Celebrating 40 years of Europe’s most successful car: The Golf

Posted on 31 Mar 2014 by Callum Bentley

Volkswagen is celebrating the 40th birthday of the most successful European car of all time: the Golf.

More than 30 million of the popular hatchbacks have been sold and from the first to the seventh generation, the Golf has been at the forefront of technological progress.

The first series production Golf rolled off the assembly line in Wolfsburg on 29 March 1974, where for decades the Beetle and thus rear-mounted engines and rear-wheel drive had dominated the scene. A new era had now dawned – that of the transversely mounted front engine and front-wheel drive.

As the successor to the legendary Beetle, of which over 21.5 million units were built, the Golf Mk I, designed by Giorgio Giugiaro and Volkswagen Design, had to live up to the immense expectations that it would carry on the success story of what until then was the world’s most successful car.

It worked – the modern and reliable drive concept, the spatial economy and ultimately the design as well, won over the market to such an extent that by October 1976 the one-millionth Golf had been produced.

On 4 September 2012, Volkswagen celebrated the world premiere of the seventh generation Golf. The Golf is the most successful model ever built by Volkswagen. In the summer of 2013 the 30 millionth Golf was built.