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Out the door: 100,000 VW Golfs in Australia

Volkswagen Golf Mk VI(copyright image)

Mark Hall with the 100,000th
Volkswagen Golf in Australia.

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17th July, 2009

The Volkswagen brand has just reached a significant milestone on the Australian market with the sale of the 100,000th Golf since the initial model introduction. The celebratory new VW Golf 118TSI was handed over to its owner, Mark Hall, by Solitaire Volkswagen of Hawthorn (Adelaide).

Judging by the humble beginnings of the MkI in 1976, which then was assembled in Clayton, Victoria, nobody could have preempted the significance of this popular model. Locally, 4,429 Golfs were sold that year.

The first ever Golf Mk I to be registered in Australia still is in the hands of its original owner, who himself was part of Volkswagen’s history. Mr Dirk Goudberg was employed as Quality Control Manager at the Volkswagen plant in Clayton, Victoria, from 1958 until 1976. His vehicle was amongst the first six Golfs to be exported to Australia in individual components to be assembled locally. The vehicle itself was completed locally in late 1974 and registered in 1975 as the first Golf in Australia.

In 1983 the Golf Mk II replaced the ‘original’ Golf with global production of 6.3 million MkII Golfs between 1983 and 1991. The Golf Mk III went on sale in 1994 and for the first time since the Mk I a diesel variant in the Golf range returned to the Australian market in 1996. The year 1998 saw the introduction of the Golf Mk IV.

The year 2004 was marked by the 500,000th Volkswagen sold in Australia as well as the local release of the Golf Mk V. The Mk V was awarded a range of significant awards by the Australian motoring media in its days. The Golf GTI was named the "Top Drive of 2005" by Next Car in late 2005.

To date, the Golf has turned out to be a selling success with more than 26 million Golfs produced globally since the initial days of the Golf Mk I.

The next chapter in the Golf’s journey has only just begun with the introduction of the new Golf into the Australian market in March 2009. This model is regarded as the most economical, safe and refined Golf yet and promises to maintain Volkswagen as a popular competitor.

Golf Timeline

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1976: The Golf Mk I was released onto the market in March, it was assembled in Clayton, Victoria. Some 4,429 Golfs are sold in the first year.
1977: The locally assembled Golf Mk I is replaced by fully imported German GLS.
1978: The Diesel GLS is added to the range. In the early 80’s sales drop as the Australian dollar hurts imported car prices. Models are cut and, eventually, imports are stopped. The last 3 Golf GLDs are sold in early 1982.
1974-83: Globally 6.8 million Mk I Golfs were produced.

1990: The Golf Cabriolet and Golf GTI 8V are officially launched. Both have the 1,781 cc engine, in 70 kW form for the Cabrio and 77 kW for the GTI. Some 107 Golf Mk II are sold in Australia in 1990, 289 in 1991.
1992: Mk II models are discontinued awaiting Mk III release in 1993.
1993: Due to the European delay in introducing the Mk III Golf Cabrio, the local distributor imports 360 Mk1 Golf Cabriolets.
1983-91: Globally 6.3 million Mk II Golf’s were manufactured.

1994: The Golf Mk III is released in Australia, in two versions, a base 85 kW 2.0-litre GL hatchback and the 128 kW 2.8-litre VR6, auto or manual. Some 459 Golfs and 217 VR6s are sold.
1995: The Golf Mk III Cabrio is released. Some 1,283 Golfs, 227 VR6s, 272 Golf Cabriolets are sold in 1995.
1996: The Golf Diesel returns to Australia, for the first time since 1981.
1996: The budget Golf CL is also introduced, with a 66 kW 1.8-litre engine.
1991-97: Globally, some 4.8 million Mk III Golfs were manufactured.

Dirk Goudberg with his Volkswagen Golf Mk I (copyright image)

Dirk Goudberg with his Volkswagen Golf Mk I,
Australia's first VW Golf

1998: The Golf IV is released. The updated ‘Mk 3˝’ Golf Cabriolet is released. Still a Golf Mk III Cabrio, but with a new nose that matches the Golf IV, smoked taillights, sports seats and leather trim.
1999: The Golf GTI is released; the first GTI model sold in Australia since the Mk II 8V in 1992. Some 2,807 Golfs and 253 Cabrios are sold locally.
2000: A limited edition ‘Rally’ version of the Golf is announced, in celebration of the Golf winning the Australian F2 Rally Championship in 1999.
2002: The Golf range is broadened with the release of the new entry-level 75 kW 1.6S and 1.6SE models.
2003: Some 12,357 Volkswagens are sold including 6,457 Golfs and 10 Cabrios. A special version of the Golf, called the Generation, is released to celebrate Volkswagen’s 50 years in Australia.
1997-03: Globally 4.3 million Mk IV Golf’s were manufactured.

2004: The 500,000th Australian Volkswagen is sold in March. The latest generation of the Golf, the Mk V, is released in Australia. It is available in Trendline, Comfortline and Sportline versions. The engine choices are 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre FSI, 1.9-litre TDI and 2.0-litre TDI.
2005: Golf Mk V is released with a 147 kW 2.0-litre FSI turbo engine, and choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG auto gearboxes. Thanks to a very positive reaction from the local press, the GTI soon sells out. The waiting list grows to an unprecedented six months. Some 15,782 Volkswagens are sold including 9,311 Golfs.
2006: The Golf R32, the improved Mk V 184 kW 3.2-litre V6 R32, is released in Australia and comes with 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG auto, and 4Motion 4WD as standard.
2007: Another new Golf is added to the range, the Golf GT. It has a small, turbo and supercharged 1.4 litre TSI petrol engine producing 125 kW and 240 Nm yet consumes only 7.7 litres/100 km on the combined cycle. Over 10,000 Golfs are sold in Australia.
2008: A new turbo diesel version, the Golf GT Sport TDI is added to the range.

2009: The new Golf (Mark VI) is released in Australia, whilst the release of the new Golf GTI is anticipated in October.

1974-09: To date more than 26 million Golf’s have been manufactured.

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