3 Sportback. Thanks to its almost complete recycling of waste water, its high levels of material recycling and its use of solar power, the Foshan plant sets new eco-friendly standards for car-making facilities in China.

22 October

The European Court of Justice affirms the conformity of the 2007 amendment to Germany's so-called "Volkswagen Law" governing shareholders' voting rights, finding that the valid blocking minority does not represent an infringement of European Union law. The Articles of Association of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft also stipulate an 80 percent majority vote for decision-making at the company's Annual General Meeting.

24 October

Chronicle 2013: 24 October
The newly opened plant at Ningbo in south-eastern China starts production of the Škoda Superb. The following year it also starts building the Škoda Octavia, as well as the Volkswagen Lamando – a Jetta modified for the needs of the Chinese market. The Shanghai-Volkswagen plant is the Volkswagen Group's sixteenth in China. Designed to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, initially with a workforce of some 2,300 people, it has its own press shop, body shop, paint shop and final assembly line, outputting Volkswagen and Škoda brand cars.

22 November

Chronicle 2013: 22 November
Volkswagen Slovakia launches a new press shop at its Bratislava plant. A 90 million Euro investment extends the manufacturing depth at the location. At the heart of the 24,000 square metre press shop facility is the press itself, the biggest in the entire Group, with a force of 91,000 kilonewtons. Designed to execute 13,000 strokes a day, the new press shop will make side panels, bonnets, tailgates, roofs, wings and doors.

19 December

Chronicle 2013: 19 December
The new plastics paint shop is opened in shed 53b at the Wolfsburg plant. The facility, in which 120 staff paint as many as 4,000 bumpers and other plastic components a day in the colours specified by the customers, reduces energy consumption by almost a half and cuts emissions from the painting process by 90 percent. The plastics paint shop is part of the strategy to attain the goals of the "Think Blue. Factory." programme, which will cut energy and water consumption as well as emissions from the production process by 25 percent by 2018.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2013: Statistics of the Year


5 February

Chronicle 2014: 5 February
At the Auto Expo in New-Delhi, Volkswagen presents its enhanced Taigun concept, a four-seater compact SUV. Just 3.86 metres long, the cross-over model combines a spacious interior with efficient three-cylinder engines developing up to 81 kW/110 hp. The outside-mounted spare wheel and the panelling on the side sills, wheel housings and bumpers underscore its robust character. Youthful colours aim to make the low-cost entry-level model even more appealing.

7 March

Chronicle 2014: 7 March
Production of the e-Golf starts in Wolfsburg. The first car to roll off the line is coloured Oryx white. Based on the modular transverse mounting kit, the e-Golf can be built on the same line as the established Golf. The four-door model develops a maximum torque of 270 Nm from a standing start. With a range of 130 to 190 km, the 85 kW/115 hp electric motor offers a maximum torque of 270 Nm, guaranteeing efficiency and agility. Power costs are 3.28 Euro per 100 kilometres, thanks to consumption of just 12.7 kW per 100 km – a ground-breaking low in the compact class. The electric car accelerates to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds. Under the bonnet, the e-Golf is very different to its petrol and diesel engined counterparts. Externally, it is identifiable by special signature lighting with full-LED headlights. Its price starts from 34,900 Euro.

30 May

Chronicle 2014: 30 May
The Golf Sportsvan is launched onto the market. The compact MPV features outstanding levels of spaciousness and comfort. The variable luggage compartment has a 1,520 litre capacity. The fold-down front passenger seat enables items up to 2.40 metres in length to be carried. Available in six engine variants, including four TSI and two TDI units developing power outputs between 63 kW/85 hp and 110 kW/150 hp, the model also scores highly thanks to its raised seat position, providing improved all-round visibility. The Golf Sportsvan incorporates state-of-the-art technologies, including the start-stop system as standard, as well as optional innovative assistance systems such as Lane Assist or Rear Traffic Alert. Its base price is 19,625 Euro.

19 June

Chronicle 2014: 19 June
The opening of the newly constructed "E-Campus" competence centre for electrical and electronic engineering development on the Wolfsburg site bundles the key development functions for vehicle electromobility and connectivity. The futuristic eight-storey building, covering a total area of 42,900 square metres, symbolises the rapid advance towards the digital connectivity, infotainment and driver assistance systems in vehicles of the future.

3 July

Chronicle 2014: 3 July
The new Passat celebrates its world premiere at the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam. The new model strikingly features a lower body shape, a longer wheelbase accompanied by larger wheels, and much more dynamically styled proportions. The eighth generation of the successful mid-class mode – available as a saloon, estate and subsequently also as the Alltrack variant – is offered in a range of 10 direct-injection petrol and turbo-diesel engines with power outputs between 88 kW/122 hp and 206 kW/280 hp, all conforming to the Euro 6 emissions standard. A new era for the Passat is embodied in state-of-the-art technologies such as the Active Info Display digital instrument cluster and the Front Assist feature with city-emergency braking function and pedestrian recognition. The entry-level model costs EUR 30,250.

7 July

Chronicle 2014: 7 July
The Volkswagen Group concludes an agreement with its Chinese joint venture partner First Automotive Works to expand production capacities. A total of two billion Euro is invested in two vehicle plants, at Qingdao in the east-coast province of Shandong and in Tianjin.

14 July

Chronicle 2014: 14 July
In response to high demand, starting in Summer 2015 the Porsche Cayenne is also built at the Volkswagen plant in Osnabrück. The decision entails a 25 million Euro investment, creating capacity to assemble 20,000 vehicles a year.

14 July

Chronicle 2014: 14 July
Volkswagen Group America announces its decision to produce the new Volkswagen mid-size SUV in Chattanooga. The model is scheduled to go into production in late 2016, and is targeted at the growing SUV market. Investment of around 900 million Dollars creates 2,000 new jobs.

10 October

Chronicle 2014: 10 October
The Volkswagen Group extends its joint venture agreement with Chinese partner First Automotive Works by a further 25 years, until 2041, in order to build on successful operations in China over the long term. At the same time, an agreement is concluded with the SAIC Motor Corporation to construct a testing and proving ground for models of the joint venture Shanghai-Volkswagen close to the Urumqi plant opened in 2013.

4 November

Chronicle 2014: 4 November
The Tianjin component plant starts production of DQ380 dual-clutch transmissions. The plant in the north will initially have capacity to produce 450,000 transmissions a year, rising to 1.2 million units from 2016 onwards. It will then employ 5,500 people.

13 November

Chronicle 2014: 13 November
At Września in Poland, the foundation stone is laid for the new Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plant scheduled to open in 2016. With annual capacity for 100,000 vehicles, and incorporating a state-of-the-art paint shop, body shop and vehicle assembly sheds, as well as a supplier park, a workforce of up to 3,000 people will be employed on production of the new generation of the Volkswagen Crafter.

5 December

Chronicle 2014: 5 December
With the market launch of the Golf GTE, Volkswagen extends its product range with its first plug-in hybrid model, powered by a 1.4 litre TSI engine developing 110 kW/150 hp and a 75 kW/102 hp electric motor. The Golf GTE emits just 36 grams of CO2 per km (NEDC) and, with a total range of 940 km, can operate in electric-only mode for up to 50 km.

Zukunft für alle.

Chronicle 2014: Zukunft für alle.
“Zukunft für alle. Innovationen für alle. E-Mobilität von Volkswagen.” Agency: DDB, Berlin.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2014: Statistics of the Year


15 April

Chronicle 2015: 15 April
The T6 series – the sixth generation of the versatility champion from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – celebrates its world premier in Amsterdam. Sixty-five years after the launch of the original classic “Bulli” design Transporter, the occasion sees the Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan models take to the stage. Coming in two available wheelbases and in panel van, combi, double cab, flat-bed van or minibus format offering up to nine seats, the model series launches with three new Euro 6 diesel engines featuring power outputs between 62 kW/85 hp and 110 kW/150 hp. Made safer by new driver assistance systems such as ACC, Front Assist, Light Assist and multi-collision brakes, more comfortable thanks to adaptive suspension, more up-to-date and informative thanks to their new audio/navigation system with integrated online services, and more affordable thanks to prices starting from EUR 29,990.90, the as-ever comprehensive range of Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle variants, together with the California camper, open a new chapter in their success story.The T6 series – the sixth generation of the versatility champion from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles – celebrates its world premier in Amsterdam. Sixty-five years after the launch of the original classic “Bulli” design Transporter, the occasion sees the Transporter, Caravelle and Multivan models take to the stage. Coming in two available wheelbases and in panel van, combi, double cab, flat-bed van or minibus format offering up to nine seats, the model series launches with three new Euro 6 diesel engines featuring power outputs between 62 kW/85 hp and 110 kW/150 hp. Made safer by new driver assistance systems such as ACC, Front Assist, Light Assist and multi-collision brakes, more comfortable thanks to adaptive suspension, more up-to-date and informative thanks to their new audio/navigation system with integrated online services, and more affordable thanks to prices starting from EUR 29,990.90, the as-ever comprehensive range of Transporter, Multivan and Caravelle variants, together with the California camper, open a new chapter in their success story.

25 April

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Ferdinand K. Piëch, resigns his post with immediate effect, also terminating his membership of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG and all other mandates within the Volkswagen Group. Current Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board Berthold Huber will assume the role of Chairman on a temporary basis until a successor is elected.The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Ferdinand K. Piëch, resigns his post with immediate effect, also terminating his membership of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG and all other mandates within the Volkswagen Group. Current Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board Berthold Huber will assume the role of Chairman on a temporary basis until a successor is elected.

1 May

Chronicle 2015: 1 May
The Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin, DRIVE, opens its doors in the Lindencorso building following an extensive revamp and featuring a new master concept. DRIVE is the communications platform for all Volkswagen Group brands and Volkswagen Financial Services AG in Berlin.

24 May

Chronicle 2015: 24 May
As part of the Volkswagen Group's Go South strategy to better serve the still rapidly growing Chinese market, joint venture Shanghai Volkswagen opens a new plant in Changsha, southern China, after just two years under construction. The Group's 20th plant in China, with a planned workforce of 4,000, is designed for an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles. In the start-up phase it produces the Volkswagen New Lavida; the Škoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Touran models are added later. Located some 900 kilometres south of Shanghai, the recently established factory sets new standards in terms of environmental sustainability, consuming a fifth less water thanks to its eco-friendly paint shop techniques. Its solar installations and local hydro power source enable it to run carbon-neutral production.

26 May

Chronicle 2015: 26 May
Production of the fourth-generation Caddy starts at the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles plant in Poznań. The design of the popular and versatile leisure or business vehicle embodies competence and confidence; its interior can be adapted to users' wishes – from robust to exclusive. The wide sliding doors and tailgate or wing doors aid entry and exit, as well as making loading and unloading easier. Available in combi and panel van variants as well as in standard and maxi versions with up to 4.7 cubic metres of load space and a 762 kg payload capacity, or with up to seven seats, the Caddy offers optimum flexibility. Eight Euro 6-compliant engines, including a 1.4 litre CNG unit, deliver power outputs between 55 kW/75 hp and 110 kW/150 hp. The Caddy is also the only vehicle in its class to offer the option of 4MOTION four-wheel drive. As a city van or a standard passenger car, the Caddy comes in a wide range of different colours and offers extensive safety and driver assistance systems, including EDS and ESP, as well as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Park Assist, and Volkswagen Media Control. Gross prices for the panel van start at EUR 20,619.13, while the passenger car version's entry-level price is EUR 24,478.30.

13 July

Chronicle 2015: 13 July
With the launch of the Passat GTE, Volkswagen extends its range of electric vehicles in the mid-class passenger car segment. Available in Saloon and Variant form, and featuring a specially developed six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the plug-in hybrid presented for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in October 2014 has a 1.4 litre TSI petrol engine developing a maximum 160 kW/218 hp and a 85 kW/115 hp electric motor, enabling it to achieve a range of over 1,000 km, running up to 50 km in electric-only mode. The Passat GTE achieves a top speed in hybrid mode of 220 km/h, and an impressive 130 km/h in electric mode. The C-shaped LED daytime running lights are a particular feature of the standard design, while other features provide customisation options. A range monitor and power flow indicator or the optional Active Info Display provide charge and range data at all times. Prices start from EUR 44,250.With the launch of the Passat GTE, Volkswagen extends its range of electric vehicles in the mid-class passenger car segment. Available in Saloon and Variant form, and featuring a specially developed six-speed dual-clutch transmission, the plug-in hybrid presented for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in October 2014 has a 1.4 litre TSI petrol engine developing a maximum 160 kW/218 hp and a 85 kW/115 hp electric motor, enabling it to achieve a range of over 1,000 km, running up to 50 km in electric-only mode. The Passat GTE achieves a top speed in hybrid mode of 220 km/h, and an impressive 130 km/h in electric mode. The C-shaped LED daytime running lights are a particular feature of the standard design, while other features provide customisation options. A range monitor and power flow indicator or the optional Active Info Display provide charge and range data at all times. Prices start from EUR 44,250.

30 August

Pursuant to a judgement by a court of arbitration in London, Volkswagen and Suzuki terminate their December 2009 agreement to cooperate on the development of small cars for the growth markets in Asia. Volkswagen subsequently sells its 19.9 percent share package to Suzuki for 3.1 billion euros.Pursuant to a judgement by a court of arbitration in London, Volkswagen and Suzuki terminate their December 2009 agreement to cooperate on the development of small cars for the growth markets in Asia. Volkswagen subsequently sells its 19.9 percent share package to Suzuki for 3.1 billion euros.

4 September

Chronicle 2015: 4 September
After a three-year construction period, Volkswagen becomes the first foreign manufacturer to open its own engine plant in Russia, at Kaluga, close to its existing vehicle factory. The plant represents a capital investment of 250 million euros, covers an area of 32,000 square metres, and is designed for annual production of 150,000 engines. Its 400 staff will manufacture as many as 600 units a day of the state-of-the-art 1.6 litre 81 kW/110 hp EA211 petrol engine. They will be installed in the Russian-produced Volkswagen Polo and Jetta, as well as in the Škoda Rapid, Octavia and Yeti models built by GAZ.

23 September

Following the publication of documents by US authorities concerning manipulation of diesel engines and violations of environmental laws, Martin Winterkorn resigns as Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The Volkswagen Group seeks to counteract the burgeoning crisis of confidence and the economic damage through its extensive internal investigations and by cooperating with law enforcement agencies. The long-standing diesel issue becomes the biggest crisis in the company's history, but also represents a turning point: the agenda is now focused on enhancing corporate integrity, good governance and compliance, while re-aligning the business towards e-mobility and digital mobility services.

25 September

Chronicle 2015: 25 September
The Supervisory Board appoints Chairman of the Management Board of Dr.-Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Matthias Müller, as the new Chairman of the Management Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. The Supervisory Board also resolves to undertake a comprehensive restructuring of the Group in order to strengthen its brands and regions, enabling greater flexibility and closer focus on specific customer needs while at the same time allowing the Group Management Board more scope in aligning the corporate strategy to the demands of the future and steering the business in the right direction. In the automobile segment, the Porsche brand group including Bentley and Bugatti, the Audi brand group, the Commercial Vehicles holding company and the volume manufacturers Volkswagen, Seat and Škoda are assigned greater independence in running their respective business operations. The Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG assigns German and US attorneys from the law firm Jones Day to conduct an independent investigation, supported by accountants and auditors Deloitte.

7 October

Chronicle 2015: 7 October
Following his official appointment as a Supervisory Board member, former long-standing Chief Financial Officer Hans Dieter Pötsch is elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

16 December

Chronicle 2015: 16 December
The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) confirms the measures proposed by Volkswagen to modify its EA189 series 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 litre diesel engines so that from January 2016 the software in the company's vehicles with the 1.2 and 2.0 litre TDI engines in question will be updated. The modification of the 1.6 litre TDI engine by a software update and the installation of a flow conditioner begins in summer 2016. With approximately 8.5 million vehicles being recalled across Europe alone, the campaign takes longer than expected.

Think New

Chronicle 2015: Think New
Volkswagen starts the innovation campaign “Think New.” Agency: DDB Berlin.

Statistics of the Year

Chronicle 2015: Statistics of the Year
The specified fuel consumption and emission data are determined in accordance with the measurement procedures prescribed by law. 1 January 2022, the WLTP test cycle completely replaced the NEDC test cycle and therefore no NEDC values are available for new type approved vehicles after that date. This information does not refer to a single vehicle and is not part of the offer but is only intended for comparison between different types of vehicles. Additional equipment and accessories (additional components, tyre formats, etc.) can alter relevant vehicle parameters such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics, affecting the vehicle's fuel consumption, power consumption, CO2 emissions and driving performance values in addition to weather and traffic conditions and individual driving behavior. Due to more realistic testing conditions, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions measured according to WLTP will in many cases be higher than the values measured according to NEDC. As a result, the taxation of vehicles may change accordingly as of 1 September 2018. For further information on the differences between WLTP and NEDC, please visit www.volkswagen.de/wltp. Further information on official fuel consumption data and official specific CO2 emissions for new passenger cars can be found in the "Guide to fuel economy, CO2 emissions and power consumption for new passenger car models", which is available free of charge from all sales dealerships and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany and at www.dat.de/co2.