Literally. Volkswagen is building them faster.
Volkswagen will reveal the all-new, eighth-generation Golf hatchback this week and the first examples are already being built in Germany. Sadly, this new model will not be coming to the US without wearing either a GTI or R badge on it, so it will be a while before we see them on the roads here. VW has built more than 35 million examples of the Golf since the first-generation model, 26 million of which were assembled at the company's Wolfsburg plant in Germany.
Wolfsburg has been building the all-new Golf 8 since this summer and the first examples are already expected to hit dealerships in Germany and Austria in early December. Even though this new model is more complex than any model that preceded it, VW has found a way to build them even more quickly.
"The Golf 8 is much more complex than its predecessor. Nevertheless, we have cut average manufacturing time by about one hour," Dr. Andreas Tostmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Production explained. "Because the Golf 8 belongs to the second-generation of MQB products, we achieved a significant reduction in production investments. Our platform strategy is delivering. The team in Wolfsburg has given their all for the Golf 8. Production processes have become more efficient overall. That is a great achievement and I would like to say a big thank you to all employees."
Wolfsburg employs 8,400 workers exclusively to build the Golf. This latest model houses 2,700 individual parts, 962 wiring systems, and 1,340 meters (4396.325 feet) of cable. Compared to the seventh-generation, this new model has 31 more wiring systems and almost 100 meters more cable. The Golf travels 69 kilometers (almost 43 miles) from the time it enters the factory as a steel sheet to the time it leaves as a full car.
Thanks to VW's standardization of the plant and processes, 80 percent of existing body shop plant and equipment can be used to build the new Golf. Just like the seventh-generation, this new Golf is based on the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) platform, so less new equipment was needed to build this new car. Overall, the plant is 40 percent more productive building the Golf 8 compared to the Golf 7.
Along with a new body and interior, the Golf 8 will wear VW's new emblem, which made its debut earlier this year on the ID.3 electric car. In the US, this new logo will make its first appearance on the 2020 Atlas Cross Sport.