The most successful European car, the VW Golf, has turned 45. On 29 March 1974, the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg officially started production of what would become its best-seller.
Back then, nobody at Volkswagen had any idea that the successor to the legendary Beetle would end up selling more than 35 million units all over the world – and still be selling to this day.
In purely mathematical terms, for more than four decades now, a new Golf has rolled off the production lines every 40 seconds, and a new Golf has been ordered somewhere in the world every 41 seconds, every day, without interruption, since the start of production 45 years ago. That is an average of around 780,000 vehicles per year.
Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen: “The Golf is at the very heart of our brand. It stands for progress and technology like no other car. For example, the Golf made safety technology affordable for millions of people for the first time. Thanks to this, it made its mark on an entire generation.”
Brandstätter went on to emphasise: “For seven generations, the Golf has made a contribution to the development of Volkswagen as a brand and as a group – into one of the most important automotive producers in the world.”
Dr. Stefan Loth, Plant Manager at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg added: “In 1974, our employees were facing the challenge of switching from the Beetle to the Golf. Since then, we have consistently continued to develop our main plant and today, in addition to the Golf, we produce the e-Golf, the Golf GTE, the Golf Sportsvan, and three additional models here in Wolfsburg.”
The Golf was extensively updated in 2017 – with the most advanced engines, a sharper design, a new generation of infotainment systems and extended equipment. The update is reflected by new state of the art of assistance systems in the compact class.
Technologies such as the City Emergency Braking function with Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), the new Traffic Jam Assist (partially automated driving up to 60 km/h) and the Emergency Assist, ‘significantly improve safety levels’.
The Golf is also one of the few cars in the world available with all relevant powertrain types: petrol, diesel, CNG, plug-in hybrid and electric.
As one of the compact models on the global market that most defies classification, the Golf is set to remain a key product pillar of the Volkswagen brand.
Says the German car maker: “With its state-of-the-art drive, assist systems, Infotainment and operating systems, it will provide a decisive impetus for the future of mobility”.