It only took 80 years to get there.
It’s not every day that an automaker makes an announcement like this. In fact, we honestly can’t recall hearing about a milestone on this scale. Volkswagen has just declared its 150 millionth vehicle has rolled off the production line. That’s an awful lot of cars since the German automaker’s founding 80 years ago. So, what model was the milestone car? A Golf GTE plug-in hybrid. Built in VW’s Wolfsburg production plant (where a total of 44 million VWs has been built over the decades), the Golf GTE, according to VW, "is a symbol of the future of mobility."
Just after the car was completed, VW CEO Dr. Herbert Diess stated that "150 million vehicles – that means we have made the dream of owning a car come true 150 million times for customers all over the world." The first production VW, the Type 1 Kafer, aka the first Beetle, was built on December 27, 1945.
A total of 21.5 million original VW Beetles were built before production ended in Mexico in 2003. It took until 2007 for the Golf to surpass the Beetle in production volume, with a then total of 25 million units of the massively popular hatchback. That figure has swelled to 34 million units today. Aside from the Beetle and Golf, more than 20 million examples of the Passat, 19.5 million Jettas and nearly 17 million Polos are in existence. Following the debacle so eloquently known as Dieselgate, Volkswagen is now fully invested in the innovation of plug-in hybrid and, ultimately electric vehicle technologies. It's no mistake that the 150 millionth VW is a plug-in hybrid, a fitting choice to mark the impressive milestone.