Volkswagen has commenced production of the new Golf at its Puebla site in Mexico, which will also build further models from the Golf family for North America going forward. The inauguration of the Golf production at the Puebla site – timed for a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Volkswagen de México -- was graced by: Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexican Secretary of Economy; Rafael Moreno-Valle, Governor of the State of Puebla; and Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG.
Around 700 guests from politics and industry attended the celebrations. The lightweight construction of the Golf is unpinned by the Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) architecture.
The new Golf built in Mexico will be sold in the United States and Canada starting mid-2014. Volkswagen has spent around US$700 million in new production site and modern infrastructure for the Golf in Puebla.
The first Golf to be produced in Mexico is a red Golf GTI, while production of other derivatives like the Golf station wagon for the North and South America regions will start later this year. Golf production at the Puebla site has a design capacity of 700 vehicles per working day.
“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,” remarked Andreas Hinrichs, chief executive of Volkswagen de México. Aside from the new Golf, VW’s Puebla site also builds the coupe and cabriolet versions of the VW Beetle and the Volkswagen Jetta.
In terms of technology, the Beetle and Jetta also belong to the Golf class and will be underpinned by Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) in the medium term. On the other hand, Volkswagen commenced building modern TSI engines at its Silao engine plant in early 2013.
“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.”
When the Volkswagen Golf was first unveiled to the public, it was able to redefine the idea of a small family car. Since then, at least 29 million units of this model have been sold. Thirty-six years after the first generation, Volkswagen will officially be welcoming the seventh generation of this model in Berlin. Under this latest version, customers can expect to experience comfort at entirely new levels.
The same can be said on the efficiency, practicality, and safety that it brings to its segment. Unlike the sixth generation, this latest iteration is longer by 56 mm at 4,255 mm. Wheelbase is longer as well by 59 mm at 2,637 mm. The brand also made sure to move the wheels forward by 43 mm in order to create more space in the interior. In terms of width, the new Golf measures 1,799 mm, making it wider by 13 mm.
However it is lower by 28 mm with total height at 1,452 mm. When combined, all of these however mean that the drag coefficient is now at 0.27, 10% better than the prior model. During the development of the Golf, the brand made use of the Modularer Querbaukasten architecture or MQB. This is also known as the Modular Transverse Matrix.
With this, a number of vehicle component parameters are standardized not only across brands but even through vehicle classes. In addition, it also enables access to new technologies and new powertrains. These include innovations in matters related to infotainment, and more importantly, safety. In the past, these qualities have been preserved mainly for models belonging in higher segments.
The new Golf is not only fitted with more cutting-edge technologies than ever, but passengers get to experience more room. Even with these changes, the use of new production methods enabled the Mk VII to be lighter by as much as 100 kg versus the version it will be replacing. As a result, the new model is more efficient by around 23% more. Not only that, the new generation of the Golf is even safer.
One reason is in utilizing a body structure that is stronger but lighter by 23 kg. Aiding with safety is a wide range of active and passive safety systems included as standard and others offered as an option.