The best-selling model in Europe for 2011 is the Volkswagen Golf, the fourth straight year that it has earned this recognition, according to JATO Dynamics. A 2% sales decline to 484,547 units was recorded in Europe last year for the sixth-generation Golf, which made its debut in 2008.
But this decline wasn’t enough to topple the Golf from the top spot. Volkswagen intends for this seventh-generation Golf to debut this September at the Paris auto show.
JATO said that the VW Polo took the No. 2 spot in terms of sales in Europe. The Polo did better than the Ford Fiesta, whose sales fell by 13% in 2011, giving it the third place overall. In looking at the overall sales in 2011, new-car sales in Europe decreased by 1% compared with 2010 as consumer spending had been restricted somewhat due to the economic difficulties in the euro zone.
Germany was the only one from the five biggest markets in Europe to increase by 9% to 3.17 million units. In a statement, Gareth Hession, head of research at JATO, said that Germany is the obvious leader in Europe when it comes to a market for new cars and models that consumers throughout the region find appealing.
He said that this is “even more impressive” especially with the challenges it experienced in Europe in 2011. Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are the only brands in Germany’s top ten that were able to avoid a drop in volume. VW is the best-selling brand in Europe for 2011 with a volume of 1.68 million units and a 12.4% share.
The Volkswagen Golf is one of the world's most iconic vehicles and the designers are forever striving for perfection for this particular compact car. Immensely popular Volkswagen has been able to build a fervent group of Golf drivers over the many generations. It is a group which is outside of traditional social classes and a vehicle that fits snugly into a price bracket which many people find achievable and desirable. The Golf is a car which carries itself well and the latest model promises to continue this trend.
Under the guidance of Walter de Silva, Volkswagens Chief Designer, the teams working on the Golf strive to deliver this perfect promise. Already having displayed characteristics such as putting more fun into driving, delivering power you wouldn't usually expect in a compact and giving the Golf an unmistakable aesthetic all its own. The vehicle remains statistically an incredibly popular choice throughout Europe.
In terms of technological achievements, the new Volkswagen Golf consumes only 4.5 liters of fuel every 100 km which will save on your fuel costs and thanks to the “Park Assist” function it is possible for the vehicle to almost park itself. When on the freeway, activation of the ACC distance control function will allow the VW to keep a reasonable gap between them and the car in front and if you are after more power from your Golf, simply by switching on the DCC Adaptive Chassis Control system will set the vehicle in sport mode.
The Italian Walter de Silva had a very clear goal when he took control of the design process in February 2007. He said the aim for us all is to revolutionise compact cars and ensure we are the most influential brand going forward. We are going to deliver vehicles which set the future not reside in it. Embracing these ambitions, the design team worked tirelessly under their new mentor to bring this dream to fruition.
DESIGN - REALIGNED AND SHARPENED
The 2008 Golf was the first of the range to have been worked on by de Silva's team. By redesigning one of the Group's most popular vehicles, it could have been a disaster but instead what they achieved was an enviable upturn in the market with a car which delivered on many contemporary wishes.
Looking back at the prior work done on the Golf I-IV, from 1974 – 2003, the team continued to make improvements in every area and in time, the hard work paid off as de Silva's proposals saw the entire Group switch the profile of the headlamps, taillights and side profile to mirror those of the Golf to bring them all into one family.
Volkswagen Golf remains key to the Group with the proposals going forward. Continued changes to the range has enabled them to remain ahead of the pack with regards to the competition thanks in part to Walter de Silva and his insistence on redesigning what remains one of the most successful European cars.