2011 was not just a year which marked the 60th anniversary of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA). It was also the year in which it posted a number of records in the production, export and retail arenas.
Thanks to a windfall export order during the course of the year, the Uitenhage-based facility surpassed its previous production record of 128 001 vehicles in 2006, to produce 137 758 Polo Vivo’s, Polo’s and Cross Polo’s in 2011. The exports were mostly of Polo’s to key right hand drive markets around the world as well as left hand drive units to Europe. In addition, Volkswagen Group South Africa is the sole producer of the Cross Polo to markets worldwide.
These orders ensured another record for VWSA – that of 81 560 exports in 2011 over 2010’s total of 76 931.Because of this windfall order, the Company’s exports grew by some 179% last year compared to 2009 (29 223).
“On the Brand side, Volkswagen of South Africa boasts with the two top selling passenger vehicles in 2011 – Polo Vivo with 35 237 sales or 6.2% of the market and 24 504 Polo’s with 4.3% of the market,” said Mike Glendinning, VWSA Sales and Marketing Director.
Audi of South Africa achieved a milestone by exceeding its sales target of 14 500 set for 2011, reaching 14 531 retail sales by year-end. This is its best sales figure in history – an improvement of 20.4% from 11 366 units sold in 2010. Audi also improved on its premium market share of 16.7% achieved in 2010 to 19.2% in 2011.
2011 was also a year of highlights for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Thanks to the introduction of the Amarok 1-ton Double Cab in late 2010, followed by the 1-ton Single Cab last year, VW Commercial Vehicles recorded an increase in sales figures from 3 574 in 2010 to 9 497 last year – a growth rate of 62%.
“We are pleased with the results we’ve achieved – particularly in the LCV market – thanks to the introduction of the Amarok. It is steadily gaining momentum, with the second-biggest market share in the 1-ton Double Cab Pick-Up segment – of 14.3% in 2011,” said Glendinning.
These records came as VWSA celebrates its 60th year of existence in the country. To-date, 2 916 007 vehicles have rolled off the Company’s production lines since the first Beetle on 31 August 1951.
“Our 60th year has truly been the best year for VWSA to-date. While we celebrated these and a number of other achievements during the course of the year, we also have to be mindful of the fact that 2012 will be much tougher, with expected lower exports and a slowing rate of growth in the local market,” said David Powels, VWSA Managing Director.
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