Earlier this year, Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus began the celebrations for its 40 years of existence and, this September, it also celebrates its first export in 1981. In the first year of the company, 37 Volkswagen trucks were exported to their first international destinations, countries that still have vehicles of the brand, as Chile, Paraguay and Mexico.
“We are specialists in offering transport solutions to emerging countries, without giving up the most advanced technologies and the best cost-benefit ratio for fleet owners and autonomous transporters. Our network of stores outside Brazil has more than 160 points of sale. I congratulate our International Sales team for yet another important milestone in our history”, says Roberto Cortes, President and CEO of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus.
It was the beginning of a successful trajectory. Today, the assembler reaches the mark of 160 thousand exported trucks and buses, which can be found in more than 30 countries in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, always made to measure. In 2021, VW Caminhões e Ônibus doubled shipments in the first half compared to the same period last year, jumping from 2,535 to 5,170 units. A trend of recovery and recovery after a period as difficult as the beginning of 2020 with the arrival of the pandemic around the world.
“All of our trucks and buses are designed to meet the strictest international standards, and are also robust enough to adapt to the most varied driving conditions around the world. Thus, we are very proud to be always expanding our list of destinations”, comments Leonardo Soloaga, Sales Director for International Markets at VW Caminhões e Ônibus.
With the success of exports, the automaker found that it was time to expand its operations. Thus, in 2004, the first VWCO factory abroad was inaugurated, located in the city of Puebla, Mexico – and which in 2010 was transferred to Querétaro. There are produced from VW Delivery and Constellation trucks to Volksbus and MAN models. In addition, the factory also has 14 dealerships to fully support its customers on Mexican streets and highways.
The bespoke concept is international, even in the production of its vehicles: VWCO also has a partnership with MAN Truck & Bus in Pinetown, South Africa, for the assembly of right-hand drive VW models to serve customers the country and also the region of Sub Equatorial Africa.
There are miles of customizations around the world. Volkswagen trucks and buses have ventured into various applications and adaptations at the request of customers, such as the sale of buses for charter in Saudi Arabia whose roof was removed without compromising the vehicle structure to ensure the transport of pilgrims to Mecca and Medina without obstacles that could hinder their prayer ritual. In Angola, there are about 1,500 buses adapted for school transport in the country.
The road to success is a long one. VWCO accumulates market leadership in several countries, such as Uruguay, where the automaker is the preferred seller of new trucks for the fourth year in a row. In Chile, it ranks second for the first time.
In Argentina, there are more than 40 thousand VW vehicles in circulation to move the country, which has been its main international destination throughout these four decades. It is followed by Chile, which has about 23 thousand trucks and buses in the country. In third place, VWCO celebrates more than 20 thousand units in Mexican transportation.
The manufacturer has also advanced and strengthened in Central America. Volkswagen truck and bus units can now increasingly be found in countries such as Aruba, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. The export expansion strategy remains strong and VWCO is already eyeing new markets.