11 November 2010 ~ 1 Comment

‘Tough. Beautiful. Polo.’ TV commercial

The drip feed is over. Volkswagen UK has been using Facebook as a platform to drum up interest in its new advertising campaign for the Polo. It’s been releasing tiny details over several days this week, up to the 60-second commercial’s debut on TV last night. Soundtracked to Don’t Stop by Roc C, it shows two world championship tango dancers – Manuela Rossi and Gaspar Godoy – interpreting a brutal if graceful version of the traditional South American dance. Like Volkswagen International’s Fast Lane campaign for the Polo GTI, the social media promotion seems to work well. Is the commercial any good? See it for yourself by clicking on the video above, and find out more about the dancers and also how the ad was created by visiting Volkswagen UK’s ‘Tough. Beautiful. Polo.’ Facebook page.

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05 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

UK cars sales down, but Polo holds up in 2010 year-to-date figures

UK new car registrations continued their downward slide in October, according to the latest batch of figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The market is down 22.2% compared with last year; the steepest decline since May 2009. And while the Polo may be conspicuous by its absence from the monthly list of UK top 10 best-sellers, it still sold a considerable 2082 units last month. The baby VW still also stands firm when figures are calculated for the year-to-date, charting in sixth place with 38,372 units sold. The Ford Fiesta is once again the top-selling supermini, with 6024 cars sold in October 2010, while the Polo’s larger sibling, the Volkswagen Golf takes the runner-up place on the podium, with 5230 vehicles finding UK homes. The UK’s top 10 best-selling cars (number of units sold) for 2010 year-to-date are as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 91,965
2 Vauxhall Astra: 70, 576
3 Vauxhall Corsa: 68,970
4 Ford Focus: 68,436
5 Volkswagen Golf: 49,629
6 Volkswagen Polo: 38,372
7 Peugeot 207: 36,970
8 BMW 3 Series: 35, 653
9 Mini: 35,162
10 Nissan Qashqai: 33,652

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04 November 2010 ~ 1 Comment

ABT power upgrades for Volkswagen 1.2/1.4 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines

Despite the new Polo GTI only just ramping up to production levels, German tuner ABT Sportsline has announced power upgrades for the 178bhp 1.4-litre engine, along with similar packages available for the Polo’s 1.2-litre TSI and 1.6 TDI units. Outputs jump quite considerably, with the 1.4 TSI boosted to a Series 6 Golf GTI-rivalling 208bhp; its smaller 1.2 sibling sees a similar increase from 104 to 124bhp. The 1.6 TDI boost is available on both the 89 and 104bhp engines (the latter not sold in the UK), taking them to 115 and 129bhp respectively. Faster pull away, more torque, more engine power and improved acceleration are also key benefits of ABT’s engine upgrades.

The Bavarian company claims that fuel consumption is unchanged on all the small engine power boosts, too, and that the chip upgrades are long-lasting, reliable and fully compatible with everyday use. Of course, the upgrades aren’t just limited to the Polo; any Volkswagen group car which has one fitted can benefit. ABT Sportline also offers cosmetic, exhaust and suspension upgrades for the 6R Polo. A carbon look rear spoiler and double-pipe exhaust add bold styling flourishes, while the titanium-coloured ‘Type Z’ 18-inch ABT alloy rims offer further visual enhancement. Visit the ABT Sportline website for more information and prices on the company’s engine upgrades and tuning parts for the new Polo.

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02 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Polo Vivo leads South Africa’s passenger car march during October 2010

Volkswagen Group South Africa performs ahead of the passenger market year-to-date, with the entry-level Polo Vivo once again the top-selling brand in October 2010. Selling 2576 units, the car remains South Africa’s favourite passenger car brand. Meanwhile, the New Polo maintained a good sales figure of 723 units, despite low October opening stock. Overall, 30,752 new passenger cars were sold in South Africa during October 2010, a total up 2.6% on September, and a rise of 25.1% when compared to the same period in 2009. The year-to-date October market in 2010 is 30.1% above the same period last year.

‘The Polo Vivo was again South Africa’s favourite brand, while the New Polo, the only South African manufactured SA 2010 Car of the Year finalist, had a good result, considering low October opening stock as a result of the industry-wide strikes in previous months,’ commented Mike Glendinning, Director of Sales and Marketing, Volkswagen Group South Africa. ‘Volkswagen Group South Africa has increased passenger sales in the domestic market by 32% year-to-date versus 2009 – 1.9% ahead of the 30.1% total passenger market year-to-date growth, which is testament to our brand strength in a very competitive market,’ Glendinning continued.

The Polo Vivo was launched in March 2010 as an entry-level model for the South African market, replacing the Series 1 Golf-based CitiGolf. Available as both a three or five-door hatchback and four-door saloon with 74bhp/84bhp 1.4-litre and 103bhp 1.6-litre petrol engines, two trim levels are available: base and Trendline. Costing from R104,065 for the most basic 1.4 hatchback to R156,220 for the 1.6 Trendline Sedan, the Polo Vivo is based on the facelifted version of the Series 4 Polo, built from 2005 to 2009. Changes include front and rear bumpers, as well as a revised front grille and other minor bodywork alterations.

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01 November 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Mathew Hodges and Kyle Barnes achieve equal results at East London

Twice on the podium, with each driver having achieved one victory and one third place – the tally of Mathew Hodges and Kyle Barnes remained equal at rounds 15 and 16 of the 2010 Volkswagen Polo Cup South Africa on 30 October. Hodges secured victory on the 3.921-kilometre track in the south-east of South Africa in the first race while Kyle Barnes finished third. In the second race Hodges and Barnes swapped positions. Second place in the first race went to Miguel Pasqualli and to Graham Donker in the second.

The season victory went to Hodges in the PG Glass Polo, marking a second consecutive national championship title in the single-make Polo series for Hodges. The 2010 Volkswagen Polo Cup South Africa will contest its season finale Kyalami on 27 November. The series is similar to the other racing Polo championships run in Europe and India. Just as in those series, the one-make format highlights new young driving talent. As many as 30 drivers regularly take to the track in technically identical cars, full grids ensure close-fought races.

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