After being announced a year ago, production of the Volkswagen Golf in the carmaker's plant in Puebla, Mexico has begun on the fiftieth anniversary of the company's official arrival in the country. It was 60 years ago that VW commenced exports to Mexico, formally making a home there on January 15, 1964 by establishing Volkswagen de Mexico as an importer. Thirteen years later, Puebla began its legendary run of Beetle manufacture.

Now it makes the (reborn) Beetle and Jetta, the Golf joining its family members on the MQB architecture. VW has put $700 million into the facility for production of the Golf hatchback and future variants for the North and South American markets, the first fruits of which we're told will be in dealerships in the second quarter of this year. There's a press release below with a few more details on the operation.
Show full PR text
START OF GOLF PRODUCTION IN MEXICO MARKS ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR VOLKSWAGEN GROUP IN NORTH AMERICA

- Mexican Secretary of Economy, Dr. Guajardo, and Volkswagen CEO, Prof. Dr. Winterkorn, inaugurate production of the new Volkswagen Golf at the Puebla plant
- The Volkswagen Group is investing US$7 billion in new products and modern production facilities in North America in period to 2018
- Volkswagen de México celebrates 50th anniversary


Puebla (Mexico) / Wolfsburg, January 15, 2014: Production of the new Volkswagen Golf1 began today at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. The facility is to build further models from the Golf family for the North America region going forward. Dr. Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of Economy, Rafael Moreno-Valle, Governor of the State of Puebla, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, inaugurated Golf production on the occasion of the ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Volkswagen de México. 700 guests from politics and industry attended the celebrations.

"Volkswagen de México has a proud history and a promising future. One car in particular is a symbol of that: The new Golf," Prof Dr. Martin Winterkorn said in Puebla. "The start of Golf 7 production will give Volkswagen a big boost in the North America region. And it underscores our commitment to Mexico as an automotive location. That is further confirmed by the US$7 billion our Group will be investing in North America in the period to 2018."

The intelligent lightweight construction of the Golf, the "World Car of the Year 2013", is based on the technological innovations of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB), and the vehicle will be exported from Mexico to the USA and Canada. The new Volkswagen Golf will hit North American roads from mid-year as it continues its global success story. Volkswagen has invested some US$700 million in new production plant and modern infrastructure for the Golf in Puebla. The first Golf sedan to be built in Mexico is a red Golf GTI2. Production of further derivatives such as the Golf station wagon for the North and South America regions will begin during the course of the year. Golf production at the Puebla plant has a capacity of 700 vehicles per working day.

CEO of Volkswagen de México, Andreas Hinrichs, underscored the major significance of the Puebla location for Volkswagen: "Our Puebla factory is today one of the Group's highest exporters and one of its largest plants worldwide. Over 10 million vehicles have already been shipped from here to customers all over the world."

In addition to the new Golf, the Puebla plant also builds the coupé and cabriolet versions of the Volkswagen Beetle plus the Volkswagen Jetta. In terms of technology, these models also belong to the Golf class and are to be adapted to the structure of the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) in the medium term. Furthermore, Volkswagen began manufacturing modern TSI engines at the Silao engine plant in early 2013. The Audi facility in San José Chiapa will strengthen the Volkswagen Group's production network in North America from 2016.

The vehicles manufactured in Pueba and the engines produced in Silao are built in accordance with the state-of-the art environmental standards of the Volkswagen brand's "Think Blue. Factory." programme. This programme aims to optimise resource efficiency at all Volkswagen plants and to continually improve the environmental compatibility of the production process. 50 years of success unite Volkswagen and Mexico. Volkswagen began exports to Mexico back in 1954. 50 years ago, on January 15, 1964, the Wolfsburg-based company founded an import, production and sales company called "Volkswagen de México S.A." The Beetle began rolling off the assembly line at the new plant in Puebla in 1967, with production of this model only finally coming to an end in 2003. Alongside the Bulli, the Beetle motorized Mexico for decades.

In 1997, Puebla became the only plant in the Volkswagen Group to build the New Beetle, exporting the model all over the world. Production of the fourth Jetta generation commenced at the same time. Both models lent key growth momentum to export business at Volkswagen de México. From 1964 to the present day, the Volkswagen Group has already invested a total of US$8 billion in Mexico.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      stergis3
      • 11 Months Ago
      Here is hoping VW add the Polo TDI to the line and send it stateside.
      Patrick
      • 11 Months Ago
      Since about 2009 Mexico has made huge inroads in positioning itself as a competitive destination for auto and auto part manufacturers...and after 5 years of news in that regard we are still getting folks making snide remarks about cars being made by Mexicans. This trend may have as much to do with currency exchange rates and shipping costs as it does with low wages. Mazda got clobbered by the fact that the majority of its manufacturing capacity was in Japan when the yen appreciated like crazy...they had a bad experience with their joint venture plant with Ford in Flat Rock, so Mexico was a logical place to put a plant to attack the US market. VW has plants in the US and in Mexico to hedge against a big increase in the value of the dollar. If wages were the only consideration, these companies would be flocking to South East Asia. Audi, BMW and Mercedes are all looking at or will soon start production of of their models and and parts in Mexico and I'd love to know what the skeptics know that the German's due diligence didn't unearth. In 2009 I went to a supplier plant in Querétaro and from balcony overseeing the production lines you could see big signs indicating which line was making parts for this or that luxury German or English luxury car maker. Mexicans have been making parts for these car makers for a long time. Anyways, the first Generation Ford Fusions assembled in Hermosillo were segment leading in Quality, beating their Japanese and German rivals. Making a quality car in Mexico is a more a question of Corporate Will than anything else. And frankly, this should be good news for US suppliers, any car assembled in Mexico is still going to have a big percentage of parts made by suppliers with plants in the US. I think the trend is pretty much win win for everybody in North America, but hey if holding on to the belief that your southern neighbors are somehow inherently inferior as some part of your conception of yourself...keep on griping about "Mexican quality hahahahar".
      Nicholas
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm fine with my Mexican-assembled Samsung television, or my Chinese-made iPhone. But if I'm going to be spending almost $30K on a new GTI, it had better be built in the fatherland. This is an epic betrayal by VW on its American enthusiasts. I know Dr. Piech couldn't give a rat's ass about what I think, but I'm taking my business someplace else.
        A P
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nicholas
        Get over yourself. VWs built in Germany are just as unreliable as those built elsewhere. One has to be lemming to actually think that German engineering is somehow better.
          Nicholas
          • 11 Months Ago
          @A P
          Yes, because the finest luxury sedans on the planet are engineered in Sri Lanka. Dumbass.
          Brent Phillips
          • 11 Months Ago
          @A P
          Actually i believe for last year Consumer Reports had 3 VW's that they couldn't recommend because of reliability. 2 out of the 3 were built in Mexico.
        stergis3
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nicholas
        Honda build the Fit in Celaya. And a new SUV there soon. The times,they are a changin...
        Lars
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nicholas
        "But if I'm going to be spending almost $30K on a new GTI, it had better be built in the fatherland. This is an epic betrayal by VW on its American enthusiasts." Sure, but why does this wish apply only to European marques? Some of us (GenXers?) wish that the most exclusive and expensive Honda cars were still made in Japan, by Japanese. But arching over these wishes is the fact that certainly these days it's not really where the factory is located.
        KAG
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nicholas
        Agreed
        bleexeo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Nicholas
        "Epic betrayal"? For $30k? Please. Then I guess spending $80k for a Porsche Cayman R built in Finland or $120k for an X6M made in South Carolina would make your hypocritical Fatherland head explode!
          Nicholas
          • 11 Months Ago
          @bleexeo
          Maybe $30K is chump change for you friend-o, but to me it's money that I worked hard for. I intend to spend it where I please. And comparing Finland to Mexico is ludicrous. The former is a sophisticated Scandinavian nation whose inhabitants enjoy the finest quality of life on the planet, and the latter is in many regards a Third-world hellhole.
      John Sickvery
      • 11 Months Ago
      German made Golf do have serious reliability issues (just check forums or even JD power). Now VW are making it in Mexico. Things can only go downhill for them.
        bleexeo
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Sickvery
        All modern mass produced cars are robot built. Robots don't care where they live.
          Matt
          • 11 Months Ago
          @bleexeo
          "Robot-welded" maybe, but most assembly is still humans snapping pieces on. Even in the most modern plants.
        Lachmund
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Sickvery
        Do you pull those 'facts' out of your ass. There are no serious reliability issues with any Golf since the MK IV
        SpikedLemon
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Sickvery
        Curious considering that Mk5+ have all been given top marks from CR. It seems odd that they'd still maintain those top marks if the facts were against them.
          akitadog
          • 11 Months Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          My MkV GTI has been virtually bulletproof in its 6 years and 65K miles I've owned it, since new. I need something with 4 doors for my family, which just went from 3 to 4 a few months back, but I'm scared that anything else will be a let-down reliability-wise. I must admit I'm craving the Caddy ATS, though.
          19nomad56
          • 11 Months Ago
          @SpikedLemon
          akitadog, Not sure if a growing family and ATS mix. I like it also, but the trunk is very small. The early 2000s Acura TL was the same great small handling sedan but tiny trunk with tiny opening. Visit to dealership lasted about three minutes, once I couldn't get the folding stroller in the trunk we sadly moved on.
        superchan7
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Sickvery
        Considering most of the humans only really snap parts on, and parts can only go on one way, the difference in build quality between auto mfg in different countries is probably very low. Yes, the initial ramp-up may produce management and efficiency problems, but those will probably result in issues on very few final production units.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @John Sickvery
        You should visit a modern assembly plant. It's nearly impossible for an assembly worker to screw something up, even if they try. Now bad engineering, that's a problem regardless of where it's assembled. VW has frequently been guilty of this (like every other automaker), but the Golf is the brand's marquee product, so I would hope it received VW's "best foot forward" on the engineering front.
      funguy6713
      • 11 Months Ago
      And now there will be even more massive recalls and defects from VW...
        Carlos Cruz
        • 11 Months Ago
        @funguy6713
        Sub components and engineering remain the same, but now they'll have the flexibility of doing an interior for the Golf that is exclusive to NA and they then *can* make it cheap-er. ECUs will still be the same German Bosch things they've always used.
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      PatrickH
      • 11 Months Ago
      Is it fair to refer to these VWs as Golfs of Mexico? :-D
      Matt
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm anxious to see the U.S. Golf VII Configurator when it comes online. The Golf is available in some very interesting configurations in Europe, and I hope we have similar options in the U.S. (diesel+manual+AWD come to mind). I'm not holding my breath though; VW likes to throw the US market scraps while Europe feasts on cool cars.
        Dvanos
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Matt
        The MK6 was available in diesel with a manual, sure no awd but you have to remember this setup is less than 5% of customers.
        The Wasp
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Matt
        Does a $40k price tag do nothing to diminish how 'interesting' that car would be to you?
          404 not found
          • 11 Months Ago
          @The Wasp
          Not sure if you're serious. I think you'd have a hard time hitting $40k even if you configure an optioned out Golf R.
          Matt
          • 11 Months Ago
          @The Wasp
          I'd go pay my BMW dealer $50k right now for a manual 328d xdrive wagon, but alas it's auto only. I only buy a car once a decade, so the purchase price is less of a consideration.
        Basil Exposition
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Matt
        (diesel+manual+AWD come to mind) So tired of hearing this crap over and over and over and over and over.
          Matt
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Basil Exposition
          Diesel manual wagons/hatches are the most popular vehicle configuration in Europe, so obviously they know something. It offers the best combination of fun, frugality, and practicality. If you want to keep being like all the other American sheep buying slushbox sedans and crossovers, that's fine, I don't want to take that way from you. Just please allow me to buy what I want (which the automakers already produce, but don't sell here).
          TopGun
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Basil Exposition
          Funny, I'm tired of hearing NO diesel…NO manual…no AWD…although I can take or leave the AWD at this point, tires have come a long way. I think I can drive a C7 during most winter days here…like my hero Tadge! Ya…ya…that's it!
        Lars
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Matt
        "VW likes to throw the US market scraps while Europe feasts on cool cars." Agreed, generally. But zoom out and look at the big picture and the spreadsheet becomes visible. You're right about VW, but really all marques do this. Arguably, the most hurtful discrepancy is Renault Nissan's.
      superchan7
      • 11 Months Ago
      Mexico plants aren't the issue. VW are guilty of poor design and materials where owners can't see. My B5 Passat (built in the Vaterland) had weight-bearing and fluid-carrying parts that should have been metal but were instead plastic. They broke and caused leaks and other issues. Even the plastics were subpar; suspension parts wore out way too frequently and the oil pan leaked. Two turn signal lamps literally fell out because PLASTIC clips became brittle and snapped under their own weight. On top of that, the US dealer network has terrible service departments that are not interested in honest troubleshooting. I will not own a VW ever again.
        J
        • 11 Months Ago
        @superchan7
        > VW are guilty of poor design and materials where owners can't see. The design and materials didn't start out poor. Then VW's (slash-and-burn cost cutting) bean-counters sprung into action.
      canuckcharlie
      • 11 Months Ago
      Another reason to hold on to my Wolfsburg built MK6 GTI... 3 years down, 0 issues
      Jesus!
      • 11 Months Ago
      Thats good news for VW fans. Maybe some quality will actually sneak its way in lol.
      loopless
      • 11 Months Ago
      With the 1.8 T as the base engine it's going to be a Mazda3 killer. Lets hope they do a 1.4T with cylinder-deactivation BlueMotion for diesel-phobics.
        Matt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @loopless
        Mazda 3 manages more power, same torque, better fuel economy, and cheaper maintenance with their n/a 2.5L. Let's not declare VW the "winner" here yet. Not to mention, the Mazda3 has superior dash aesthetics and seats (subjectively speaking). I'm seriously considering both vehicles, and I can see the merits of both. I'm glad Mazda finally upped their game to where it's even a discussion.
          Gustavo Vera Pieri
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Matt
          The Mazda3 is a great competitor, but what's interesting about the 1.8T is the way power is delivered. The Mazda engine is rated 184 hp @ 5700 rpm and 185lb-ft at 3250 rpm, while the the VW is 170 bhp @ 4,800-6,200 rpm; 184 lbf·ft @ 1,500-4,800 rpm. You have max torque and power over a much broader range of rpm.
          mattyice
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Matt
          The reviews of the golf are proven that the car has better fit and finish then vehicles twice its price, the 2.5 is the optional engine for the Mazda3, it beats in HP yes but the fact that the 1.8t has a torque curve that goes from 1,500rpm until 4,750rpm it will be more enjoyable to drive then the Mazda3 also having a shorter wheelbase and shorter overhangs (its laws of physics at this point), I bet the fuel economy is close to 40mpg. the 1.8t is rated at 36mpg on the highway in the heavier, less aerodynamic Jetta. As for maintenance well thats a matter of who you are talking to, having 2 years of free maintenance and a 10,000 mile/year service interval seems to get the VW pretty close in maintenance costs to any other manufacturer out there besides domestics
    • Load More Comments