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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06 August 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Ninth-place for Volkswagen Polo in July’s most popular UK cars chart

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Volkswagen Polo continued its run as one of the most popular cars in the UK during July 2019. A total of 2,568 Polos found new homes last month, putting the small Volkswagen in ninth place in the top ten passenger cars chart. With a figure of 26,173, the Polo also held firm as the seventh most popular car in the 2019 year-to-date figures.

Electric car volumes triple
Higher up July’s chart, the Volkswagen Golf was in second place behind the ever-popular Ford Fiesta (4,288 vs 5,646 units respectively), while the Tiguan SUV nudged into the list, too, one place above the Polo, in eighth position. Overall, the market declined again by 4.1 per cent to 157,198 registrations, and was the lowest July market since 2012. But, battery electric vehicle (BEV) registrations almost tripled and took a record monthly market share. A new BEV forecast also suggests that in 2020, their full year share could double.

The Polo’s supermini sector dipped 12.1 per cent, bucking the trend of recent months, where it was the most popular. However, the Polo has also been announced as the UK’s fastest-selling used car by AA Cars, and is the car which spends the shortest amount of time being advertised before being sold.

The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during July 2019 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 5,646 (48,943, 1st)

2 Volkswagen Golf: 4,288 (35,781, 3rd)

3 Nissan Qashqai: 4,047 (33,227, 4th)
4 Ford Focus: 3,863 (36,102, 2nd)

5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,702 (31,606, 6th)
6 Vauxhall Corsa: 3,079 (33,061, 5th)

7 Ford Kuga: 2,921 (23,346, 8th)
8 Volkswagen Tiguan: 2,624
9 Volkswagen Polo: 2,568 (26,173, 7th)
10 Kia Sportage: 2,292 (21,194, 10th)

(The 2019 year-to-date top ten most popular car absent from July 2019’s registration figures was the ninth-placed Mini, with 23,001 units recorded.)

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Polo Vivo still popular
Once again, the Polo Vivo was South Africa’s most popular passenger car in July 2019, with 2,621 examples registered according to the latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures. The sixth-generation Polo was runner-up again, too: its 2,076 units put it in second place.

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05 July 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo moves up one in UK’s most popular cars chart

Continuing its now long-standing trend, the Volkswagen Polo was one of the UK’s top ten most popular cars during June 2019. According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 4,592 Polos found new homes in June, putting it in eighth place, one place higher than in May. That takes the 2019 year-to-date tally up to 23,605, which holds the Polo in a steady seventh place. The Volkswagen Golf was the fourth most popular car in June, and sits third in the year-to-date figures.

Superminis the most popular
While UK new car registrations fell for the fourth consecutive month in June, with year-on-year demand slipping 4.9 per cent to 223,421 units, superminis like the Polo were the most popular car, and made up 31 per cent of all registrations in the first half of the year. The Ford Fiesta is still the most popular car in the UK with 43,297 units leaving forecourts so far in 2019, with 7,507 of those in June.

The UK’s top ten most popular cars during June 2019 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 7,507 (43,297, 1st)

2 Vauxhall Corsa: 5,164 (29,982, 4th)

3 Mini: 5,535 (21,037, 8th)
4 Volkswagen Golf: 5,473 (31,493, 3rd)

5 Ford Focus: 5,450 (32,239, 2nd)

6 Nissan Qashqai: 5,333 (29,180, 5th)
7 Toyota Yaris: 4,954 (19,147, 10th)
8 Volkswagen Polo: 4,592 (23,605, 7th)
9 BMW 1 Series: 4,465
10 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,953 (27,904, 6th)

(The 2019 year-to-date top ten most popular car absent from June 2019’s registration figures was the ninth-placed Ford Kuga, with 20,425 units recorded.)

Polo Vivo still a success
The Polo Vivo continues its amazing success story in South Africa, and was the country’s most popular passenger car in June 2019. The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures show that 2,571 Polo Vivos found new owners last month, while the the sixth-generation Polo once again propped up the Vivo with 1,887 units in second place.

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08 June 2019 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo remains one of the UK’s most popular cars

The Volkswagen Polo held firm as one of the UK’s top ten most popular cars during May 2019. A total of 2,902 Polos found new homes putting it in ninth place for May, and with an overall tally of 19,013, seventh place for the year-to-date. The latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) recorded a third place for the Golf with 4,655 units, while the Tiguan SUV had a tally of 2,785 registrations, placing it in tenth spot. The same two popular Volkswagens were also mainstays of April’s SMMT figures.

Superminis and small family cars most popular
The Ford Fiesta once again topped both charts, with 6,710 and 35,790 units in the May 2019 and year-to-date rundowns respectively. The Ford Focus was second in both lists with totals of 5,556 and 26,789. The Golf was also third in the year-to-date figures, recording 26,020 units.

As with April, overall, UK registrations declined again in May. A fall of 4.6 per cent gave a total of 183,724 units, and while superminis and small family car demand also slumped, these types still account for a majority 56.3 per cent of the market. Alternatively-fuelled vehicle numbers grew again, up 11.7 per cent, and battery electric cars saw demand surge by 81.1 per cent, but these still only account for 0.6 per cent of the overall new car market in the UK. Petrol-powered cars enjoyed a modest one per cent rise.

The UK’s top ten most popular cars during May 2019 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 6,710 (35,790, 1st)
2 Ford Focus: 5,556 (26,789, 2nd)
3 Volkswagen Golf: 4,655 (26,020, 3rd)
4 Vauxhall Corsa: 3,993 (24,368, 4th)
5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,735 (23,951, 5th)
6 Nissan Qashqai: 3,636 (23,847, 6th)
7 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 3,387
8 Nissan Juke: 2,978
9 Volkswagen Polo: 2,902 (19,013 7th)
10 Volkswagen Tiguan: 2,785

(The 2019 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from May 2019’s registration figures were the eighth-placed Ford Kuga, the ninth-placed Kia Sportage and the tenth-placed Mini with 16,724, 15,893 and 15,502 units recorded respectively.)

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Polo Vivo rides a sales wave in South Africa
In what is now a very familiar story, the Polo Vivo surfed the dizzy heights of the sales wave in South Africa during May 2019. Topping the South African new passenger car registrations chart, the latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures point to 2,478 Polo Vivos finding new homes last month. The sixth-generation Polo once again provided a support act in second place with a total of 1,390 units.

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19 April 2019 ~ 0 Comments

SAIC Volkswagen debuts Chinese-only Polo Plus at 2019 Shanghai motor show

2019 SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus

SAIC Volkswagen has unveiled the Polo Plus, a new version of the sixth-generation Polo, at the 2019 Shanghai motor show. The current Polo, Cross Polo, and Polo GTI models sold in China are based on the fifth-generation car, which disappeared from European markets in 2017.

Somewhat strangely, at 4,053mm, the SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus is 3mm shorter and 11mm narrower (1,740mm) than the European sixth-generation Polo, which is essentially the same car. The Polo Plus looks to be based on the Polo Beats, with the same 16-inch ‘Torsby’ alloy wheels and gloss black B-pillars featuring the ‘Beats’ logo. Distinctive, the Polo Plus also has a dual-tone Honey Yellow and black colour scheme, with a gloss black roof, rear spoiler, and mirror caps. C-pillar and rear hatch ‘Plus+’ badges mark out the new model.

2019 SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus

Honey Yellow accents
Unlike the Novo Polo sold in Brazil, the Polo Plus gets the European Polo’s front bumper, but the car is less highly specified. LED daytime running lights are missing for example, but the rear bumper does feature Polo R-Line-style fake exhaust finishers. Inside, Honey Yellow dashboard, door and centre console accents lift the standard sixth-generation Polo interior, while unique upholstery also points to a Polo which is a little more special.

Standard kit includes a panoramic sunroof, a colour touchscreen infotainment system, as well as a rear view camera. The Polo Plus is powered by the same 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine linked to the same five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearboxes as the standard Chinese Polo.

No prices or availability have yet been announced for the Polo Plus, but further details can be found online at the SAIC Volkswagen Polo Plus micro-website.

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