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Compiled by Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Volkswagen’s Kariega Plant exports its 1.5-millionth vehicle

A Kings Red Polo GTI, bound for the UK, has officially become a milestone model for Wolfsburg's local division.

Set to become the sole production facility for the Polo from June this year, an example, bound for the United Kingdom has officially become the 1.5-millionth vehicle to be exported from Volkswagen’s Kariega Plant in the Eastern Cape.

Another record

Arriving just under two years after the one millionth Polo left the assembly line, the vehicle in question, a Kings Red Polo GTI powered by the 152 kW 2.0 TSI engine, also represented the 21 165th vehicle made for export in 2024 alone.

ALSO READ: Made-in-South Africa Volkswagen Polo reaches two million

While the facility in the town, formerly known as Uitenhage, has been exporting vehicles since 1992, the Polo has been its biggest success story, with around 80% of assembled models being exported to 38 countries in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations.

Incidentally, the two millionth Polo made at the plant in December 2022, an Ascot Grey example, was also headed for an export nation, namely Germany.

Exports will continue

Prior to the export milestone, which occurred during the night shift this past Monday (19 February), Volkswagen announced it had exported 101 557 Polos in 2023, the second highest of 2019’s 108 422.

Confirmed to be made alongside the Polo Vivo until at least 2029, the Polo’s exports to key European nations will soon end in response to the Old Continent transitioning towards electrification, and in the case of Wolfsburg’s smallest model, to the all-electric ID.2all slated for introduction in 2025.

This won’t, however, lead to the collapse of exports as the selection of Kariega will add an additional 10 000 units to its overall production offset, plus continuing exportation to other markets where electrification has not been as prominent.

“Celebrating another production milestone this early in the year sets the tone for a successful 2024,” Volkswagen Group Africa Production Director, Ulrich Schwabe, said in a statement.

“Volkswagen Group Africa remains a strong player in the export space and I am proud of the team behind milestones such as these. As the home of Polo, we intend to continue building and delivering our high-quality vehicles to customers around the world – and hopefully achieve many more milestones along the way”.

NOW READ: Volkswagen South Africa celebrates one-millionth export Polo

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