A factory worker polishes a Volkswagen Golf in Puebla, Mexico

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.
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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.