07 December 2023

VW 1960-64

This is the last in a series of four articles. It is enough to provide an insight into how VW got back on its feet after WWII. For the first in the series, just click here.

1960: More than one million vehicles were sold in Germany and VW took over a third of total sales. 866,000 vehicles were made of which 25,000 were in Brazil.  

                                    1961: The five millionth VW is built and the 1500 Type 3 was released (photo to the left). In total, 960,000 vehicles were made of which 47,000 were assembled in Brazil. 

1962: The 1500 Type 3 range is expanded with an estate version. The one millionth VW transporter arrived this year. 819,000 Beetles, 127,000 Type 3 and 166,000 Transporters were manufactured.

1963: The rapid growth of the past few years all but halted. The Beetle slipped back to 775,000, the Type 3 up to 182,000 and the transporter increased by a modest 9,000 units.

1964: Things improved again in 1964, the Beetle was back up to 867,000, the Type 3 262,000 and the Transporter 188,000. Of this, 66,400 were assembled in Brazil and 27,000 in Australia.

Data/photo source: VW AG. 

Exports to various regions are listed below. America remained at the top apart from 1962.

VW 1955-59

1955: Only 18% of the vehicle sales in Germany were to private buyers so much potential for growth. The Ghia Coupe was released this year (picture above). Total sales passed the 300,000 mark with domestic sales reaching 150,000 units. For the first time, export sales exceeded local. 

1956: A new plant in Hanover was built for the Transporter model, freeing up capacity at the Wolfsburg facility for the Beetle. Assembly of vehicles from kits started in South Africa. Sales outside of Germany passed 200,000.

1957: VW struggled to meet domestic demand with a waiting list extending to several months. Domestic sales passed 200,000 and total sales neared half a million.

1958: Exports surpassed 300,000 and globally 550,000. 3,650 Transporters are classified as made in Brazil, athough not yet offically a manufacturer.

1959: VW market share in Germany is just over 40%, the Beetle alone is over 30%! VW Brazil manufacturered 24,800 Beetles and tranporters and in Australia VW started vehicle assembly from kits. Exports reached 400,000 units. 

Data source: VW AG. For the last article in the series, simply click here.

As for overseas sales of exported vehicles, VW started releasing data from 1956. Europe was the largest but America took over as the biggest market in 1959. I'm not sure if that was just the USA. However, Germany is not included below and was still the largest market with 100,000 sales more than America. 

05 December 2023

Nissan Sunderland Sparking Along

Nissan is to build three electric cars at its plant in Sunderland, UK. The Qashqai and Juke will join the Leaf in a three pronged attack as the brand goes fully electric by 2030. There will also be three battery factories to compliment the car production. 

Of course, while Europe goes electric other parts of the world will not. I assume some car companies will still be producing ICE vehicles to meet the demand that will still exist. Sunderland presumably won't be part of that. 

For now, the plant is pushing UK car production along with its current range. In October 2023, just over 34,500 passenger cars came off the production line, a 52% increase over 2022. In ten months of '23, production volume is already 13% above the whole of '22. That compares with +24% and -10% (comparing ten months with twelve for the second figure) when all manufacturers are included.