18 January 2021 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo Vivo crowned 2020’s most popular car in South Africa

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Volkswagen Group South Africa took the vehicle registrations top spot for 2020 in the local market, with the Polo Vivo once again crowned the country’s most popular new car. A total of 19,750 units of Volkswagen South Africa’s entry-level model were registered in the pandemic-hit year, almost a third of the VW-brand’s 53,319 recorded registrations.

The sixth-generation Polo-based T-Cross SUV was South Africa’s most popular imported car, with 5,693 units registered. Now the country’s second most popular vehicle in the A0 SUV segment, the T-Cross has fast found favour, on sale in South Africa for less than two years.

2019 Volkswagen T-Cross

A total of 63,482 vehicles were registered by Volkswagen Group South Africa in 2020 and the Volkswagen brand’s market share of 21.6 per cent is the highest in the company’s long history in South Africa. Audi also ended the year with an improved market share, up to 18.5 per cent, and even Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles enjoyed a record full-year 3.7 per cent piece of the light commercial pie. The Audi Q2 and Volkswagen Caddy were the respective star players.

‘A challenging year’
‘2020 was a challenging year not just for our brands but for the motoring industry as a whole and to come out of 2020 still holding onto our leadership of the passenger car market is an incredible feat,’ stated Mike Glendinning, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) sales and marketing director.

‘VWSA was severely affected by the pandemic which ground vehicle sales to a halt in April; our 2020 sales are down by 28.9 per cent year-on-year when compared to 2019,’ said Glendinning. ‘Despite the difficulties we faced, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand posted a record market share last year; the 21.6 per cent market share is 1.2 per cent higher than that of 2019 and is the highest market share in the history of the brand, as well as the highest market share of Volkswagen markets across the world,’ Glendinning added.

Production milestone
In November 2020, Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory celebrated the four millionth car to roll off its lines. Currently the home of the Polo for local and export markets, as well as the Polo Vivo, the plant built 75,521 Polos for export up until the celebratory milestone, as well as 12,804 units for local consumption. A total of 17,038 Polo Vivos were also produced for the local market, the only one in which it is sold.

It looks to be another busy year for Volkswagen South Africa, with the brand celebrating its 70th birthday in August 2021. The year will be kickstarted by the arrival of the eighth-generation Golf GTI, followed later by the new Golf R and refreshed Tiguan. New versions of the Caddy and T6.1 Kombi will also debut. In the wider group sphere, Audi’s new A3 will also appear, along with refreshed versions of the RS 4, RS 5, RS 6, RS 7, RS Q8, RS Q3, and R8.

Steffan Knapp has also replaced Martina Biene as the head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand in South Africa, and joins from Volkswagen India where he successfully turned the brand around. The fifth-generation Polo and its Vento saloon sister were launched there in 2010.

Elsewhere in the world, the sixth-generation Polo was the eighth most popular car in the UK, with 26,965 units registered (with grey the most popular colour – what a very imaginative bunch the British car buying public is!). According to focus2move.com, up until December 2020, the Polo was also the third most popular car in Europe during the year, its 225,941-unit total down 27.5 per cent compared to 2019. Behind its second-placed Golf sibling (283,614 units) and the top-spot Renault Clio (314,357 units), over 14 million Polos have been produced since its introduction in 1975.

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28 September 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen adds swagger to Polo Vivo with Mswenko special edition

Riding on a decade of success, a new special edition derivative of the Polo Vivo has been launched in South Africa. The Polo Vivo Mswenko has been named after the isZulu word for ‘swag’, which is an expression of attitude and confidence in the Bantu language of the Zulus. Aimed at ‘dynamic and young at heart’ buyers, the R246,900 Polo Vivo Mswenko has some eye-catching features.

Outside, there are ‘Mswenko’ (pronounced ‘m-swe-nkoh’) diamond door decals, a black roof, coloured mirror caps, 16-inch anthracite ‘Portago’ alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, and a chrome exhaust tip. Inside, there are even more statement features. The most notable change over a standard Polo Vivo are the very bright ‘Ocean Blue’ seats, but there is also anthracite headlining, silver dashboard inserts, six speakers, a leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel and gear knob, and App Connect.

Style and attitude
Along with that little lot, and the available four colours – Limestone Grey, Pure White, Reef Blue, and Reflex Silver – the Polo Vivo Mswenko should easily live up to the ‘mswenko’ tag. In South Africa, a self-confident and stylish person is said to have ‘swag’. The word ‘mswenko’, which is unique to South Africa, also refers to a person’s style, attitude and general demeanour.

In Volkswagen South Africa dealers from October 2020, the Polo Vivo Mswenko is based on the 1.4-litre 63kW Polo Vivo Comfortline, and costs R246,900. A three-year/120,000km warranty is standard, along with a six-year anti-corrosion warranty. A Volkswagen Maintenance Plan as well as a Volkswagen Service Plan are available as options, and service intervals are 15,000kms.

Since its introduction in March 2010, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo has been the most popular car in South Africa, with over 261,285 registered. Originally based on the fourth-generation European Polo, the Vivo took the shape of the fifth-generation Polo in February 2018. One of the reasons for its success may be that its cost of ownership over a three-year cycle makes it one of the most affordable cars to own in the South African market. Proof that swag confidence is more than style deep.

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11 March 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo rises two places in UK’s most popular new cars chart

The Volkswagen Polo was the seventh most popular car in the UK during February 2020, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). With 1,451 Polos finding new homes, the small Volkswagen is eighth in the year-to-date top ten rundown – a total of 3,787 have been registered since the start of 2020.

The Volkswagen Golf topped the chart with 3,457 registrations, just as the eighth-generation model starts to appear in UK retailers, with the Ford Fiesta in second place. Longstanding chart stalwarts Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and Mercedes-Benz A-Class rounded out the top five.

Overall, UK registrations fell 2.9 per cent in February to 79,594 units, as demand from private buyers declined again. It was a good month for battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars, though, with 4,566 joining the UK roads but at just 5.8 per cent, their market share remains low. The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during February 2020 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Volkswagen Golf: 3,457 (7,484, 3rd)

2 Ford Fiesta: 3,123 (9,210, 1st)
3 Ford Focus: 2,784 (8,051, 2nd)
4 Vauxhall Corsa: 1,871 (6,244, 4th)
5 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 1,648 (4,862, 6th)
6 Vauxhall Grandland X: 1,540 (3,801, 7th)
7 Volkswagen Polo: 1,451 (3,787, 8th)
8 Mini: 1,339
9 Nissan Qashqai: 1,293 (5,901, 5th)

10 BMW 5 Series: 1,286

(The 2020 year-to-date top ten most popular cars absent from February 2020’s UK registration figures were the ninth-placed BMW 3 Series and the tenth-placed Kia Sportage with 3,648 and 3,386 units recorded respectively.)

Polo Vivo is registration champion
Once again, the Polo Vivo topped the new car registrations charts in South Africa, with 2,417 cars rolling out of retailers. The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures state that the sixth-generation Polo was again in second place with 2,120 units sold, with an additional 10,409 exported from Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage plant. The Polo-based T-Cross registered a total of 463 cars, while 540 traditionally styled Polo Sedans left the forecourts.

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06 February 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo begins 2020 in the UK’s top ten most popular cars chart

The latest figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that the Volkswagen Polo was the ninth most popular car in the UK during January 2020. A total of 2,336 Polos found new homes in the first month of the year, which also means the long-standing model is also ninth in the year-to-date top ten chart.

The Ford Fiesta was the clear leader with 6,087 registrations, ahead of its larger relative, the Ford Focus, in second place with 5,287 units. The Nissan Qashqai rounded out the top three with 4,608 registrations. The Volkswagen Golf’s 4,027 units put it in fifth place. Soon to usher in a new generation, the Vauxhall Corsa took fourth place with 4,373 registrations.

As a whole, UK registrations fell 7.3 per cent in January to 149,279 units, but demand for battery electric cars enjoyed a year-on-year rise of 2,720 units. Plug-in and ‘self-charging’ hybrids also enjoyed a peak in demand. The UK’s top ten most popular new cars during January 2020 and the year-to-date (sales figure and position in brackets) were as follows:

1 Ford Fiesta: 6,087 (6,087, 1st)
2 Ford Focus: 5,287 (5,287, 2nd)
3 Nissan Qashqai: 4,608 (4,608, 3rd)
4 Vauxhall Corsa: 4,373 (4,373, 4th)
5 Volkswagen Golf: 4,027 (4,027, 5th)
6 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 3,214 (3,214, 6th)
7 Kia Sportage: 2,457 (2,457, 7th)
8 BMW 3 Series: 2,242 (2,242, 8th)
9 Volkswagen Polo: 2,336 (2,336, 9th)
10 Vauxhall Grandland X: 2,261 (2,261, 10th)

Across Europe, a total of 20,037 Polos were registered according to Jato Dynamics, making it the fifth most popular car across the continent. The Golf was topped the popularity stakes with 26,303 registrations. Volkswagen was the most popular brand across Europe with 133,558 registrations, and the Polo-based T-Cross SUV’s 12,880 units saw it declared top market share winner.

2018 Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Polo Vivo is the South African chart-topper
Seemingly never putting a tyre wrong, the Polo Vivo once again topped the new car registrations charts in South Africa, with 2,811 new cars on driveways. The latest National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) figures show that the sixth-generation Polo was in second place once more with 1,761 units sold, with 7,959 exported from Volkswagen South Africa’s Uitenhage factory. The Polo-based T-Cross registered 764 units, and 503 fifth-generation Polo Sedans were registered.

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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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