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06 January 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo named the UK’s ninth most popular car in 2019

2018 Volkswagen Polo SEL (UK)

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Volkswagen Polo was both the ninth most popular car in the UK during December 2019, and also for the year.

The latest SMMT tallies reveal that 2,715 Polos found new homes during December 2019, while for the year as a whole, a total of 37,453 units of Volkswagen’s small hatchback were registered. The Golf was the most popular car during December 2019, its 4,585 units pushing the 4,168 of the Ford Fiesta into second place.

The small Ford ruled the roost overall, though, with 77,833 registered during the 12 months of 2019, compared with 58,994 of the second-placed Golf. Which for a car which is replaced imminently, is impressive. Volkswagen registered 200,771 cars in 2018, leading to an 8.69 per cent market share.

It was bad news elsewhere, though. Overall UK new car sales were down 2.4 per cent in 2019, the third consecutive year of decline. The lowest total for six years, 2,311,140 new cars were registered last year, although December’s totals were up 3.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2018.

Other headlines include the rise of battery electric cars – up 144 per cent – while hybrids still dominated the alternative fuel market and were up 17.1 per cent. However, CO2 emissions increased for the third consecutive year, no doubt buoyed by the 2.2 per cent rise in demand for petrol models, and the 21.8 per cent slump in diesel registrations. The top ten most popular new cars in the UK during December 2019 and the overall year (registration figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Volkswagen Golf: 4,585 (58,994, 2nd)

2 Ford Fiesta: 4,168 (77,833, 1st)
3 Mini: 3,985 (41,188, 8th)
4 Ford Kuga: 3,610 (41,671, 7th)
5 BMW 3 Series: 3,527
6 Ford Focus: 3,261 (56,619, 3rd)
7 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,050 (53,724, 5th)
8 Other: 2,824
9 Volkswagen Polo: 2,715 (37,453, 9th)
10 Vauxhall Grandland X: 2,566

(The 2019 top ten most popular cars absent from December 2019’s registration figures were the fourth-placed Vauxhall Corsa, the sixth-placed Nissan Qashqai and the tenth-placed Kia Sportage, with 54,239, 52,532 and 34,502 units recorded respectively.)

The Polo has also been named as the ninth most popular searched for car on the Auto Trader website, based on advertisement views. The Polo was searched for 463,548 times according to the Auto Trader UK’s Most Popular Cars 2019 report, which combined a survey of 2,000 UK drivers with search data from advertisement views on the website and companion app to reveal the most popular makes, models and features on the new car market. The Volkswagen Golf topped the list, with a total of 1,307,303 advertisement views, the second consecutive year the VW family hatch has done so.

Record year for Volkswagen South Africa
Once more the Polo Vivo was December 2019’s top-performing model in South Africa, where it topped the passenger car sales charts with 1,779 units. The newest NAAMSA (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) figures state that the sixth-generation Polo repeated its second place position from November with 1,410 units sold.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

The often-forgotten Polo Sedan (still based on the older fifth-generation model) shifted 532 examples, while 685 T-Cross models found new homes. Volkswagen South Africa celebrated a record 2019 overall, its 161,954 production total a new single-year record for the Uitenhage factory.

The highest volume the plant has achieved since it started manufacturing Volkswagens in 1951, 131,365 Polos left the line, along with 30,589 Polo Vivos for the local market. The Polo Vivo was the best-selling passenger car in the country, too, with 29,619 cars finding new owners. It topped the A0 small car segment with a market share of 24.5 per cent, while the Volkswagen brand as a whole was the country’s leading manufacturer with a 23.4 per cent market share.

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05 November 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo returns to the UK’s top ten most popular cars chart

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI (South Africa)

The Volkswagen Polo made a welcome return to the UK’s most popular car chart in October. According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Polo ranked ninth in the UK’s top ten registrations rundown.

A total of 2,191 Polos found new homes, just below the 2,547 Tiguans in eighth place. In ninth place overall, 32,257 Polos have been registered in 2019 to date. October’s ranking marks the first time the Polo has returned to the UK’s most popular cars rundown since July.

Even though the seventh-generation Golf is now officially a run-out model due to the unveiling of the new eighth-generation car, the older variants popularity shows no sign of waning. With 3,976 units registered, the Golf makes number three in October’s most popular cars chart, with the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Fiesta above it, in second and first places respectively.

Elsewhere, UK registrations fell 6.7 per cent in October compared to the same month in 2018, but alternatively-fuelled vehicles reached a record 9.9 per cent market share with 14,231 counted. The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during October 2019 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 5,138 (69,702, 1st)
2 Nissan Qashqai: 4,084 (46,569, 6th)

3 Volkswagen Golf: 3,976 (50,468, 3rd)

4 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,630 (46,923, 5th)
5 Ford Focus: 3,585 (49,517, 2nd)
6 Ford Kuga: 3,041 (33,848, 8th)
7 Kia Sportage: 2,588 (30,815, 10th)
8 Volkswagen Tiguan: 2,547

9 Volkswagen Polo: 2,191 (32,257, 9th)
10 Range Rover Evoque: 2,134


(The 2019 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from October 2019’s registration figures were the fourth-placed Vauxhall Corsa and the seventh-placed Mini, with 49,341 and 34,387 units recorded respectively.)

Polo family reigns in South Africa
The Polo Vivo continued its best-selling run in South Africa, topping the passenger car sales charts with 2,937 cars found new owners. The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures state that the sixth-generation Polo was in second place again with 2,098 units sold.

2019 Volkswagen T-Cross

The Polo-based T-Cross registered a tally of 1,132 cars, while 522 of the often-forgotten Polo Sedan rolled out of showrooms. It’s not just new car buyers the Polo is popular with, either. On the South African used car market, the fifth-generation Polo was the most sought-after model according to Auto Trader, with the Polo Vivo two places down the rankings.

Volkswagen Uitenhage factory celebrates production record

Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory produced a total of 16,453 vehicles in October, marking a new monthly record for the plant. A total of 140,782 vehicles have been manufactured at the factory during the year-to-date: 92,029 were for export and 60,107 were for the local market.

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23 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Siemoneit Racing Volkswagen Polo GTI packs 316bhp punch

The latest 197bhp Polo GTI may be the most powerful version of Volkswagen’s smaller hot hatch icon to hit the roads, but it’s the not the most powerful series production Polo ever. That honour goes to the 217bhp limited edition 2013 Polo R WRC Street. But don’t worry: the take on the current Polo GTI offered by Siemoneit Racing blows the R WRC Street well and truly out of the water.

Based in Ottenbecker near Hamburg, the German tuner’s modifications packages will take the current Polo GTI’s power up to 316bhp. Siemoneit’s Stage 1 option boosts the standard car’s 2.0-litre engine from 197bhp to 242bhp (the same as the larger Golf GTI Performance in factory tune), with torque up to 302lb ft, 66lb ft over the original figure. The cost? Around £535 (€598). For a little extra, Stage 1+ adds a further 5bhp and 11lb ft.

316bhp, 317lb ft
But the full-fat Stage 3+ is where the real fun and games begin. The Golf R-bothering 316bhp and 317lb ft comes courtesy of an enlarged turbocharger, a new intercooler and plumbing pipes, as well as a performance sports exhaust, and tweaks to the DSG gearbox to handle the beefed-up power. Super-Golf performance doesn’t come cheap, though: at £8,000 (€8,998) once the cost of the donor car has been factored in, the price is right in Golf R terrority, too.

But if that’s still not hardcore enough (rarely has the word ‘hardcore’ been used in conjunction with a Polo GTI before), for around £11,000 (€11,630), Siemoneit Racing will turn your Polo GTI into something of a Porsche 968 Clubsport. Kind of. The rear seats are ditched and replaced by a full roll-cage, Recaros with Sabelt harnesses keep you pinned in your seat as the Siemoneit Polo GTI’s pace catapults you towards the horizon and KW Clubsport suspension and 18-inch ATS rims wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber keep the performance Polo pinned to the tarmac.

All that translates to a 0 to 62mph time of 5.2 seconds – 1.5 seconds faster than the standard Polo GTI – and a top speed of 159mph. With little evidence of a more powerful official Polo GTI Performance model in the offing, Siemoneit Racing’s programme of upgrades offer exciting, if expensive, ways to turn VW’s second-smallest hot hatch into a real road-burner. If you like what you see, find out more at www.siemoneit-racing.de.

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07 October 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen South Africa introduces entry-level R242,300 Polo Conceptline

Volkswagen South Africa has added a new Conceptline entry-level model to its local Polo range. Sitting above the fifth-generation Polo-based Vivo and the turbocharged sixth-generation models, the Conceptline is priced from R242,300 (including CO2 tax and VAT).

Only available with five doors – as are all sixth-generation Polos – the Conceptline is powered by an 89bhp (66kW), 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine allied to a five-speed manual gearbox. Despite being the cheapest entry point into new Polo ownership, the Conceptline does feature technology and a reasonable standard of equipment.

A four-speaker, 6.6-inch ’Composition Colour’ infotainment system comes as standard, with USB type C/Bluetooth/Apple iPod and iPhone connectivity, along with electronic stability control, LED daytime running lights, remote central locking, as well as side front and curtain front/rear airbags. Front electric windows are also fitted, and the Conceptline rolls on 5J x 14-inch steel wheels with 175/50 R14 tyres.

Core Package
Options include Convenience, Lights and Vision, and Park Distance Control packages. Priced at R3,750, the Core Package includes a leather multifunction steering wheel, front fog lamps, and the rest assist function. Metallic and pearlescent paint can be specified at no extra cost, and 15-inch ‘Sassari’ alloy wheels are priced at R4,700.

Despite being R10,100 cheaper than the 94bhp (70kW) Polo Trendline Manual TSI, the Polo Conceptine comes with Volkswagen South Africa’s three-year/120,000km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty, 15,000km service intervals, and a three-year, 45,000km service plan. Find out more about the Volkswagen South Africa Polo range at www.vw.co.za.

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09 September 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen South Africa produces its 200,000th sixth-generation Polo

It has produced Polos for twenty-three years and on 6 September 2019, the Volkswagen South Africa factory in Uitenhage produced its 200,000th sixth-generation model. Local production started in 1996 with the Polo Classic, and the plant has produced most Polo models since, including the Polo Vivo, Volkswagen South Africa’s cost-conscious entry-level model.

One million vehicles
The sixth-generation Polo entered local production last year, and the Uitenhage facility has manufactured over one million vehicles for export since 1994. Of the 200,000 sixth-generation Polos built, 153,582 have been exported. Uitenhage exports the Polo to all right-hand drive markets, as well as supporting demand for left-hand drive Polos in Europe. A total of 46,418 new Polos have been produced for the local market, and the factory made 110,265 cars between January and August 2019, including the Polo GTI.

The production milestone also coincided with Volkswagen South Africa being named Exporter of the Year by Exporters Eastern Cape. The third time Volkswagen South Africa has picked up the prize, Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa Chairman and Managing Director said: ‘This milestone could not have been achieved without the dedication of our employees. Our success, both locally and overseas, benefits our workforce and the local economy. We intend to keep achieving these milestones and contributing to the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay.’

Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory is 520,963sq m in size, and is situated around 466 miles east of Cape Town and 621 miles south of Johannesburg. Established in 1946, Volkswagen Group South Africa is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Aktiengessellschaft in Germany.

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