Ten years ago, as 2003 drew to a close, Volkswagen sold just under 12,500 vehicles in Australia. Last year, in 2012, that total had more than quadrupled, to 54,853. So, whatever Volkswagen is doing, they’re doing it right.
Although the company doesn’t place among the top 10 vehicles in outright sales, once you discount the utes, vans and 4WDs, it does have one of the top 10 cars – the Golf, Australia’s 10th most popular car.
Volkswagen is an independent brand in Australia, but when you consider the bigger picture globally, the Volkswagen Group, which is headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, owns many other automotive brands – including Audi, Skoda and even Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley and Porsche.
The link to Audi is important to Australian buyers: The two companies share much of their underlying technology. The Volkswagen Polo, for example, is based on the Audi A1, and vice-versa. Polo buyers get Audi-esque levels of refinement (and one extra seat) at Volkswagen prices, and similar situations pertain elsewhere in the range.
In Australia, the Volkswagen range has swelled over time to an incredible 16 models (more, if you cut them up the way Volkswagen does). They are: The tiny ‘Up!’ city car, followed by the Polo, Golf, Jetta and Passat. In the sporty/lifestyle domain there’s the Scirocco R, the CC, the Eos and the Beetle. In SUVs and 4WDs Volkswagen offers the Tiguan, Passat Alltrack and Touareg, while in vans there’s the Caddy, Multivan and Caravelle. Rounding out the Volkswagen range is the Amarok ute.