Milestones

Timeline of VW Beetle production milestone vehicles.

1930s-50s | 1960s-70s | 1980s-10s

1937
1940
1941
1946
1948
1949
1950
1951
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959

1937

Courtesy Undis Kanape

The second banner reads, ‘23.9.37 Wg. [Wagen] IIIA 37003 Drivers Denk & Eichner’

23 SEPTEMBER 1937 – PORSCHE WORKSHOPS, STUTTGART. 1,000,000 test kilometres on vehicle IIIA 37003.

Cars were tested in the Black Forest (Schwartzwald).

1940

20 DECEMBER 1940 – WOLFSBURG. Kubelwagen1,000.

1941

The first series production Volkswagen in war year 1941

The first KdF-Wagens to be produced on 11 July 1941. The sign above the plate indicates the car has been allocated to ‘Reichsorganisationsleiter Dr R Ley’, the leader of the Deutsche Arbeits Front (DAF).

11 JULY 1941 – WOLFSBURG. First off production line – Kdf-1.

SEPTEMBER 1941 – WOLFSBURG –  Kubelwagen5,000.

 

 

1946

For the first time, production figures reach the level of 1,000 vehicles a month ordered by the British. The milestone is marked by a small ceremony. Apart from slight fluctuations, the monthly production figures remain at this level until the beginning of 1948 because the necessary volumes of raw materials and components cannot be obtained. Total production for the whole of 1946 was 10,020 cars.

The 1000th car(?) on its way to completion. Courtesy ‘VW Kafer’, Ulrich von Pidoll.

30 MARCH 1946 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen1,000 cars for March.

Up to 1946, staff turnover was high with the main reasons being lack of food and the awful housing situation. Many workers were living in huts, some even with their families. The transport system was in ruins and an hour on foot to get to work was not unusual. Wages didn’t mean much as there was nothing to buy. The men building the cars worked long hours with a great deal of hard, manual labour in harsh, noisy conditions, often hungry and very tired. – Pete Frost

14 OCTOBER 1946 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen10,000.

1948

‘The success of our work’

1948 – WOLFSBURG. Beetle19,220 per year.

JANUARY 1948 – WOLFSBURG. Since the end of the war – Volkswagen20,000

MAY 1948 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen30,000.

1949

14 MAY 1949 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen50,000.

1950

 

Heinrich Nordhoff and the 100000th Beetle

4 MARCH 1950 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen100,000.

Car now at Stiftung AutoMuseum Wolfsburg.

1950 – DUBLIN, IRELAND – First CKD off production line.

1950 – KARMANN OSNABRÜCK. Typ 15 Convertible1,000.

DECEMBER 1950 – KARMANN OSNABRÜCK Convertible3,000

1951

6 OCTOBER 1951 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen250,000

Courtesy Steve Truesdale

31 AUGUST 1951 – UITENHAGE, SOUTH AFRICA – First off production line CKD Beetle

1953

3 JULY 1953 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen500,000.

1954

14 APRIL 1954 – VORST, BELGIUM – First off production line – D’Ieteren.

1955

5 AUGUST 1955 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen1.000,000 (Golden Beetle).

50s – Export record. Dealer Rheinland-Pfalz (FR) – 5,000

50s – Export record. USA100,000

 

1956

JANUARY 1956 – WOLFBURG – export record – 50,000 Volkswagen for Netherlands.

It was on August 3, 1956 that the 25,000th Volkswagen, assembled by D’Ieteren, – a White (Possibly Pearl) 1200 – came out of the Vorst plant’s assembly lines bringing together management and staff and Mr. Pierre D’leteren.

3 AUGUST 1956 – VORST, BRUSSELS – Volkswagen – 25,000

1956 – WOLFSBURG. Volkswagen10,000 for Norway.

1956 – WOLFSBURG Export record – 500,000 for Sweden

 

1957

15 NOVEMBER 1957 – Export record. Netherlands100,000

1957 – WOLFSBURG – Export record for USAVolkswagen100,000.

1958

Export record photo taken at Wolfsburg.

1958 – WOLFSBURG. Export record. Australia50,000

50s – WOLFSBURG. Export record. Finland1,000

The celebration vehicle was imported by Porsche K.G. Salzburg who were the national distributor for Volkswagen in Austria.

30 JUNE 1958 – Export record. Austria50,000

50s – Export record. France10,000

1959

25 AUGUST 1959 – WOLFSBURG. Production record – Volkswagen3,000,000

1959 – MANILA, PHILIPPINES – First off the production line – Beetle.

 


1960s and 1970s

1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1978
1979

1960

1960 – Export for Norway – Volkswagen25,000

60s – Export record. South Africa100,000

60s – Export record. Paraguay1,000

60s – Export record. USA250,000

‘This is Volkswagen Nr. 1000 delivered to Olrud Auto Hamar’

1960 – 1000th Volkswagen for Norway

 

1961

4 DECEMBER 1961 – Production record. Volkswagen5,000,000

Vehicle officially presented to the Red Cross.

The 100,000 Volkswagen to be built in Australia rolled from the line at the Clayton plant in Melbourne in March 1961. The ceremony was attended by the Premier of Victoria Sir Henry Bolte. Prior to the big occasion, Volkswagen Australasia had searched for ‘Australia’s oldest VW’ for four months, with the help of extensive advertising and dealer enquiries, before finally locating Ted and Therese Haenel in the state of Victoria who owned a 1946 Beetle. At the 100,000 Volkswagen ceremony in Clayton, Sir Henry Bolte presented the celebration car to Mr and Mrs Haenel in exchange for their 1946 model. “Take good care of it, it’s a good little car” said Mrs Haenel with a moist eye and who can be seen seated on the left in the photo.

MARCH 1961 – Production record. Plant. Australia 100,000

 

1962

Placeholder.

SEPTEMBER 1962 – WOLFSBURG. Production record. Beetle 5,000,000

OCTOBER 1962 – WOLFSBURG. Export record. 200,000 Volkswagen for Netherlands.

1962 – OTAHUHU, NEW ZEALAND Production record  – 10,000 Beetle.

1963

1963 – WOLFSBURG – Export record – VolkswagenNorway50,000

Courtesy Steve Truesdale

1963 – UITENHAGE, SOUTH AFRICA – CKD Beetle100,000

 

 

1964

With F. R. Smith, Mayor of Ramsgate.

SUMMER 1964 – RAMSGATE DISTRIBUTION CENTER, UK  – Import record VW (GB) Ltd. – Volkswagen 1200100,000

6 DECEMBER 1964 – EMDEN. First off production line for USA

 

1965

15 SEPTEMBER 1965 – WOLFSBURG – Volkswagen 10,000,000

1965 – Export record. Kreis Oldenburg5,000.

MAY 1965 – Export record. Bergamo3,000.

1966

Volkswagen Emden opened in 1964 and initially concentrated on Beetle production, especially for the North American market. A little over a year later on 11 January 1966, the 100,000th car rolled off the line and after a brief ceremony, was shipped to San Francisco, California. The milestone car was a US-spec Typ.113, chassis number 116511574 and painted in Ruby Red (L456) with Platinum white leatherette interior and fitted with a 1.3-litre 40PS engine. Options fitted were whitewall tyres, hinged rear windows and radio. It also had a special commemorative golden plaque attached next to the spare wheel. – Pete Frost

 

In 2012 the car was given a new lease of life by owner Larry Marchant of South Carolina with a body-off, bare metal 2-year total restoration to original factory specification by Klassik Rides in Denver, North Carolina. The $100,000 restoration was completed in time for Volkswagen Emden’s 50th anniversary in 2014. As part of those anniversary celebrations, the car was shipped to Germany and featured in a special exhibition hosted by the Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum Emden at the Rathaus am Delft in the city, titled “Als der Käfer nach Emden kam” (When the Beetle came to Emden). After the 6-month exhibition, the car returned home to the United States where it is still going strong today. – Pete Frost

11 JANUARY 1966 – EMDEN – Production record. Plant 100,000

The 100,000th Volkswagen for Norway on the dockside in Oslo. Captain Schwobmann of the MS Bremer Westen hands the car over to the importer Harald A. Møller.

1966 – WOLFSBURG – Export record to NorwayVolkswagen100,000

1967

 

MARCH 1967 – BRUSSELS – Production record. Plant 500,000

 11 MARCH 1967 – EMDEN – Plant record – Volkswagen500,000

4 JULY 1967 – SAO PAULO – Plant record – Volkswagen500,000

DECEMBER 1967 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Beetle10,000,000

1967 – WOLFSBURG – Production record for Bolivia. Volkswagen2000

 

1968

7 FEBRUARY 1968 – WOLFSBURG – Export record. Beetle 300,000 for Netherlands.

Otto Hoehne, member of the VW AG board of directors, presented the car to the National Child Protection Institute.

12 JUNE 1968, 1.30 PM – PUEBLA – Production record for Mexico – Volkswagen – 100,000

29 NOVEMBER 1968 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Volkswagen 15,000,000


WOLFSBURG – Production record for Israel – Volkswagen9000

1969

1969 – WOLFSBURG – Export to Norway – Beetle100,000

1969 – WOLFSBURG – Export to Norway – Volkswagen150,000

Volkswagen began assembling the Beetle in Ingolstadt in 1965

The chalkboard says:

Dear Beetle – Today on September 4th, 69 you will finally part with us. In deep sadness we say goodbye to you and hope that you will continue to live in Wolfsburg. We thank you for your loyalty, which you have shown us for 4 years. In deep sorrow. The bereaved.

And on the wreath is written:

Thank you for saving our lives. With these words, the employees said goodbye to the last VW Beetle produced at Auto Union (Audi) in Ingolstadt. When VW took over the Ingolstadt company in 1965, it was on the verge of collapse. The two-stroke engine that Auto Union had specialized in up to then was no longer up to date and there were no alternatives. The employees feared for their jobs. Building the Beetle with its four-stroke boxer engine was the savior. And the sales also prove that: 347,869 Beetles rolled off the assembly line in Ingolstadt between 1965 and 1969. – translation courtesy Björn Doppke

4 SEPTEMBER 1969 – INGOLSTADT – Beetle – last car off production line – 347,869.

16 DECEMBER 1969 – EMDEN – Production record Beetle1,000,000

1970

8 JULY 1970 – Production record. Plant – Volkswagen Brazil 1,000,000 Volkswagen

1971

14 million Wolfsburg

Major Ivan Hirst accepts the car on behalf of VW (GB) from the production line.

Vehicle donated to World Wildlife Fund.

5 MAY 1971 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Beetle – 14,000,000.

AUTUMN 1971 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Volkswagen20,000,000 (Jubilee).

 

1972

Keys being turned over to The Smithsonian representatives Charles H White and Don H Berkebile by Tony Weaver of VWoA.

15 FEBRUARY 1972 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Beetle15,000,000. Car donated to the Smithsonian.

17 FEBRUARY 1972 – WOLFSBURG – Production record. Beetle15,007,034 (Weltmeister).

The Beetle beats the world production record of the Ford Model-T.

Courtesy MIAU.

9 MARCH 1972 – Production record. Plant – Volkswagen Brazil 1,000,000 Fusca

 

Douglas B Miller Managing Director of VW GB at Wolfsburg November 1972.

NOVEMBER 1972 – WOLFSBURG. Export record. Great Britain300,000. (GT Beetle)

1972 – WOLFSBURG – Export record for Norway – Volkswagen – 200,000

1972 – Sales record. Aveg Linz50,000.

 

70s – Export record. Ireland – 2000 per year.

1973

1973 – Production record. Plant  Brazil – Fusca1,500,000.

24 OCTOBER 1973 – EMDEN – Production record Beetle, – 2,000,000

7 JUNE1973 – BRUSSELS – Production record. Plant1,000,000.

Michael O’Flaherty (right) leading an Irish management group that includes Dermod Ryan (left), Michael O’Keeffe (3rd left) and Donal Fingleton (4th left) with the 75,000 Beetle for Ireland.

18 JULY 1973 – WOLFSBURG – Export record. Ireland – 75,000 

10 NOVEMBER 1973 – VOGOSCA, YUGOSLAVIA – First off (TAS) production line – Beetle.

14 NOVEMBER 1973 – WOLFSBURG – Export record. Netherlands – 75,000 

1974

1 JULY 1974 – WOLFSBURG – Last off production line. Beetle11,916,519.

1975

1975 – UITENHAGE – Production record. Plant South Africa – 250,000 (Lux Bug).

21 MARCH 1975 – First off production line – Nigeria

1975 – Production record – Nigeria1,000

The vehicle was presented to the National Child Protection Institute.

15 MAY 1975 – PUEBLA – Production record for MexicoVolkswagen500,000

22 MAY 1975 – VORST, BRUSSELS – Last Beetle – 1,143,664

1976

It’s not known who the gentlemen are. However, the factory was owned by the Japanese Nissan company at the time and VW CKD assembly of Beetles, Golfs, Passats’, and Transporters was being halted. Apart from the Nissan take-over, another issue is that from 01 July 1967 ADR 27A came into force (Australian Design Rule 27A) which imposed tight exhaust emission controls on new cars. We believe these last Australian-built Beetles (and Transporters) sneaked in after 01 July because the build date was determined to be when the CKD crate was packed in Germany which was before 01 July 1976.

15 JULY 1976 – Last off production line – Australia260,055.

1976 – JAKARTA – Production record. Indonesia – 10,000.

DECEMBER 1976 – EMDEN – Production record. Beetle19,000,000.

1978

Courtesy AG Foto.

Courtesy ARD Foto.

Penultimate Beetle from Emden, Germany.

Antepenultimate Beetle from Emden, 2,362,800. Glory Beetle interior.

19 JANUARY 1978 – EMDEN – Last off production line. Beetle16,255,500 (Glory Beetle, Last Edition)

1979

In 2006 several Uitenhage Museum vehicles including this one were severely damaged in a transporter accident on the way to an event.

Restored vehicle on display at AutoPavillion (Volkswagen Museum) Uitenhage.

18 JANUARY 1979 – UITENHAGE, SOUTH AFRICA – Last off production line. Beetle.

 


1980s to 2010s

1980
1981
1984
1985
1986
1988
1990
1992
1993
1996
2003
2013
2019

1980

Last German-spec Karmann or highest VIN. Ex-Karmann Collection.

10 JANUARY 1980 – OSNABRÜCK – Last off production line. Karmann Beetle331,847 (Triple White).

12 SEPTEMBER 1980 – PUEBLA – Production record Volkswagen1,000,000

1981

15 MAY 1981 – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Production record.Beetle19,999,999


20,000,001

15 MAY 1981 – PUEBLA – Production record. Beetle20,000,000 (Silver Bug)

1981 – PUEBLA – Production record to Italy Beetle250,000

1981 – MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Last off production line – Beetle (Brazilian CKD)

1984

10 July 1984 German Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits VW Mexico in honour of production of Beetle number 100,000 for export to Emden.

10 JULY 1984 – PUEBLA, MEXICO – Production record export to Europe, Beetle100,000 (Velvet Red)

 

1985

25 JULY 1985 – PUEBLA, MEXICO – Last export to Europe, Beetle

 

1986

Courtesy Alexander Gromow.

31 OCTOBER 1986 – SAO PAULO, BRASIL – Last off production line. Fusca3,324,506 (Ultima Serie)

 

1988

1988 – NIGERIA – Last off production line.153,519 (Golden Beetle).

1990

OCTOBER 1990 – PUEBLA – Production record.Beetle1,000,000

OCTOBER 1990 – PUEBLA – Production record Volkswagen2,000,000 (same vehicle)

1992

23 JUNE 1992 – PUEBLA – Production record.Beetle21,000,000 (21 Million).

1993

 

24 AUGUST 1993 – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – First off production line – Fusca Itamar

1996

The total Brazilian Fusca production had reached more than 3 million.

25 JUNE 1996 – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Production record, end of production – Fusca – more than 3,000,000

28 JUNE 1996 – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Last off production line.

Last chassis off of the production line (# 9BWZZZ113TP00 6619) was completed and eventually delivered to Dealer Sabrico on August 30, 1996. Photo and information courtesy André Chun.

11 JULY 1996 – SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – Last chassis from the production line – Fusca Itamar – 47,764 (Ouro).

2003

30 JULY 2003 – PUEBLA – Last off production line – 21,529,464 (Ultima Edicion).

2013

AUGUST 2013 – PUEBLA – 2012 Beetle 10,000,000

2019

10 JULY 2019 – PUEBLA – Last off the line 2012 Beetle (Final Edition)

 


With thanks to Pete Frost for certain information, images and Volkswagen Media Services.


This page last modified: 2021-01-18