Volkswagen do Brasil

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Volkswagen do Brasil Indústria de Veículos Automotores Ltda.
legal form Ltda.
founding 1953
Seat Sao Bernardo do Campo , Brazil
management Thomas Schmall
Number of employees approx. 22,000
Branch Automobile manufacturing
Status: December 2013

The current bestseller VW Gol
The Fusca (German: beetle) . Just like in many other countries, he motorized Brazil and for many years was the most important Volkswagen model in that country.
The Brazilian VW bus was a mixture of the T1 and the T2 for many years .

Volkswagen do Brasil Indústria de Veículos Automotores Ltda. is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group , which was founded in Brazil in 1953 . After Germany and the People's Republic of China , Brazil is the country in which Volkswagen has the largest representation. Its origins go back to 1950, when Heinrich Nordhoff , then General Director of Volkswagen, had the idea to expand the group's activities to other countries.

Over time, Volkswagen do Brasil has made a name for itself with models and variants of its own design that are suitable for various markets in South America and Africa and replace or supplement the European models there. Volkswagen currently ranks second in automobile sales in Brazil, just behind Fiat .

Volkswagen do Brasil acted as an “extended workbench” for the Volkswagen Group and manufactures the Fox for all markets worldwide in which this model is offered. The VW Golf IV was also built in Brazil for the markets in Canada and in various countries in Central and South America. In addition, the export of the Gol NF and Voyage NF models to most Latin American countries began.

Production facilities

VW do Brasil operated four production facilities in Brazil in 2017. The Resende plant was transferred to this division after the takeover of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus by MAN Truck & Bus .

Anchieta - São Bernardo do Campo

The plant is located in a suburb of São Paulo . The Gol models , the Fox for export, the Saveiro ( pick-up based on the Gol) and the Jetta are built there. The production capacity is 1300 cars per day. The following production steps are carried out: punching , body assembly , painting , final assembly, engine construction and gearbox construction. There is also a center for planning and developing new products. Approx. 16,000 workers and employees are employed there.

Sao Carlos

In the factory in this medium-sized city in the state of São Paulo, 16 different engines are built for operation with gasoline , ethanol or diesel , which are used in many vehicles in Brazil, but also in Spain and South Africa . Approx. 500 employees are employed there. This factory was the first manufacturing facility outside of Europe to receive an ISO 14007 environmental certificate in 1997 . The factory opened on October 12, 1996.


This plant is also in São Paulo. There the Gol, Voyage , up! and earlier also the Parati (station wagon version of the Gol) with a capacity of 1000 cars per day. 4000 people are currently employed in this factory. It started production on January 14, 1976.

São José dos Pinhais

The São José dos Pinhais plant, which is operated together with Audi do Brasil , is located on the outskirts of Curitiba . The VW Golf IV , Fox (for domestic and foreign markets), CrossFox , Audi A3 and Audi Q3 models are built there. 810 cars are made every day. They are produced by approx. 3600 employees.

History of Volkswagen in Brazil

Fuscão with a 1.5 liter engine
VW 1600 "Zé do Caixão"
The Volkswagen SP 2 , now a rare collector's item
VW Brasília , one of the most famous models from Volkswagen do Brasil in the 1970s
  • 1953: On March 23, the assembly of the VW Beetle 1200 and the VW Bus 1200 in Brazil by Companhia Distribuidora Geral Brasmotor (now known as Multibras ) begins in a factory in the suburb of Ipiranga in São Paulo. A few months later, Friedrich Wilhelm Schultz-Wenk had the idea of ​​a direct Volkswagen branch in Brazil and convinced Nordhoff to expand the business of his group accordingly. Volkswagen becomes one of the car pioneers in Brazil.
  • 1956: On June 16, the foundation stone is laid for the VW plant in São Bernardo do Campo.
  • 1957: Presentation of the Kombi (VW bus), the first Volkswagen to be manufactured in Brazil with a large proportion of locally supplied parts.
  • 1959: Presentation of the Sedán 1200 (VW Beetle) with a share of 95% of parts made in Brazil
  • 1962: Presentation of the Karmann Ghia 1300
  • 1967: The Sedán got a 1.3 l engine, the station wagon one with 1.5 l displacement
  • 1968: Following the example of VW Germany, Volkswagen do Brasil presents the Volkswagen 1600 4 doors at the Salón del Automóvil de São Paulo this year . In Brazil it comes with four doors and a fairly angular body. This gives him the nickname Zé do Caixão ("Hansi from the coffin") in reference to José Mojica Marins, a well-known filmmaker of the Cine de Terror . It is known for its cornering stability and has a top speed of 135 km / h. It will not be a best seller: fewer than 24,500 are on the streets, many of them with taxi drivers.
  • 1969: Presentation of the Volkswagen 1600 Variant
  • 1970: Start of export (variant on different markets). Presentation of the Karmann Ghia TC 1600 , the Beetle 1500 ( called Fuscão in Brazil ) and the Volkswagen 1600 TL (hatchback sedan with 2 doors). Start of assembly for the American markets of the Type 181 as a VW Safari .
  • 1972: Presentation of the SP2 , which was constructed in Brazil.
  • 1973: Presentation of the Brasilia
  • 1974: Presentation of the Passat
  • 1975: Presentation of the station wagon with 1.6-liter engine and modified front, adapted to the T2 , for international markets
  • 1977: Presentation of the Variant II . Start of production of the alcohol engines for the Sédan 1300, Passat and Brasilia models
  • 1979: Foundation of Volkswagen Camiones (truck construction) and presentation of the Gol 1300 , the first car in the BX series with air cooling.
  • 1981: Start of the production of trucks with 11 and 13 tons. and presentation of the Voyage 1500 (sedan variant of the Gol) and the 1.6-liter diesel engine and water cooling station wagon
  • 1982: The new Voyage is voted “Car of the Year”. Presentation of the Parati (combination version of the Gol) and Saveiro (pick-up version of the Gol) models in September. Start of export of engines to the USA. 1 million gearboxes are exported.
  • 1984: Presentation of the Santana , manufactured on a robot line
  • 1985: Presentation of the Quantum (station wagon version of the Santana, in Europe as the Passat Variant)
  • 1986: The Sédan ( VW Beetle ) is discontinued in Brazil.
  • 1987: Autolatina founded together with Ford do Brasil
  • 1989: Presentation of the Parati GLS and Parati Plus 1.8 models. Presentation of new truck models. Start of production of the Gol GTI, the first Brazilian car with gasoline injection. The Santana 2000 is voted “Car of the Year”.
  • 1990: Presentation of the Apollo , which is derived from the Ford Escort . Presentation of the 4-door Voyage and three new truck models. The new third generation AP-2000 engine is available for the Santana and Quantum.
  • 1991: Presentation of the new Santana, the Apollo VIP and the Gol 1992 with a redesigned interior. Start of the production of automobiles with catalytic converters and ABS (Volkswagen was the first Brazilian manufacturer to offer these equipment details).
  • 1993: Presentation of the models Logus , Pointer ( derived from Ford Escort ), Gol Popular and the Volksbus line . Special models: Voyage Sport, Santana Sport and Saveiro Sunset. Reintroduction of Fusca at the instigation of President Itamar Franco .
  • 1994: Presentation of the Golf, Passat and Passat Variant models (import vehicles). New truck models Volkswagen 7-100 and 8-140. Chassis for the Volkswagen 8-140 CO / CE minibus. New Gol.
  • 1995: Presentation of the Seat Cordoba and Seat Ibiza (import vehicles). New Gol GTI 16V and new Parati. Special models: Gol Rolling Stones and Logus Wolfsburg Edition . Dissolution of the Autolatina .
  • 1996: Definitive cessation of production of the Fusca in Brazil. Since its reintroduction in 1993, 42,000 units have been produced.
  • 1997: Presentation of the Polo Classic (from Argentina), the Seat Cordoba and Seat Ibiza (from Spain) and the Golf VR6 (from Mexico). The Gol and Parati are offered as four-door models for the first time. For tax reasons, the Gol and Parati come out with a 1.0 liter 16V engine. The new Saveiro and the special model Parati Club are presented. The export of the Gol to Mexico begins. The station wagon is revised, but retains the body of the T2, albeit with larger side air intakes and a modified sliding door.
  • 1998: Presentation of the new generations of Passat, Passat Variant and Golf. The Euro Van and the Caravelle ( T4 ) are introduced. Introducing the new generations of Santana and Quantum. The export of the Gol (4 doors), Parati and Saveiro models to Mexico begins.
  • 1999: The new truck line Transformer is introduced. Gol and Parati are being revised. Presentation of the Golf (now made in Brazil). The New Beetle is imported from Mexico and online sales begin.
The CrossFox is a model built in Brazil that, following a penchant for SUVs, is selling well in many countries. Shown here as a special
CrossFox Victorinox model for Mexico.
  • 2000: Presentation of the new series 2000 truck line . Start of the export of the Gulf to Mexico, the USA and Canada. Revision of the Saveiro. Presentation of the Gol and Parati models with a 1.0-liter 16V turbo engine. The export of the Gol to Egypt begins, as does the export of the Bora to Mexico.
  • 2001: Presentation of the Gol Série Ouro, the Gol Highway, the Parati Tour and the Titan truck (6x2 and 6x4).
  • 2002: Inauguration of the Nova Anchieta plant for the production of the Polo . Presentation of the special models Gol Sport, Saveiro City, Parati Crossover and Golf Trip. The Polo Sedán is presented.
  • 2003: Presentation of the Passat Protect. Rearrangement of the Gol versions. Presentation of the Gol Special (4 doors) and Saveiro Supersurf models. Special model: Gol Highway II. The Golf VR6 is presented. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Volkswagen do Brasil, the Gol Total Flex is launched. It is the first Brazilian car that can run on any mixture of gasoline and alcohol.
  • 2004: Presentation of the new Parati Total Flex and Saveiro Total Flex models. Presentation of the Polo Sportline 1.6 and Polo Sedán Highline models.
The fourth generation Golf in a Brazilian version. In the picture: the City Golf for Canada.
  • 2005: Presentation of the Fox , which for Brazil is only available with Total Flex engines. The Polo is available in three versions: Basic, Comfortline and Sportline with a 1.6-liter engine. The Polo Sedán is available as a basic model and a Comfortline. Special model: Golf Sport 1.8 Turbo.
  • 2006: Presentation of the new Gol, Parati and Saveiro models. Revised versions of Fox, Polo, Polo Sedán and Santana. The three engines available in the Gol are all with Total Flex technology. Presentation of the CrossFox 1.6 l Total Flex. The Golf is available in 8 versions (1.6, 1.6 Generation, 2.0, 2.0 Automatico, 2.0 Comfortline, 2.0 Comfortline Automatico, GTI and GTI Tiptronic). In the station wagon, a 1.4-l water-cooled engine replaces the old, air-cooled 1.6-l boxer.
  • 2007: The following goes on sale: Polo in the versions 1.6 Total Flex and 1.6 Sportline, Polo Sedán in the versions Total Flex, Comfortline 1.6 Total Flex and 1.6 Sportline, the Polo GTI, the Fox Sportline 1.0 and 1.6, both Total Flex. The SpaceFox (from Argentina) will be presented in April .
  • 2008: The new Gol NF is presented in July . The new Voyage NF appears in November . In the same month, the export of the two new models to various countries in Latin America begins.


At the time of the military dictatorship (1964–1985) , Volkswagen do Brasil observed its employees and trade unionists, including the then trade union leader and later President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva , who did not work for Volkswagen. The data collected were passed on to the military dictatorship.

In addition, the Brazilian VW subsidiary is said to have supported the military dictatorship in the persecution of opponents of the regime. Victims, trade unionists and human rights groups filed charges against Volkswagen on September 22, 2015 in São Paulo for collaborating with the repressive organs of the military dictatorship. Subsequently, the São Paulo public prosecutor's office opened an investigation into the company. In the course of these investigations it became known that the VW factory security had also politically persecuted and spied on the workforce outside the company premises. According to former CEO Hahn , the lists of political opposition members prepared by the personnel administration were only created for internal company purposes, but were nevertheless entered in the files of the authorities. Former employees testified that the security department of the VW subsidiary arrested employees themselves and held them in the in-house detention room, which the employees called the “pigsty”, until they were handed over to the political police. Arrests by the military police on the factory premises were also made possible, for example those of the trade unionist and VW employee Lúcio Bellentani . The then VW board of directors in Wolfsburg - u. a. the chairman of the board Toni Schmücker - was informed about some of the incidents, but remained inactive with regard to an investigation. In the course of the investigation, the parent company promised to provide clarification. Until 2016, the processing was carried out by the historian Manfred Grieger , employed by the Volkswagen group, who had already managed similar projects for the VW group (Volkswagen's Nazi past). The historian Christopher Kopper was then commissioned to prepare an opinion on the role of VW do Brasil during the military dictatorship. The study was published in December 2017.

Web links

Commons : Volkswagen do Brasil  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Information from Volkswagen (English) ( Memento from September 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ Fábricas - Volkswagen do Brasil. In: Retrieved August 1, 2017 (Portuguese).
  3. Information from Volkswagen about the plant in São Carlos ( Memento from September 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Information from Volkswagen on the Taubaté plant ( Memento from September 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  5. History on the Volkswagen do Brasil website - models 1954–2007 (Portuguese) ( Memento from April 13, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Carros do passado - O Fusca no Brasil . (Portuguese)
  7. Press release No. 15/2015 of the umbrella association of critical shareholders, accessed on July 25, 2017.
  8. Kopper Study, p. 115
  9. accomplices? - VW and the Brazilian military dictatorship In: Das Erste. accessed on July 24, 2017 (video available until July 24, 2018)
  10. Volkswagen helped the Brazilian military regime to spy on In: , accessed on September 10, 2014.
  11. Volkswagen spied on ex-President Lula In: , accessed on September 11, 2014.
  12. In Brazil, VW threatens even more mischief In: Die Welt. September 27, 2015, accessed July 25, 2017.
  13. PDF of the German version