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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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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25 October 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Polo-based Volkswagen T-Cross SUV revealed at world premiere

2018 Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen finally pulled the covers off the T-Cross, its widely-teased new Polo-based SUV in a triumvirate of locations today. Reveals were staged in Amsterdam, São Paulo and Shanghai, underlining how important the car is. The final member of Volkswagen’s SUV family, the T-Cross offers the tall driving position and versatility of a crossover, but in a near Polo-sized package.

A new departure
Taking elements from the T-Roc, the T-Cross is both taller and bluffer than the Polo, but carries through elements of the small car’s styling, such as the ‘Tornado’ line which runs along the side panels. Frontally, the new Volkswagen SUV styling is clear, while the rear features a new full-width light bar. A new departure for VW styling, it looks great, even if it does evoke similarities of the 1990s SEAT Ibiza and Cordoba in execution. But hey, that’s no bad thing! One of the new car’s key sales messages is individuality, and a wide range of design packs will be available for owners to personalise their T-Cross to their own tastes.

A wheelbase of 2.56 metres – virtually identical to the sixth-generation Polo on which its based – pushes the wheels out to the corners. Inside, there’s between 385 and 455 litres of luggage space (a minimum of 34 litres more than the Polo) thanks to a sliding rear bench seat which moves fore and aft by 14cm. Total carrying volume with the rear seats folded flat is 1,281 litres, while total length is 4.11 metres: the Polo runs the rule at 4.05m. The cabin features the same high infotainment horizontal axis layout as the Polo.

2018 Volkswagen T-Cross

Set new standards
Volkswagen is bullish that the T-Cross will set new standards in the compact crossover / SUV class, especially when it comes to connectivity, economy, flexibility, practicality, style and versatility. No four-wheel drive model is planned, the front-wheel drive car sharing its platform with the MQB-based Polo. The Polo also donates its engines, too, the three petrol and single diesel units already seen in the small VW.

The T-Cross range starts with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged TSI engine developing 94bhp, moves through a 113bhp unit with the same capacity, rising to a four-cylinder 1.5 TSI with 147bhp, the same unit as seen in the seventh-generation Golf. A four-cylinder 1.6 TDI diesel will also be available with 94bhp. All comply with Euro 6 emission standards and the petrol units also feature particulate filters.

2018 Volkswagen T-Cross

Key characteristic
Safety is a key T-Cross characteristic with standard equipment including numerous driver assistance systems, previously reserved for higher vehicle classes. Front assist area and pedestrian monitoring systems are fitted, along with a City Emergency Braking system, lane keeping and hill start assistants, as well as blind spot detection. Park, rear traffic and driver alert systems will also be available as will automatic adaptive cruise control. Inside, smartphones can be charged inductively, and with up to four USB ports, digital convenience is also a T-Cross selling point.

Sales of the Polo-based crossover are expected to start in Spring 2019, with UK prices forecast to start at around £17,000 for the entry-level S model. While not confirmed, trim levels should echo other Volkswagen models, rising through SE and topping off with R-Line (an R-Line-bedecked T-Cross was premiered at the Amsterdam reveal). For more details and to stay informed with the latest news on the new Volkswagen T-Cross as it arrives in the UK, visit the dedicated page on the Volkswagen UK website.

2018 Volkswagen T-Cross

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