Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV) (German: Volkswagen Nutzfahrzeuge, pronounced [ˈfɔlksˌvaːgən ˈnʊt͡sˌfaːɐ̯t͡sɔʏ̯ɡə]; German abbreviation: VWN, pronounced [faʊ̯ veː ʔɛn]) is a German multinational commercial vehicles manufacturer headquartered in Hannover, Lower Saxony, Germany, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group. Originally part of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, it has operated as a separate marque and company since 1995.
1947 to 1960
- Volkswagen Dutch importer Ben Pon sketches a van based on Beetle components which becomes the legendary Type 2 Transporter range after seeing the Volkswagen Beetle-based Plattenwagen.
- Volkswagen General Director Heinrich Nordhoff approves Ben Pon's sketch for production.
- The first prototype was unveiled in Wolfsburg christened "Bulli"; On November 12 the production Bulli was launched officially to the public.
- Full production began, Bulli was renamed Type 2 Transporter due to "Bulli" being trademarked by another company.
- Volkswagen celebrates production of 100,000th Type 2 Transporter at Wolfsburg plant.
- The first Type 2 Transporter rolls off the Hanover plant.
1960 to 1980
- 1,000,000th Transporter leaves production line in Hanover.
- The second-generation Type 2 Transporter (T2) is released.
- The 2,000,000th Transporter leaves production line in Hanover.
- The first generation of the "LastenTransporter" LT is released which opens the door to Volkswagen in the light truck sector.
- The 4.5 millionth Transporter is produced.
- A six cylinder diesel engine is introduced for the LT range in August expanding the range with the LT 40 and LT 45.
- The third-generation Type 2 Transporter (T3) is released.
1980 to 1990
- A diesel engine is added to the Type 2 Transporter (T3) range.
- Hanover celebrates 25 years of producing the Transporter range. In March the 5 millionth unit is produced.
- Volkswagen Caminhoes Ltd starts building medium sized trucks in Brazil.
- Watercooled petrol engines (wasserboxer) are added to the German Transporter (T3) range.
- The Caddy Ute, which is based on the Golf, is launched to the public.
- The luxurious Caravelle MPV is launched into the T3 range.
- VWCV launch the four-wheel drive syncro Transporter T3
- Volkswagenwerk GmbH changes its name to VOLKSWAGEN AG.
- The 6 millionth Transporter is produced.
- The Volkswagen California motorhome is introduced into the range.
- The first Volkswagen Taro leaves the Hanover assembly lines.
1990 to 2000
- The fourth-generation Transporter/Multivan (T4) is released, VWCV celebrates 40 years of the Transporter, 6 million have been produced since its 1950 introduction.
- A joint venture with Ching Chung Motor Co. Ltd. is founded in Taipei, Taiwan.
- Volkswagen AG has 1/3 capital in the company and from 1993 the T4 Transporter is produced there.
- The 500,000th Transporter/Multivan (T4) leaves production line in Hanover.
- The Volkswagen L80 is launched onto the German market.
- Dr Bernd Wiedemann, Chairman of the Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, announces the formation of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as an independent Volkswagen Group marque.
- The Type 9K Caddy Panel Van and Type 9U Caddy are released on the market.
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle unit launch a joint venture to replace their aging large vans, the jointly developed Volkswagen LT and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are launched onto the market with success.
2000 to 2010
The Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles assembly plant in Hannover
- VWCV celebrate 50 years of building the legendary Transporter/Multivan (T4) range.
- VWCV takes charge of the Volkswagen Trucks and Buses operation.
- The fifth generation T5 Transporter and passenger-oriented Caravelle / Multivan MPV are released.
- The T5 Transporter range wins UK's What Van? Van of the Year, the all new Type 2K Caddy is released, Caddy now has Golf Mk5 front suspension.
- The 7-seat passenger-oriented Caddy Life is released.
- The replacement to the Volkswagen LT the Volkswagen Crafter is revealed; this time it is built alongside its joint venture twin the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the Mercedes-Benz factory in Ludwigsfelde, Germany.
- The Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter wins the What Van? "Van of the Year Award" and What Van? "Large Panel Van of the Year", also VWCV wins the What Van? "Technology Award" for its DSG transmission in the Caddy van.
- Stephan Schaller replaced Dr. Bernd Wiedemann as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Managing Director, also an LWB Caddy called Caddy Maxi will be released.
- The Caddy and Volkswagen Crafter win Professional Van and Light Truck Magazine's Small and Large Van of the Year Awards.
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles builds its 10 millionth Transporter in the month of November.
- Volkswagen AG sells Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus to MAN SE.
- At the IAA in Hanover Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revealed various new models including the new fourth global line in the guise of a Concept Pickup, Caddy 4Motion, Caddy PanAmericana Study and Crafter BlueMotion Study.
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK revealed the Caddy Sportline range.
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles operations in Brazil revealed the new fifth-generation Saveiro utility for emerging markets.
- VWCV reveal at IAA Frankfurt the T5 Transporter facelift which includes new engines and technology to benefit the class.
- Volkswagen Amarok is launched in December at an event in General Pacheco, Argentina with the President of Argentina Cristina Kirchner attending.
- Following the Launch in Argentina; Volkswagen Amarok was a key support vehicle in the 2010 Dakar Rally with 45 vehicles participating.
- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles establishes its Latin American offices in Miami, Florida to cater for Central and South Americas region.
2010 to present
- February Wolfgang Schreiber is appointed the new chief of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles but the title is renamed Speaker of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
- September Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveal the Transporter Rockton with 4Motion, an AWD van for tough situations and marketed towards emergency services in tough climates.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveal the Amarok SingleCab study at IAA 2010 in Hanover. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveal Multivan Edition25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Multivan namplate. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveal the Transporter with BlueMotion Technology
- April Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles release a revised Crafter with three new TDI engines and redesigned
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles show at the Hanover Trade Fair their electric Caddy prototype.
- September Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles releases the Caddy Edition30 for the 30th Anniversary of the nameplate.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles reveal the Amarok with 8 speed transmission and a new 132 kW/180os engine with 420Nm and a towing cpacity of 3.2 tonnes.
- November Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles releases the ultra luxurious Multivan Business.
- December Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles scoop three What Van? awards for Amarok 'Pickup of the Year', Caddy 4Motion '4x4 Van of the Year' and Transporter Sportline 'Editors Choice'.
- January Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles release BlueMotion versions of the Volkswagen Transporter and Volkswagen Crafter, both vehicles have improved fuel consumption thanks to BlueMotion Technologies.
- June Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles small van the Caddy comes available with Park Assist.
- August Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles starts production of the Amarok in Hannover
- September Dr. Eckhard Scholz is appointed Speaker for the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
MAN / Volkswagen joint venture 1977–93
Volkswagen's first joint venture into trucks outside of their own LT range was with MAN Nutzfahrzeuge (Commercial Vehicles) from 1977–1993. Truck production started in 1979 and ended in 1993 with 72,000 units produced. It was available with four engines and four wheelbases over its lifetime; there was also a 4X4 version called 8.150 FAE. FAE means "forward control" cab, all-wheel drive, single tyres so the F nomenclature means "forward control" cab. This series is usually referred to as the G90, from the most common model, but also as the "G"-series. In the United Kingdom it was originally marketed as the "MAN MT" series. The original lineup in the UK consisted of the 6.90 and the 8.90 (the first digit denoting the GVW in tonnes, the second for power in metric horsepower) and the 8.136 and 9.136.
MAN AG supplied engines which were available in inline-four and inline-six cylinder engine configurations, with DIN rated motive power outputs of:
- 67 kilowatts (91 PS; 90 bhp)
- 75 kilowatts (102 PS; 101 bhp)
- 101 kilowatts (137 PS; 135 bhp)
- 112 kilowatts (152 PS; 150 bhp)
MAN AG replaced the G series (as it was known internally) with the L2000 and M2000 ranges.
VWCV and MAN shared the project development in accordance with the collaboration agreement as follows:
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles took care of:
- the tilting driver's cab including steering wheel and fixing, hand levers and foot pedals.
NOTE the VW LT Mk 1 cabin was used for the MAN-VW range, the cabins are wider than the standard LT cabins so they can fit the truck chassis
- the complete interior equipment and heating
- the manual gearbox with clutch and gear lever, the rear axle with rear-axle transmission and suspension
- the cardan shafts including bearings
- the electrical system for the entire concept, and the platforms for the standard design.
MAN was responsible for:
- the engine including cooling, exhaust, inlet and fuel system
- the front axle with suspension and steering
- the frame with all parts for attaching the springs and axles, the steering, the batteries, the power braking system and fuel system
- the brakes, i.e. for the complete wheel brakes front and rear, the dual-circuit power brakes and parking brake
- the wheels and tyres
- the platform for special designs and tipping mechanism.
MAN-VWCVs were built in Volkswagen's Hanover factory until other Volkswagen models took priority; they were then made at MAN AG's Salzgitter-Watenstedt factory.
MAN-VWCV Range 6.90, 8.90, 6.100, 8.136, 8.100, 8.150, 9.136, 9.150 & 10.136. F & FAE are sometimes on the end of some of these model numbers.
Several models of the MAN-VWCV and the VWCV LT ranges were marketed in Spain by Enasa as Pegaso Ekus, in a typical badge engineering operation. Peterbilt also offered this model with their badging, as the 200 or 265 model.
MAN-VW 8.136 Truck 1979–1987
MAN-VW 8.150 Truck 1987–1993
MAN-VW 8.136 FAE 4x4 Truck 1987–1993
Unique Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles have manufactured some unique commercial vehicles in its 50 plus years of producing light commercial vehicles. One of them was a small postal van which was built at the request of the German Postal Services. By 1964 the Type 147 or Kleinlieferwagen was in production. In popular culture it has also been christened the nickname of Fridolin.
From 1975–1979, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles produced for developing countries a small air-cooled FWD truck called the Volkswagen EA489 Basistransporter, with a rudimentary chassis and basic metal sheeting. It was easily manufactured from semi knocked down kits into a light truck.
In 1989 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles partnered with Japanese firm Toyota to build the Toyota Hilux pick-up truck rebadged as a Volkswagen Taro. This partnership was to help Toyota build sales in Europe and give VW a vehicle in the 1 tonne pick-up segment. The venture was not a huge success and it split in the late 1990s.
Volkswagen self parking system Park Assist which is featured on such models as the Touran, Tiguan and Passat is being developed for implementation on the next Caddy and Crafter.
MAN SE Light Truck Venture
Wall Street Journal have reported Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and MAN SE are to develop a range of Light Trucks in the 3.5 tonne to 7.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass range.
Joint venture in India
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is studying the Indian Commercial and Bus market. Interest was shown by prospective customers at the VW display at India's 2008 Auto Expo and VW is considering entering the market with a joint venture initiative.
Manufacturing in China
In September 2008, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles was reported to be studying the viability of establishing vehicle assembly operations in China.
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Some of this article contains excerpts from MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG article dated Munich, April 2005. MAN-VW History Article.