1) Golf. This model has been around since 1974, now up to the 7th generation. It replaced the original Beetle but the latter went on for sometime after the Golf's arrival so ended up not replacing it. Production volume has been very consistent and it continues as popular as ever.
2) Passat/Santana. The Passat medium/large sized car was first released in 1973 and the Santana in 1981, the latter went under other names also. It has been a successful model also and in China it has been extremely popular.
|The Passat from 1993.|
3) Polo/Derby. The Polo super mini hatchback came out in 1975, so was well established by the 1990's. The saloon (sedan) version was known as the Derby.
4) Gol/Parati/Voyage. The Gol is a subcompact 3/5 door hatchback model made for South America. As a wagon it is known as the Parati and a 4 door saloon named the Voyage. It has been a big hit, but many in the West will know nothing of it.
5) New Beetle. This compact car arrived in 1998 as a modern take on the original, in style at least. As for substance there is little in common. It's retro look was successful but only to a point, as is the usual for this sort of vehicle.
6) Lupo. This city car also came out in 1998, to slip under the Polo as that model grew in size. Production numbers would suggest to me it wasn't the success VW would have hoped, but the idea was right.
|The 1998 Lupo (Italian for wolf). Named after Wolfsburg.|
7) Sharan. This large MPV was to take on the likes of the Renault Espace. It has always been made in Portugal along with the SEAT Alhambra and at this time the Ford Galaxy. Production numbers would suggest it was reasonably successful.
8) Old Beetle. The iconic Beetle (or Käfer in German) started back in 1938 and was a strong seller even in the early 1990's. However, by the end of the decade, production had fallen away badly. Understandable for a car of its age.
9) Taro (Hilux). I'm not sure if it should be here, but this was the Toyota pick up of the day made in Germany by VW from 1989. Most of that time it was classified as a commercial vehicle, but toward the end of its life, drifted across to be classified as a car. I did as VW seemed to do, but maybe I misread how VW did things.
10) Pointer/Logus. Have you heard of this one? It was essentially a European Ford Focus. The 5 door hatchback was called the Pointer and the 2 door coupe the Logus. It was made in Brazil as a joint venture arrangement with Ford.
11) Corrado/Scirocco. This sports car was known as the Scirocco from 1974 to 1992 and the Corrado from 1988 to 1995. I'm not sure why the large overlap but by the time the Scirocco was gone, the Corrado was almost finished as well. In the 1990's, production was not very large.
12) Apollo/Gacel/1500. The Apollo (also called the Verona) was a small saloon car and another joint venture with Ford, this time the Ford Orion. The Gacel was an Argentinian built 4 door version of the Gol. The 1500 was the Chrysler Avenger and when in 1980 VW bought Chrysler Argentina, it inherited the model. For some reason, VW lumped these three unrelated models together in the statistics so I had no choice but to follow suit.
All the figures below are in thousands. They are global production figures released by VW. Why other manufacturers are not as open as VW I do not understand. All competitors watch each other anyway and have this sort of data in greater detail than we will ever have. This basic statistics as presented here is of interest to the public, and good publicity as well. Well done VW.
Having said that, this article represents some hours of work. It's not handed to me on a platter. I hope you enjoy it.
Picture source: NetCarShow.com.