2005 - 2009

Australian Volkswagen History

By Phil Matthews


Jutta Dierks takes over from Peter Nochar as the managing Director of Volkswagen Group Australia. She and her husband arrive in Australia for the first time from northern Germany. She had previously had VW assignments in the Czech Republic in the 1990s, and later in Changchun, China.

Volkswagen Group Australia creates the ‘Volkswagen Finance’ division, the trading name for Volkswagen Financial Services Australia Ltd, to assist potential Volkswagen buyers with purchasing, upgrading, refinancing and insurance. VW Finance has its own website, www.volkswagenfinance.com.au

Volkswagen Group Australia also offers buyers the option of purchasing new extended warranties, with extra benefits such as no claim limit, transferable policy and use of Genuine VW Parts on top of the existing unlimited kilometre and 24-hour assist benefits. The options are named ‘Confidence Plus’ for passenger cars, and ‘Care Port Value’ for light commercials.

The latest Gen 4 ‘facelift’ Polo range is released, imported from both Spain and South Africa. There is now a choice of three engines – 55 kW and 74 kW versions of the 1.4-litre petrol, and the 74 kW 240 Nm 1.9 TDI. The base 3-door Polo Club 1.4 is $16,990. The 5-door Polo Match is available with either petrol engine, with the 74 kW having a 4-speed auto as standard. The six-speed manual TDI is the top model at $22,990.

The GTI version of the Golf 5 is released in Australia. It comes with the 147 kW 2.0-litre FSI turbo engine, and choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG auto gearboxes. Only the 5-door body is available. It is very attractively priced at $39,990, and also thanks to a very positive reaction from the local press, the GTI soon sells out. The waiting list grows to an unprecedented six months.

The New Beetle range is revised. The Ikon model is discontinued. A new base model, the Miami, is released with a 75 kW 1.6-litre engine and basic trim, for $25,990. The New Beetle 1600 has the same engine but better trim and more standard equipment, and sells for $31,800. The 85 kW New Beetle 2.0 is $36,500, and the 110 kW Turbo is $39,500. The Cabrio shares the 2.0-litre engine and is $36,990.

The Polo GTI makes its debut at the Sydney Motor Show in October, the first time that any Volkswagen model has made its world debut in Australia. VW AG ‘Volkswagen Brand’ CEO, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, flies to the show to launch the Polo GTI. It comes with a 110 kW 1.8-litre turbo engine (from the previous Golf GTI) and retails for $26,990.

The four and six-cylinder versions of the Bora are discontinued. The only version now available is the 125 kW 2.3-litre V5, for $39,990. This model is also discontinued later in the year, as the Golf 5-based Jetta finally replaces the Golf 4-based Bora. The Mexican-made Jetta debuts at the Sydney Motor Show. This is the first ever ‘Jetta’ to be sold in Australia, as the Mk1 and Mk2 versions were never imported, and the Mk3 and Mk4 versions were sold as the Vento and Bora.

The latest transverse-engine 6th generation version of the Passat, the so-called ‘PQ46’ model, is displayed at the Sydney Motor Show for release in the new year. It’s not called the ‘B6’ model, as the ‘B6’ platform is used for the Audi A4 (longitudinal engine).

4Motion 4WD versions of the T5 Transporter vans and cab/chassis are added to the Australian range as an option.

The Caravelle people mover is discontinued. The 9-seat Kombi, and 6 or 7-seat Multivan versions of the T5 are available instead, in a wide range of trim and equipment levels, five different engines, and 5 or 6-speed manuals or 6-speed auto choices. Prices range from $47,990 for the base Kombi up to $81,990 for the top 3.6-litre Multivan Executive.

VW’s car sales boom by 51.7% and Volkswagen overtakes Mercedes and BMW to move up to 11th place on the local car market. By passing both German rivals, VW becomes Australia’s top-selling European brand again, for the first time since 1961.

15,782 Volkswagens are sold – 1,320 Polos, 9,311 Golfs, 354 Boras, 9 Jettas, 835 New Beetles, 208 New Beetle Cabrios, 443 Passats, 291 Multivans, 29 Kombis, 1,490 Transporters, 659 Caddys, 262 LTs and 561 Touaregs.

Australian couple John and Helen Taylor complete a 28,970 km drive around the world in a 1.6-litre FSI petrol Golf 5. With sponsorship from Shell, they drove through 25 countries in 78 days, using only 24 tankfuls (1,303 litres) of fuel at an amazing average of only 4.5 litres per 100 km.

The New Beetle 2.0 petrol is discontinued, and replaced with a 77 kW 250 Nm TDI model, selling for $28,490. The base 75 kW 1.6-litre petrol New Beetle Miami, and the 85 kW 2.0-litre Cabriolet, are the only other New Beetle models available.

The top Golf, the improved Golf 5 184 kW 3.2-litre V6 R32, is released in Australia. It is listed as a normal addition to the Golf range, rather than special order only as before. It is available in 3 or 5-door versions, and comes with 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG auto, and 4Motion 4WD as standard. It is priced at $54,990 for the 3-door and $56,490 for the 5-door.

The new Jetta, based on the Golf 5, is released for sale. A choice of three engines are available – 110 kW 2.0-litre FSI petrol and the same 147 kW 2.0-litre turbo FSI as the Golf GTI, plus same 103 kW 320 Nm TDI diesel as the Golf TDI. 6-speed manual and DSG auto boxes are available. Prices range from $32,990 up to $39,990.

The new Passat is released, in a wider range of models than before. There are three engines available – the 147 kW 2.0-litre turbo FSI petrol engine from the Golf GTI; a 184 kW V6 FSI petrol, and the same 103 kW 320 Nm TDI diesel as the Golf. Sedan and wagon versions of all three engines are available. All models come with 6-speed auto or 6-speed DSG gearboxes. The V6 Passats come with 4Motion 4WD as standard. Prices range from $42,990 up to $56,990.

Both the V6 and V8 petrol versions of the Touareg SUV are discontinued. The Touareg is now available with diesel engines only – the 128 kW 400 Nm 2.5-litre R5 TDI, and the 230 kW 750 Nm V10 TDI. 6-speed DSG auto is standard on all models. Prices range from $69,990 right up to $136,900.

The passenger version of the Caddy minivan, the Caddy Life, is released for the first time. Also made in Poland, the windowed and trimmed Caddy Life can seat seven people, convert to a van or any arrangement in between. Like the Caddy van, it comes in a choice of 75 kW 1.6-litre petrol or 77 kW 250 Nm 1.9-litre TDI diesel. Prices range from $27,990 to $34,990.

The Kombi Beach, a ‘lifestyle’ version of the T5 is released. It has flexible rail-mounted seating and rear fold-down bed, roof net, underseat drawers and folding table. It comes in two-tone grey with either orange, lime or blue, or solid yellow or silver. The engine is the lower-spec 96 kW 340 Nm 2.5-litre TDI, plus 6-speed manual or auto trans. 4Motion 4WD is optional. Prices start at $54,990, only $1,000 more than the equivalent 9-seat Kombi, but the higher-spec 128 kW 2.5 TDI from the Multivan is not available.

VW’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is introduced to the Transporter range as a $750 option, joining the system already available on VW’s passenger cars.

Every one of the nine Volkswagen models now available in Australia – Polo, Golf, Jetta, New Beetle, Passat, Touareg, Transporter/Multivan/Kombi, Caddy, LT – is now available with a TDI diesel engine if desired. Volkswagen is the first and only maker to offer this option on the Australian market.

VW’s car sales increase another 38.9% and reach the highest level since 1965. VW overtakes Kia and Nissan to move up to 9th in car sales, VW’s first appearance in the top ten since 1976. It’s the first time VW has beaten Kia since 2001 and the first time beating Nissan since 1968. VW’s Commercial tally is also the highest since 1976, thanks to the Caddy. Overall, including cars, trucks and SUVs, VW finishes in 10th place.

21,571 Volkswagens are sold – 2,113 Polos, 9,647 Golfs, 50 Boras, 3,111 Jettas, 550 New Beetles, 228 New Beetle Cabrios, 1,445 Passats, 170 Caddy Lifes, 340 Multivans, 142 Kombi Beaches, 1,699 Transporters, 1,192 Caddys, 393 LTs and 491 Touaregs.

Three Volkswagen models win the prestigious NRMA ‘Best Car Awards’ – the Polo TDI for the Best Small Car, the Jetta for the Best Midsize Car and the Golf GTI for the Best Sports Car.

Most new Volkswagen models can now be ordered with the VW Hands-free In-Car Bluetooth phone system. It allows three different phones, has easy-to-use steering wheel buttons and requires no cradle. Other features include auto-mute through the speaker, voice recognition for voice dialling and compatibility with most Bluetooth phones. New Volkswagens also now come with a standard iPod connection socket (in the glovebox), so that iPod music can be played through the vehicle’s sound system.

Two new Golf models are added to the Australian range. The 2.0-litre TDI diesel Sportline model is added to the existing Comfortline TDI, thus matching the trim/equipment choices for the petrol Golfs. The popular 3-door Golf GTI also joins the existing 5-door GTI on the Australian market. It is priced at $38,490, some $1,500 cheaper than the 5-door.

Later another new Golf is added to the range – the Golf GT. This Golf has a small, high-tech 1.4-litre FSI petrol engine that produces 125 kW and 240 Nm, more than any Golf except the GTI and R32, yet consumes only 7.7 L on the combined cycle. The secret is the ‘twin charger’ – the combined supercharger-turbocharger, and intelligent engine management system. The Golf GT goes on sale for $34,990 for the 6-speed manual, and $2,300 more for the DSG.

The new Eos coupe/convertible is launched at the Melbourne Motor Show. The Eos is the first Portuguese-made Volkswagen sold in Australia, and debuts with a choice of two engines – the same 147 kW 2.0-litre turbo FSI engine as the Golf GTI, and the 103 kW 320 Nm 2.0-litre TDI engine shared with the Golf diesel. Prices are $47,990 for the diesel and $49,990 for the petrol.

The updated, facelifted Touareg range is released, with new nose and lights, bumpers, wheels, colours and trim. Prices are reduced across the range. The petrol 206 kW 3.6-litre V6 is reintroduced, priced exactly the same as the TDI diesel V6, $74,990. In a similar reduction, the 128 kW 2.5-litre R5 TDI is now only $64,900, and the top 230 kW 5.0-litre V10 TDI is now $121,990. Aussie cricketer Shane Warne gains VW sponsorship and becomes a Touareg ambassador (on the UK market only).

A ‘Camper’ version of the Caddy Life is introduced, with tent pack, camping bed, mattress, curtains and storage packs. It shares mechanicals and specifications with the existing passenger Caddy Life. The five-seat Caddy Life Camper sells for $39,990 (5-speed manual) or $42,990 (6-speed DSG).

The 6-seat versions of the Multivan are discontinued, but the 7-seat versions continue as before, in 2.5-litre 5-cylinder TDI diesel or 3.2-litre V6 petrol versions. Prices range from $59,990 to $75,990.

The 6-speed DSG TDI version of the Caddy van is reduced by $3,000 to $24,990, exactly the same as the 5-speed manual. The Caddy is proving very popular and is the Australian market leader in the segment, beating the Holden Combo and Renault Kangoo.

The V6 petrol Transporter is discontinued, with that 173 kW engine now reserved for the Multivan only. The Transporter engine choices are now the 85 kW 2.0-litre petrol (the ‘Citivan’), or two TDI engines – the 75 kW 250 Nm 1.9-litre four, or the 128 kW 400 Nm 2.5-litre five (the most popular choice for Australians).

The LT is discontinued, and replaced by the new generation VW large van called the ‘Crafter’. Like the last LT, it is a co-operation venture with Mercedes and shares bodyshells with the Sprinter. Australia gets the Crafter 35 (3.5-tonne) in van, single and dual cab chassis, in three wheelbases and three roof heights. All have 2.5-litre TDI engines, in 65/220, 80/280 and 100 kW / 300 Nm versions. Prices start at $42,000.

The station wagon version of the Golf, called the Golf Variant or Estate in Europe, is shown for the first time in Australia at the Sydney Motor Show. The Mexican-made wagon is badged as the ‘Golf Compact Wagon’ and draws much interest, but no plans for local release are announced as yet.

Also debuting at the Sydney Motor Show is the Touareg R50, the special high-performance version of the VW SUV. The show vehicle is in metallic blue with chrome grille, and bright 21” wheels. It has a 5.0-litre V10 TDI engine that produces 258 kW and 850 Nm (28 kW and 100 Nm more than the standard V10). This was the Touareg R50’s world premiere, just the second time ever that a Volkswagen world model has debuted in Australia.

VW’s total Australian sales increase by 27%, reaching their highest level since 1964, and VW’s third-highest Australian total ever (behind only 1964 and 1960). VW’s car sales increase by 28.5%. VW overtakes Subaru for the first time since 1976 and moves up to 8th in car sales, VW’s highest spot since 1971. VW sets new Australian sales records for the Golf, Jetta, Eos, Caddy and Crafter. VW is again in 10th place overall.

27,400 Volkswagens are sold – 1,731 Polos, 582 New Beetles, 208 New Beetle Cabriolets, 10,982 Golfs, 6 Boras, 4,071 Jettas, 1,436 Eos, 3,062 Passats, 349 Caddy Lifes, 319 Multivans, 119 Kombis, 1,714 Transporters, 231 Cab-Chassis, 1,354 Caddys, 48 LTs, 446 Crafters and 742 Touaregs.

The Polo TDI is again awarded the NRMA’s Best Car Award for the Best Small Car in Australia. The Golf R32 wins the Best Sports Car, just beating last year’s winner, the Golf GTI. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Drive Car of the Year Awards also go to the Eos and the Golf GTI.

The almost defunct Volkswagen Club of NSW, founded in 1955, is merged into Club Veedub Sydney, creating (together with the existing chapter in Canberra), a combined VW club of great strength. Club Veedub becomes affiliated with CAMS, allowing VW owners to participate in club motor sport. Back issues of the club magazine (Zeitschrift) are made available as full-colour PDFs for downloading from clubvw.solweb.com.au

Australia’s biggest VW show, the VW Nationals in Sydney, is moved from Easter to the end of May in order to free up the Easter break for family time. The 2008 Nationals is significantly bigger and better than previously, with 167 VWs being judged, more water-cooled VWs than ever before, many hundreds more VWs on show, and over 1,000 people through the gate.

The Polo range is simplified, with only four different models now offered. The base Polo 3-door Club (59 kW 1.4 petrol) is $16,990; the Match 5-door (77 kW 1.6 petrol) is $19,990, and the GTI 3-door (110 kW 1.8 petrol) is $26,990. The TDI (74 kW, 1.9 diesel) is $22,990. The Club and Match have a choice of 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto; the TDI and GTI are manual only.

A Tenth Anniversary Edition New Beetle is released, to celebrate the New Beetle’s tenth birthday (since overseas release). It features Campanella White paint with a black roof and side mirrors, special black and white upholstery and 75 kW 1.6-litre petrol engine. It sells for $27,990 for the 5-speed manual, or $30,290 for the 6-speed auto.

Following the success of the amazing twin-charged 1.4-litre Golf GT, the range is revised and enlarged. The existing 1.4 petrol model is renamed the Golf GT Sport TSI. It is joined by a new turbo diesel version, the Golf GT Sport TDI. It has a 125 kW / 350 Nm 2.0-litre diesel engine, with direct-injection ‘pumpe-duse’ technology. The power output is exactly the same as the 1.4 petrol, but with 90 Nm more torque. The diesel Golf GT starts at $37,490.

More variations of the Golf arrive with the 1.6 petrol and 1.9 TDI ‘Edition’, and 2.0 FSI and TDI ‘Pacific’ models. The Edition has a new selection of trim and body enhancements, plus a long list of standard equipment. The 75 kW 1.6 Edition starts at $25,460 for the 5-speed manual; up to $30,290 for the 77 kW 1.9 TDI 6-speed DSG. The Pacific has all the goodies of the Edition, but with bigger 16” wheels, more luxurious trim and a bigger engine. The 103 kW 2.0 FSI with Pumpe-Düse multi-valve technology starts at $29,990 for the six speed manual up to $34,790 for the 6-speed DSG.

The Passat R36 range goes on display for the first time at the Brisbane Motor Show. Both the Sedan and Wagon versions are released for sale, both with 220 kW 3.6-litre V6 engines, 6-speed DSG gearboxes and 4Motion 4WD. With a governed top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of just 5.6 seconds, the Passat R36 sedan is the quickest and fastest Volkswagen ever sold in Australia. The Sedan is $64,990, and the Wagon $66,990. The sleek Passat CC sedan is displayed at the Sydney Motor Show, ready for release next year.

The low-spec Kombi and Kombi Beach models are discontinued. Instead, VWGA reintroduces the Caravelle to the Australian market. It is available with flexible, rail-located seating in 8 or 9-passenger versions, and two different 2.5-litre TDI engines – 96 kW / 340 Nm, or 128 kW / 400 Nm. Prices range from $50,490 to $57,490. The 7-seat Multivan remains the top T5-based people mover, with a choice of the same 128 kW TDI or a 173 kW V6, and Comfortline or Highline equipment and trim levels. Multivan prices range from $56,990 to $69,990. The Transporter is awarded 4 ANCAP safety stars, the first-ever 4-star rating for a commercial van in Australia.

VW’s new compact SUV, the Tiguan, makes its Australian debut at the Melbourne Motor Show. It is released for sale in diesel form only, with the 103 kW 320 Nm 2.0-litre TDI engine shared with the Golf, Jetta, Eos and Passat. The 6-speed TDI manual is $35,990 and the 6-speed Tiptronic auto is $38,290. Just over 1,000 examples are scheduled for import in 2008 and they are all quickly sold, leaving a 6-month waiting list for vehicles. Two petrol versions, 125 kW and 147 kW versions of the 2.0-litre FSI, are scheduled for release later.

After its debut at the Sydney Motor Show last year, the Touareg R50 goes on sale. With a 256 kW 850 Nm 5.0-litre V10 TDI engine, it is the most powerful Volkswagen ever sold in Australia. A six-speed DSG auto is standard. It is listed for $129,990. Also joining the local Touareg range is the 3.0-litre 179 kW V6 TDI. Prices start at $74,990, the same as the V6 FSI petrol. With a choice of 5, 6, 8, 10 and 12 (in Europe) cylinder engines in petrol and diesel, the VW Touareg has more different engine options than any other motor vehicle in the world.

The longer wheelbase, stretched Caddy Maxi van joins the normal Caddy van in the Australian range. It is 470mm longer than the normal Caddy and has 4.7 cubic metres of load space. It shares the same 75 kW 1.6-litre petrol or 77 kW 250 Nm 1.9-litre TDI engines as the normal Caddy, and the same 5-speed manual or 6-speed DSG gearboxes. The Caddy Maxi sells for $24,740 (petrol) or $28,740 (diesel), only $2,800 more than the normal Caddy. The passenger version, the Caddy Maxi Life, also joins the local range but only with the 77 kW TDI engine. It sells for $34,990 for the manual or $37,990 for the DSG.

Total Australian VW sales increase by 9%, beating the 28,597 sold in 1960 and making 2008 VW’s second-best year ever in Australia (second only to 1964). VW is tenth on the Australian vehicle market (all types) for the third year in a row. VW remains at eighth in car sales with a 3% growth, while SUV sales almost triple thanks to the Tiguan. Commercial sales increase by 8%. VW sets new Australian sales records for the Golf, Polo, Eos, Caddy, Crafter, Tiguan and Touareg. VW is Australia’s most popular European make for the fourth year in a row. Total Volkswagen sales in Australia, of all models since 1954, pass 600,000 in December.

29,875 Volkswagens are sold – 2,362 Polos, 613 New Beetles, 177 New Beetle Cabriolets, 11,632 Golfs, 3,334 Jettas, 1,853 Eos, 3,334 Passats, 289 Caddy Lifes, 286 Multivans, 33 Kombis, 90 Caravelles, 1,624 Transporters, 267 Cab-Chassis, 1,725 Caddys, 480 Crafters, 1,109 Tiguans and 1,066 Touaregs.

The VW Eos wins the CarSales Sports Car of the Year Award, for the second year in a row. The Golf GTI wins the Drive Best Performance Car under $60,000, for the third year in a row. The diesel Tiguan wins the Best Car Best Recreational 4WD award.

After its first local showing at the Sydney Motor Show last year, the Golf 5 GTI Pirelli goes on sale. The normal GTI’s 2.0-litre 147 kW engine is tuned further to produce 169 kW, giving a maximum speed of 245 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of just 6.6 seconds. The GTI Pirelli has special leather Pirelli trim and body kit, and Pirelli 225/40 P-Zero tyres on 7.5x18” alloy wheels. This special edition Golf, seen for the first time in Australia, is available for $47,490 (3-door) or $48,990 (5-door).

The Passat CC (Compact Coupe) is released for Australian sale. The CC offers a lower, swoopy four-door body and a different nose and tail treatment from the regular Passat range. The Australian-spec CC is only released in the top ‘luxury’ specification with a host of extra comfort and entertainment items to go with the sports suspension and seats. There are two engine options – the 2.0-litre 125 kW TDI ($54,990), or the 3.6-litre 220 kW V6 FSI with 4Motion ($65,990). The Passat V6 CC shares specs and performance figures with the existing Passat R36 sedan, making them both the equally quickest and fastest Volkswagens ever sold in Australia. The Passat CC wins a Design Award for Excellence at the 2009 Australian International Design Awards.

In March the latest incarnation of the Golf, the Golf 6, is released on the Australian market. The official launch is at Byron Bay, featuring immaculate examples of generation 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Golfs and local Golf history items courtesy of Club Veedub members. The new Golf 6 is now sourced from Wolfsburg again, rather than from South Africa, and comes in a choice of Trendline or Comfortline specs. The new range starts with the 1.4-litre 90TSI 6-speed manual for $25,990 (7-speed DSG $2,500 extra). The 118TSI Comfortline starts at $30,490 for the manual or $32,990 for the DSG – also from just 1.4 litres (twin-charged). The diesel version is the 2.0-litre 103TDI 6-speed manual for $33,190, while the 6-speed DSG is $35,690.

In May the 100,000th Golf to be sold in Australia since 1976 is celebrated, a white 118TSI sold to Mark Hall of Adelaide by Solitaire Volkswagen of Hawthorn, SA. VW Group Australia commemorates the milestone with a photo shoot at Barangaroo, Sydney, featuring 78 Golfs (of all generations) arranged into a ‘100,000’. VW boss Jutta Dierks meets with Club Veedub Golf owners and expresses amazement at the level of VW enthusiasm in Australia. The Golf is the second-best selling individual VW model in Australia, second only to the locally-made 1200 Beetle (which sold 183,626 from 1954-66).

In August the Golf 6 range is expanded with the introduction of the entry-level 77TDI. It comes with a 77 kW / 250 Nm 1.6-litre TDI engine, joining the existing 103TDI in the local range but at a price some $5,000 less. The 77TDI 5-speed manual is $28,690, or the 7-speed DSG version is $31,190.

In October the much-awaited GTI version of the Golf 6 is added to the Australian range. The 2.0-litre engine now makes more power – up from 147 to 155 kW – but uses less fuel, as consumption drops from 8.2 to 7.7 L/100 km. The new GTI does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 6.9 seconds. “25 percent of recent Australian Golf sales have been the GTI,” says VW PR boss Karl Gehling. Prices remain the same as the previous Mk5 GTI, with the 3-door 6-speed manual GTI starting at $38,990 and the 5-door from $40,490. The 6-speed DSG is a $2,500 option.

The Jetta range receives a refresh. It still has the gen 5 body and nose, but receives new paint and trim choices and an updated cabin. There are now five engines to choose from – the 118TSI and 147TSI turbo petrol engines, and the 77TDI, 103TDI and 125TDI turbo diesels. The base 77TDI starts at $28,990 or $31,490 for the 7-speed DSG. The 103TDI starts at $35,990 and the 125TDI at $38,990. The 118TSI petrol starts at $30,990, while the top 147TSI Highline Jetta (with the previous Golf GTI engine) starts at $38,990.

After some delay, the petrol engine versions of the Tiguan arrive, easing the 9-month waiting list for the VW medium SUV. There are two versions – the 125 kW base model for $33,990, and the 147 kW top model for $42,990. These join the existing 103 kW TDI diesel Tiguan ($35,990). All versions of the Tiguan can now be ordered with optional Park Assist ($890-$1,390), the first Australian VW and the first ‘normally priced’ car on the Australian market with the system. So far only very expensive Mercedes and Lexus luxury cars have had it.

The Caddy is awarded 4 ANCAP safety stars, joining the 4 already given to the Transporter. The two Volkswagens are the first and only 4-star rated commercials on the Australian market. The T5 Multivan Highline TDI wins the Delivery Magazine’s ‘Best People Mover’ award. “Volkswagen has been building people movers for over 50 years,” says Phil Clark, boss of VWGA’s Commercial Vehicles division, “so you could say we know a thing or two about how to build a good quality and practical vehicle.”

Club Veedub Sydney expands the annual VW Nationals (Australia’s largest VW show) by adding the first VW Supersprint at Wakefield Park circuit, near Goulburn. The CAMS-sanctioned event attracts just over 50 drivers, many driving competitively on a race circuit for the first time. The fastest car of the day is Rudi Frank in his custom-built turbocharged Superbug race car, lapping in just 69.43 seconds. Fellow souped-up Beetle racers Wayne Penrose and Paul Zanello are only a few seconds behind.

VW Group Australia boss Jutta Dierks returns to Germany to take up a position in the Wolfsburg head office. A new Australian VW CEO is appointed - another German lady, Anke Koeckler, who moves to Australia with her family. She has worked for Volkswagen since 1996, looking after marketing and sales in VW’s Spanish and Scandinavian markets. Her most recent appointment had been VW Sales Director for Germany’s Northern Region.

After a review of the local VW range with petrol engines, VW Group Australia announces that the minimum fuel requirements for almost all engines has been revised. From now on, almost all new 2010 Volkswagen petrol models will require a minimum 95RON petrol, rather than the expensive 98RON previously. The only exceptions are the high performance Passat R36, Passat CC V6 and Golf R32, which still require RON 98.

Australian couple John and Helen Taylor use a VW Jetta TDI to set another Guinness World Record for fuel economy. This time they drive through all lower 48 contiguous States of America in 20 days, covering 15,165 km at an average of 3.99 L/100 km. Their US-spec Jetta TDI was completely stock and they kept within 10 km/h of all speed limits. The Jetta used just 11 tanks of low-sulphur diesel fuel for the trip, at an average of 1,373 km per fill-up.

Australian VW sales consolidate rather than expand, growing just 0.7% overall and over 30,000 for just the second time in history, but still behind 1964’s 31,419. VW finishes 10th overall, for the fourth year in a row. VW’s car sales drop by 11.4% but VW still finishes 8th, for the third year in a row. Commercial Vehicles also drop, by 9.4%. VW’s only growth segment is SUVs, a huge 151.2% increase thanks to the Tiguan. VW sets new Australian sales records for the Golf, Passat CC, Tiguan and Caddy. VW remains Australia’s most popular European make, for the fifth year in a row.

30,087 Volkswagens are sold – 1,404 Polos, 254 New Beetles, 149 New Beetle Cabriolets, 12,141 Golfs, 1,962 Jettas, 1,159 Eos, 3,160 Passats, 283 Caddy Lifes, 208 Multivans, 181 Caravelles, 12 Kombis, 1,295 Transporters, 171 Cab-Chassis, 1,808 Caddys, 434 Crafters, 2 Hannover Buses,  4,702 Tiguans and 762 Touaregs.


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